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bumps + some sloughing skin
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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bumps + some sloughing skin

About five months ago, I noticed some small bumps around my vagina.  I hadn't had any kind of sexual contact for six months prior to the bumps appearing.  

They don't itch or tear, and I can't pop them.  I honestly wouldn't have noticed they were there if I didn't look at myself occasionally to check that everything was alright.  

They did appear, however, at the same time that I moved across the country, and when I started a new job where I worked outside full time, often in restrictive clothing that doesn't allow a lot of air circulation.  Now that things are getting colder and I wear rain gear that DEFINITELY does not breathe at all, I've also noticed that sometimes I can rub what seems like a bit of skin off of the inner labia.  The bumps have not changed in size since they've appeared.

I've been to two different doctors to have them look at this -- one said she thought maybe it was HPV, but that HPV usually doesn't occur in "patches," and my bumps do.  I tested negative for herpes and chlamydia, and have had normal pap smears.  The second doctor said, before she looked at me, that it "didn't sound like an STD," then afterwards she thought that perhaps it was HPV, but I'd have to have a colposcopy done to determine this.  

Does this sound like HPV?  I've done some research online, and it sounded like my bumps were maybe clogged sebaceous glands or something like that.  I don't have health insurance, so I don't really want to get diagnosed with something that'll keep me from ever being able to have it again.  
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If two doctors have examined you and there is still no clear diagnosis, no distant online source, no matter how expert, can come up with a clear answer.  This doesn't sound like warts, but atypical cases can occur.

I don't understand the advice that colposcopy would answer the question.  Perhaps she was thinking that a magnified view would give an answer.  (That's all colposcopy is, a magnification system for a closer look at the cervix or other genital tissues.)  Or perhaps she meant colposcopy with biopsy, to examine tissue under the microscope; that's the definitive diagnostic method for suspected but visually atypical HPV infection.

Or consider just seeing a dermatologist.  Most dermatologists probably would be able to tell accurately what you have by just looking at the lesions, although even dermatologists sometimes need to do a biopsy.  Or visit your local health department STD clinic, where the cost will be low to nothing and you will be seen by someone who has great experience in recognizing genital warts and other genital skin conditions.

I don't understand the last statement.  What does it mean to "...get diagnosed with something that'll keep me from ever being able to have it again"?

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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I'm just afraid of being diagnosed with a "pre-existing condition" that would make it difficult for me to get health insurance in the future.  
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Also, I noticed that there are some that are underneath the hair on the outer lips of my vagina, as well.  They're so small that they're almost hard to see, and I take it back, some of them can be popped.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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