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Have itchy and fleshy bumps on labia. Do I have herpes?

Mar 2016
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Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 4045 Questions
I have a cluster of about 3 flesh colored bumps on my outer labia. I was having itching prior to the bumps and then the bumps appeared. I started out with one bump now there are 3. They don't hurt just itch really bad and they don't have a "head". Do I have herpes?
Posted Sat, 9 Mar 2013 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. S Patra 56 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us. I am trying to solve your problem.

According to your clinical features, cluster of small fleshy bumps on labia with itching is suggestive of one type of sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Genital wart is the most common presentation with above findings & it is highly contagious type of STD, caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). It is spread by skin to skin contact and commonly found in the vulva/ inside vagina/ cervix / around the anus following unprotected sex with someone who has the disease.

Genital herpes is unlikely as those bumps are not painful/ hurting. Other close possibility is molluscum contagiosum (sometimes itch but not painful)

The possibilities can be narrowed by complete physical examination including pelvic exam (with or without speculum). Some initial investigations are needed to be carried out to reach in final diagnosis after consultation with your doctor like complete blood test for STD profile including antibody to HSV (1 & 2) for Herpes, Urine examination - routine & microscopy, vaginal swab test, histopathological test of genital warts or excisional biopsy for confirmation of molluscum etc.

Treatments depends on underlying causative factor. You may need to take proper anti microbial drug therapy and maintain genital hygiene. Small genital wart can be treated with anti viral drugs (like alpha interferon). For molluscum, treatment is often unnecessary or imiquimod/ salicylic acid can be used to shorten duration of infection. In case of resistant medical therapy, cryosurgery/ electrocautery/ laser therapy are quite useful.

In this scenario, I suggest you to consult with a sexologist/ venereologist at the earliest for guidance through proper examination, investigation & treatment.

You should follow some preventive measures in future:

1) Practice protected sex with using condom as unprotected sex is mostly associated with transmission of STD.
2) Try to avoid all type of sexual activity till completion of treatment course.
3) After ejaculation, your partner must withdraw before he loses his erection so that the condom does not fall off too early.
4) May take HPV vaccine to immunize yourself against HPV infection.
5) Take healthy diet with more vegetables & fruits and drink more water.
6) Proper washing & cleaning of genital area before and after sexual intercourse or any type of sexual activity.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help.

Be well & take care yourself.

Dr Soumen.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have itchy and fleshy bumps on labia. Do I have herpes? 29 hours later
I haven't had sex in 3 months and the last time I had unprotected sex was over a year ago. Would it take that long for warts to show up?
Answered by Dr. S Patra 1 hour later

Thanks for follow up query.

Yes, genital wart may take long time to show up following HPV infection. You got the viral infection from sexual contact with someone who carried or suffered from warts. After infection, warts can develop within 3 weeks to a year later (average time 3 months). So you do not think that only recent sexual contact can cause this type of wart or infection.

If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer.

Wish your good health in future. Follow suggestive measures as described in my previous reply.

Dr Soumen
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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