Experts say that there is no such thing as genital acne. What is often called genital acne really is Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Although it resembles acne, it does not involve the sebaceous glands (as acne does), but instead has to do with the apocrine glands. However, certain conditions can be treated with the same acne products recommended for regular acne.
This medical condition can actually appear wherever there are apocrine glands—not just the genital or groin area—such as the nipples or beneath the arms where apocrine glands can become clogged.
Causes For Genital Acne
Hidradenitis Suppurativa, or genital acne, can be caused by perspiration, but its primary cause is when apocrine glands do not fully develop, trapping material inside.
The body’s defense mechanism forcibly pushes the material out into the tissues around the clogged glands. This is what causes the inflammation and painful infection around the area, which sometimes leads to lesions on the skin that resemble acne.
Other triggers of this medical condition include tight clothing that chafes against the skin, laundry detergents that contain harsh chemicals or irritants, and even the soap you use on the area.
Genital Acne Cures and Treatment
A mild case of genital acne is easy to treat. Sometimes switching to loose clothing or changing your soap or detergent can solve the problem. In very extreme cases, the bumps may have to be sliced open and drained.
So as not to let the condition reach this extreme, make a few changes to your daily hygiene the minute you suspect you have genital acne.
To keep the area free of bacteria that can make the situation worse, wash with an antiseptic or benzoyl peroxide solution. If the lesion shows a painful discharge, it is already infected and may require the application of a topical antibiotic.
If you are doubtful about using harsh medicines, try topical niacinamide (e.g., Acnessential) instead. Derived from Vitamin B3, this is, perhaps, the best acne medication to reduce inflammation around the sensitive genital area. It can also work against bacteria and sebum buildup in the affected area.
Once you have the situation under control, perform regular, gentle exfoliation of the affected area to remove dead skin and to minimize the possibility of it happening again.
Seeking Professional Help in Treating Genital Acne
The main reason to seek a doctor’s help would be a persistent case of Hidradenitis Suppurativa. But if lesions are already present on the genital organ, a physician should be called in immediately. The reason for this is that genital acne could be a symptom of a more serious disease, such as warts, or genital herpes, which have little to do with clogged apocrine glands.