Ever watch one too many medical shows or documentaries and found yourself inspecting every square inch of your body? Have you noticed more lumps and bumps as you’ve gotten older (spoiler alert: it’s only going to get worse)? Fear not!
Here is a simple guide to identifying your suspect in a lineup. From ingrown hairs, to cysts, these are a few of the most common reasons you may be feeling a bit bumpier than usual.
It’s a very common and pesky pest that sprouts up in the least comfortable places like underarms, legs, and the pubic region. An ingrown hair is just that, a hair that grows back into the skin rather than to the surface and is red and small. They can be very painful and can go solo or roll with a whole crew of friends. You can get them several ways like shaving, waxing, or excess friction of the skin. There are several (slightly stinging) topicals you can use like Tend Skin, or you can use a dab of tea tree oil. It is also recommended just to keep the area clean and irritant free until they say sayonara.
These are yellow or colorless globules that grow on both the in and outside of the body and feel sort of solid. They can come from something harmless like sebaceous build up (too much oil) in your lady area specifically or other areas in general. They can also come from things such as tumors, infections, inflammation, and genetic conditions. Cysts can grow much larger than a pimple-size and often require fluid drainage though you may not notice a cyst until it has become inflamed. Always head to the doctor to determine the cause and to seek treatment for cysts.
If its small, has a cauliflower-like texture and is near your lady business, you may have genital warts. They are the most contagious STD in the world and are caused by types six and eleven of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Beware any dude that says he has “skin tags” on his business (this is an all too common refrain of the STD avoidant) because they can often be genital warts. See a doc to get your goodies back to good.
Say whaaaaat? These are little, waxy lumps with an indentation on the top, like an eerie dimple. They are contagious and spread via sexual activity, but they don’t have any other harmful effects. Some people let them go, and others have them removed which is recommended if you feel a little itchy around the edges.
Not a new celebrity couple name with Angelina Jolie as one-half, these are clusters of red and purple vessels in a lump which look like a funky cherry. While they look like the scariest things on earth, they aren’t dangerous. You can let them be or get them removed by a dermatologist.
Bumps and lumps near your breasts and underarm area
If your breasts feel lumpy, do not freak out. I repeat, do not freak out. Sometimes our boobies feel lumpy for reasons like too much caffeine or genetics and remember, breast tissue feels bumpy in the first place. Now, if you feel a lump that is harder than other areas in the breast, schedule a one-on-one with your doctor to get it checked out. Other things you should also be very aware of: swelling and redness in the area, dimpling of the skin, nipple rash, consistent pain, or change in the size and shape of the breast. All of these “extras” are common signs of breast cancer, so be vigilant about your breast health whenever you notice one or more of these symptoms.
A pimple on your nipple?
Now to be clear, the areola has braille-like bumps that are totally normal, called the Montgomery Glands. A pimple on your nipple is just that. If you squeeze it and it goes away, you should be okay as it was just a blocked oil duct. If it continues to return like an ex with a bad case of the you’s, see your doc.