Who among us hasn’t had a pimple, or ingrown hair, in our pubic hair region? Mostly caused by shaving or waxing (or any hair removal system), these types of blemishes are common. But sometimes we can develop a bump that doesn’t have a head on it. It appears beneath the skin and can be felt as a pea size ball that is a little squishy and moves around beneath your fingers. It can be found anywhere on your vulva (or anywhere on your body, for that matter). But we will focus on those that appear on your vulva.
These lumps are called sebaceous cysts and are often the result of an infected hair follicle. With more and more women choosing French or Brazilian bikini waxes, more pubic hair is removed giving us a higher risk of ingrown hairs and cysts. The most important thing to know is – NEVER squeeze a sebaceous cyst. Since the cyst typically does not have a head, there is no where for the puss or fluids to go, except for the cyst to expand, getting bigger and more infected as it spreads further into your skin.
Instead, you want to apply moist heat to the area which will eventually cause the cyst to burst on its own. A hot compress is a great way to do this. You can use a clean moist rag, but it often loses heat too quickly. If you do not have a hot compress a great method is to pour some hot water into a clean mug and put a clean spoon it for 10 seconds. Remove the spoon, wipe off the water and test it by applying the back of the spoon to your inner forearm. Make sure it is not scalding or too hot to the skin on your arm. If it is, it will be way too hot for your delicate vulva skin. Wait until you can press the spoon against your inner forearm comfortably. Then place the back of the spoon on the skin over the cyst. Apply slight pressure and leave it there until it the spoon cools. If you keep the mug covered to keep the water warm, you can repeat this procedure over and over again. You may have to heat the water up again at some point, but do not exceed 20 minutes in one sitting. The cyst will either burst while you are doing it or later in the day or night. You can try this a few times a day or a few days in a row. Sometimes the cyst will come to the surface as a head and then you can apply gentle pressure on the sides of the head, pressing downward against the skin, not squeezing. If puss, clear fluid or pinkish blood, come out, keep applying gentle pressure until the blood turns a dark red, then stop . If nothing comes out, stop immediately. Remember do not squeeze.
If the lump is hard, does not move and does not go away within a two weeks, consult with your doctor. Some sebaceous cysts require lancing by a professional, where they make a tiny slit and remove the contents of the cyst. NEVER EVER attempt to lance your own cyst, stick a pin in it, or squeeze it.