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Is That A Rational Fear

Published: December 29, 2014
Dear TeenHealthFX,

I am an 18 year old girl, and I have never had sex or oral sex. However, recently, my boyfriend (who has had sex) and I were making out, and clothes came off, except for underwear. A couple days later, I developed what seemed like a pimple on my outer labia, which I've never had. A couple days after it emerged, it developed a head and released a bit of pus, and now, it's been over a week, and it's still there, except it's gotten larger and it's still somewhat painful to touch. I'm really worried that maybe there was some accidental skin contact and this could be something like herpes. Is that a rational fear? I'm not sure what to do.


Dear Is That A Rational Fear,

There are several issues that could cause small painful pimple-like bumps on the outside area of your vagina. One of the more common are bumps that look like pimples on your vaginal area. Known as folliculitis, this is bacteria that grow in warm, moist areas, and occasionally in the area where your pubic hair originates from.  Folliculitis forms a pimple-like, painful bump.  You can prevent this, by keeping the area clean, warm and dry.  Use gentle soaps and avoid douching methods. You should also wear clean, dry cotton underwear. 

The herpes simplex virus can cause genital warts and is divided into 2 categories: 

  • HSV-1. This is the type that usually causes cold sores or fever blisters around your mouth, though it can be spread to your genital area during oral sex. Recurrences are much less frequent than they are with HSV-2 infection.

  • HSV-2. This is the type that commonly causes genital herpes. The virus spreads through sexual contact and skin-to-skin contact. HSV-2 is very common and highly contagious, whether or not you have an open sore. 

The virus spreads through sexual contact and skin-to-skin contact. Pain or itching that begins within two to 10 days after exposure to an infected sexual partner. Some of the symptoms are: 

 

  • Small red bumps or tiny white blisters, which may appear several days later

  • Ulcers that form when the blisters rupture and ooze or bleed

  • Scabs that form as the ulcers heal 

Your fear is not irrational but since you had your underwear on the likelihood of getting herpes is unlikely. To be on the safe side TeenHealthFX believes that it would be good idea for you to see a doctor. Most people who've been infected with HSV don't know they have the infection because they have no signs or symptoms or because their signs and symptoms are so mild. You owe it to yourself and to anyone else who you might be intimate with to see a medical professional to make sure of your diagnosis. 

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health in Morristown 973-971-6475 or the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health in Summit at 908-522-5757 for an appointment. Outside this area contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood.

 

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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