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Noticed small hardened tender lump on the inside of labia majora. What could this be?

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Last week I had a small hardened tender lump on the inside of my labia majora (1/2 pea size). I took a sterile scalpel and very slightly nicked the lump and white pus and blood came out. The drainage was like what a pimple looks like when it's popped. This week I had another tender 1/2 pea size lump on the opposite labia majora, but it had a white head and when I popped it, the contents of it (White cottage cheese like with blood) came out with immense force!! What could these be? I know it's not herpes or warts because I am a nurse and I've seen herpes and warts before.
Posted Wed, 7 Nov 2012 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 1 hour later
Hello there.

Thanks for writing to us.
You have given an indeed good history.
After reading your history, the first possibility I keep is of a Sebaceous cyst. They present as a bump or lump beneath the skin and are the result of an infected hair follicle or blocked oil glands in skin. Generally they do not have a head on them and are felt as a pea size ball and can be moved between your fingers.They can have grayish white, cheesy, foul smelling material draining from them which on squeezing can become blood stained. Some cysts become red,tender,hard with increased temperature indicating underlying infection.
Sebaceous Cysts are primarily a cosmetic problem. These cysts are benign and do not develop into cancer. But you should never squeeze, puncture or incise the cyst on your own. This is because they reform or get infected. Removal of sebaceous cyst involves proper surgical excision to remove the sac of the cyst along with its contents. Infected cysts are treated with antibiotics followed by their removal if required. Applying moist heat or a hot compress to the area helps in reducing pain and causes the cyst to burst on its own. Proper hygiene is a must to prevent recurrence of cyst.

The other possibility can be a Bartholin's cyst especially if the lump is in the lower part of the labia near the vaginal opening.These occur due to blockage of the bartholin's gland which develops into a cyst. Usually the cyst will not be a problem, but in some cases it can become infected.
A Bartholin's cyst is usually not very painful, and significant pain suggests that an abscess has developed. However, large cysts may be painful simply by virtue of their size. Their treatment involves marsupilization where a permanent opening is created for drainage of the cysts. This is a surgical procedure which involves making an incision on cyst and stitching the edges of the incision.

Other possibilities can be a Sexually transmitted diseases like warts due to HPV (human papilloma virus)infection or genital herpes. But as you are aware of them and your history also does not point towards them being the cause.
As per your history I feel you have a sebaceous cyst of labia. But a naked eye examination by a gynecologist is a must to confirm the same and also for the required treatment.

I hope I have answered your query.
You are welcome for further queries if any.
Wishing you a speedy recovery.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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