Genital acne is similar to the acne, generally, found on the face and neck. The difference is that acne pimples appear on or near the genitals. Acne pimples can appear on the vulva, the penis, the testicles or any body part in the genital area. The causes of genital acne are thought to be the same as that of other common types of acne.
* Sebum, trapped in hair follicles, because of overly productive sebaceous glands, attached to hair follicles.
* Clogged follicles, resulting from naturally occurring bacteria that multiplies at abnormal rates.
* Irritation, resulting from dead skin cells that shed too quickly.
* The release of toxic and inflammatory substances through the skin
Genital acne, like most forms of acne, is curable if the root cause can be identified and treated. Genital acne is not caused by poor hygiene, so that no amount of cleaning will cure it. However, daily cleansing of the entire body, to remove dirt and dead skin cells, is recommended whether or not you suspect acne, genital or otherwise.
Should pimples appear in the genital area, it is a good indication that you may have a case of genital acne. However, you should seek medical attention from a dermatologist, who is trained to make an accurate diagnosis of your skin. When genital acne is suspected, you should make every effort to eliminate any irritants that may be cause for the acne. Specifically, eliminate clothing or other articles that make contact with the affected area. Constant contact with such articles, such as is experienced with rubbing, may irritate the skin and spread the inflammation that is associated with genital acne. Change the laundry detergent or cleaning agent, used for clothing and other items, which make contact in the affected area. Use a mild body soap or other cleanser on the affected area of the body, but do not scour the affected area. Also, do not pick or squeeze the pimples, since this will also spread the inflammation and, in addition, scar the skin.
If either you cannot attribute the acne to an irritant, the pimples are large and cause you pain or you develop pimples in the genital area and nowhere else on your body, you should seek immediate, medical attention for an accurate diagnosis. The diagnosis will rule out other possibilities, such as sexual diseases, and assist in determining the proper treatment. Applying acne medications in the genital area, when genital acne is not the problem, may worsen the condition that does exist. You may have to try more than treatment before finding one that positively affects your particular condition.
If your diagnosis indicates any form of genital acne, your dermatologist may recommend either an over-the-counter treatment or a prescription level treatment. Depending on your particular circumstance, treatment for genital acne may extend for up to six months. If after a six month period, your symptoms still persist, it is highly recommended that you seek medical attention for a reevaluation of your skin. Acne medications may be ingested, orally, or applied, topically, to the skin. Both forms of medication should be taken as directed for maximum effectiveness. Topical treatments, when overly applied, may also cause further irritation.