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Vaginal Blisters and Sores: Don't Panic!

Isabella Snow has suffered from blisters before. You're not alone, but you should take action!

Vaginal Blisters and Sores: What to Do

Vaginal Blisters and Sores: What to Do

You won’t hear your best girlfriend mention vaginal sores when she calls to shoot the breeze. Your mum won't bring up the possibility of vulvar blisters the next time you go shopping together. You won’t hear your sister-in-law talk about labial bumps at your anniversary dinner. In fact, I doubt you’d hear anyone (apart from people like me who aren’t embarrassed by these things and your gynecologist) talk shop about vaginal blisters unless you came right out and asked them. Even then, I’m not sure they’d answer you.

Fortunately for you, I’m here to ease your mind and let you know that some blisters are just that — blisters. And normal vaginal blisters are nothing to be alarmed or ashamed about.

Examine Your Blister Closely

The image below is that of a blister on someone's hand, but I've included it because it's similar to what a vaginal blister would look like. The main difference would be the color of your skin — if the blister is on pink, red, purple, brown, or black skin, the blister is going to reflect that, obviously.

Notice that it looks like a soft, smooth bubble and that it doesn't have an obvious border around it, such as a ring of another color or texture. The texture is a big clue as to whether or not you've got a blister related to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or just an ordinary vaginal blister.

A Typical Hand Blister

A Typical Hand Blister

  • A cluster of blisters, or blisters that itch and burn, should be checked by a gynecologist as soon as possible to rule out herpes – the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to test.
  • Soft, cauliflower-shaped skin tags or bumps should be checked immediately to rule out genital warts and HPV.
  • A totally painless blister in the vaginal area (often with a hard-edged border) should be checked immediately to rule out syphilis.
  • If it’s painful and irregularly shaped (often with an obvious border), you should have it checked immediately to rule out chancroid.
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Who Gets Them?

Anyone can get a vaginal blister. You don’t have to be sexually active, you don’t have to be unclean, and you don’t have to be anything in particular. You just need the right anatomy.

Causes of vaginal blisters commonly include but are not limited to friction, contact dermatitis, cysts, eczema, vulvovaginitis, ingrown hairs, and clogged sweat glands.

What Do They Look Like?

A non-STI-related vaginal or vulvar blister doesn’t look like your typical STI blister or bump. An ordinary vaginal blister pretty much resembles any other blister and may contain fluid or blood. They can be ovular or circular and may feel like a gel bubble when touched. They might appear as clear-colored blisters, or they may be very red, possibly turning very dark in the center as the blood inside ages. However, they shouldn’t have an obvious border (raised or otherwise) and they shouldn’t itch, burn, or smell bad. They typically would appear as a single blister, as opposed to a cluster like you would expect to see with a herpes outbreak.

Do They Hurt?

These blisters can show up anywhere on the vulva, and most of the time they go unnoticed until some sort of friction occurs. They don’t usually hurt on their own as a bee sting would, but if you touch them directly, they will be at least a bit tender to the touch, if not a bit painful. If you’ve got one on the inner labia, for example, you might not notice it at all until you experience a bit of pain when drying yourself after tinkling. Obviously, other sorts of direct contact could hurt as well, but, generally speaking, if you’re not touching it, it shouldn’t hurt.

Self Care for a Genital Sore

Once you've ruled out any STI-related causes, the best treatment is a good soak in a hot bath. You can try a sitz bath or other types of special baths. Use some Epsom salts. Soaking in the water encourages them to rupture naturally and painlessly. You should not open them yourself because that makes you more susceptible to infection. Just let them run their course naturally and the healing will take place on its own.

How Long Do They Last?

The few I’ve had over the years have lasted less than a week, but it could take longer than this if your body needs longer to heal. This is not something you should still have months after first noticing it. If a sore is lasting longer than a week or two, make an appointment to see your doctor.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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