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What are the round, red sores on the left side of the labia minor?

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I am an 22 and last week I noticed some pain beginning on the left side of my labia minor. I have not and never had sexual intercourse but have done things orally. I thought that it was sore just from friction from fingers because that has happened to me before. It began to get progressively worse (sore, itchy, does not burn when urinating but if urine comes in contact with it). The sores were round, flat and just a shiny red. They have now become slightly raised and have look a little white (I figured this was part of the healing process). I have not come into contact with the herpes virus. There is also a red dot (not raised, just flat) on my clitoris. I was wondering if it was possible due to hygienic issues or shaving? I have just finished ovulating and was wondering if that would have caused some sort of infection.
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 16 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
The sores you have on your labia and the spot on the clitoris is not likely to be related to the ovulation. Having an oral sex also exposes you to the risk of herpes transmission. The sores can happen due to hygienic issues or shaving but are more likely to be due to herpes.
Herpetic infection presents with recent onset of painful and multiple ulcers. You need to get some investigations like sample from the sores to identify the virus, culture analysis, Tzanck smear, antigen and antibody studies and blood sampling for antibody studies done to confirm the diagnosis.
I really encourage you to visit your gynecologist for a true and thorough examination. There is no substitute for an examination to really find out what is going on. A vigorous treatment with anti viral drugs is needed in case it is actually a herpes infection.
You can apply cold compresses and wear cotton undergarments. Oral anti inflammatories like ibuprofen/acetaminophen are also helpful but they should be taken after a prescription from your doctor. Till that time, follow these simple lifestyle measures:
1) Avoid rough intercourse/ masturbation and use a water based lubricant during intercourse.
2) Wear cotton underwear and avoid douching or using feminine products.
3) Avoid using perfumed soaps and sanitary napkins, bubble baths and toiletries.
4) Change the undergarment daily, wash it in hot water and double rinse (to remove any irritating detergent) and take adequate nutrition and sleep.
I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.

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Follow-up: What are the round, red sores on the left side of the labia minor? 14 minutes later
I will be moving within the next week and getting a new primary and gyn, and I will follow up with this most definitely. However, I have only had oral sex with 2 different people, neither of which have the virus. Could a raw area caused from fingers become infected or could another fungal infection be causing this?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 15 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.
Multiple painful sores are less likely to be due to a fungal infection. Fungal infections are usually associated with a foul smelling vaginal discharge.
You can apply local antibacterial ointment like neosporin or bacitracin and see if it improves. This will help if it is due to local tissue injury.
Wishing you an early recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What are the round, red sores on the left side of the labia minor? 34 minutes later
Okay I will certainly do that. Thanks so much for your guidance. I may to go to one this week to get it checked out. I recently spoke with my friend who experienced a similar problem and like me is not sexually active and has not been in contact with herpes. Her's went away with in a few days. Is there anyway it could be something viral or another infection? We both went on vacation together and I am curious if we could have picked it up somewhere?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 6 hours later
The other possibility is vulvovaginitis - due to allergic reaction to any toiletries or due to chaffing of the skin while doing oral or the finger activity. Applying over the counter antiseptic creams will help in such cases.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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