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Avatar universal

Itchy Painful Bumps on Vaginal Lips -- Herpes? HPV?

Hi.  I have been going out of my mind with nervousness over the past few weeks and think that I have herpes or HPV (genital warts).  

I had skin-to-skin genital contact and had oral sex performed on me (but no vaginal intercourse) with a guy exactly 4 weeks ago (on Aug. 13th).  

9 days later (Aug. 22nd), I first started feeling extremely itchy on my vaginal lips and around the entrance to my anus.  This itchiness increased to the point that it was unbearable.  During that time, I tried taking yeast infection meds, but that didn't work.  

7 days after that (Aug. 29th), I noticed 2 large bumps under the skin near my anus.  They were not itching, but were painful only when I pressed on them.  

2 days later (Aug. 31st), I saw an OB/GYN.  She wasn't sure what it was, but she took a culture for yeast and did a test for STDs.  Both came back negative, BUT the STD test would have been done too soon to detect herpes -- it takes around 3 months for the body to make antibodies that would appear in a blood test.  Prior to Aug. 13th, the last time I had had sex with someone was 8 months ago, and the last time I fooled around with a guy (with skin-to-skin contact) was 3 ½ months ago, so I am pretty sure that these tests are accurate up until this encounter.  Over the next few days, the itchiness got even worse on both my vaginal lips, near my clitoris, and around the entrance to my anus.

5 days later (September 5th), I noticed 2 large lumps on my outer vaginal lips that looked like they were under the skin.  Also, the lips in general looked lumpy/droopy/ripply.  Finally, there were also smaller red dots (almost like pimples) on the lips and above the vagina (under the pubic hair) that hurt if I pressed down on them.  Also, I noticed 3 or 4 smaller bumps around my anus that could either be hemorrhoids or something else.  

2 days later (September 7th), I returned to the OBGYN, and she did a culture and found bacterial vaginosis (BV).  She also took a biopsy of one of the small bumps at the entrance of my anus to test it for herpes.  She said that she was unable to test the larger 2 lumps on my vaginal lips and the 2 lumps near my anus because they were all under the skin.  

2 days later (September 9th), the lumps on my vaginal lips look larger and are now hurting without even pressing on them.  The itching has actually decreased, but now my lips are painful.  The lumps are actually somewhat difficult see except that they are making the lips droop and crinkle in a weird way.  When I run my finger down the lips, I feel them easily, and they are painful when I press on them (and painful when I don't now too).  They seem most like a large pimple that is under the skin.  

Today, 1 day later (September 10th), I noticed that the bumps on my vaginal lips look like they have risen more to the surface, and resemble large pimples.  They are also more sore than they had been, although less itchy.  I also continue to feel a tingling/tickly sensation under the skin on my vaginal lips.  This sensation is different from the itchiness that I was describing, which felt like it was more on the surface and was much more severe of a feeling.  While the itchiness has gotten better, the tingling has not.  

I know that I will probably find out in a couple of days what this is, but I am FREAKING out.  I haven't been able to sleep at all, and I am just so nervous that this is herpes (which I am pretty convinced that it is).  I'm also so upset, because I have never had sex with someone whom I haven't first asked to be tested, and I am generally so careful.  I didn't even have sex this time, we just fooled around.  I mistakenly thought that that was safer than just having sex with a condom.  Now I know that I was wrong.

I really just want a professional medical opinion of what you think this is.  I'm driving myself crazy with constantly Googling pictures of herpes to try to figure out if that is what I have, and I'm getting nowhere (except going nuts).  Thank you very much in advance for your help.
71 Responses
101028 tn?1419606604
this could be herpes but odds are it's something else going on.    Herpes never presents are bumps under the skin.

what treatments have they given you so far?  

I'd certainly try warm compresses to the area and/or soaking in the tub with some epsom salts thrown in too over the weekend.  

give the clinic a call monday to see if any of your test results are back yet too.

you can contract hsv1 from oral sex but the risk of such is low. as I said, it certainly sounds like something non-herpes going on at this point.

In the future, if you have vaginal itching but not thick, white chunky discharge, don't self treat for yeast. You certainly did yourself a disfavor doing so this time and you don't want to make that mistake again :(

Avatar universal
Thank you SO much, Grace, for your reply.  You have no idea how crazy I've made myself with this.  

I was very relieved by that you wrote that herpes never presents as bumps under the skin, but I have seen other people write that sometimes it takes time for the blister to "rise" from under the skin.  Is that true or were those people misguided?  The reason that I'm asking is because by last night, the two lumps that I described had risen to the surface, and they now resemble circular blister protruding out from the skin.  They are also more painful -- I could hardly walk today with jeans on; I had to switch to pants that were looser.  So now I am thinking that maybe it IS herpes again?  Does this change your opinion?

I also have noticed some white crusty substance on my inner lips; however, maybe this is due to the BV?  I started the antibiotics on Wed, so now I have taken it for 4 days (out of the 7 prescribed).

The doctor has not given me any treatments so far other than suggesting that I soak in a bath of colloidal oatmeal for the itchiness, and prescribing me the antibiotics for the BV.  At the point that I had seen her, my biggest issue was 1) the extreme itchiness (which now has largely dissipated), and 2) the bumps that were under the skin (at the time -- like I said, now they are more on the surface).  The bumps near my anus have remained under the skin's surface, but those hurt as well when I press on them.  

One other question -- can BV cause itchiness, or just burning?  I am wondering if the itchiness was due to the BV, or something else.

I think I've read up on every single possible infection or disease at this point involving bumps that hurt and severe itchiness, and I cannot find anything that resembles my symptoms at all (except for herpes).  That's why I've been convinced that that was what it was.  However, obviously, my Googling is no substitute for a medical degree.  So in your professional opinion, what could this possibly be, other than herpes?  I know that you would be speculating, and do not have a picture of what it looks like, but just so my mind is a little bit more at ease -- is there anything else you can think of that would present like this?

As for self-diagnosing -- you are absolutely right.  I have definitely learned my lesson, never again!!

I am going to run out now to buy the epsom salts and see if that helps the pain/pressure of the bumps.  I will also call the doctor on Monday to see if the results came back (although she told me that they wouldn't be back until Tues at the earliest...)

Thank you again for your insight into this; I really (REALLY!) appreciate it.
Avatar universal
Also, Grace, one other question:  How long in a typical initial outbreak would it take for a blister to form from the encounter?  Or from the first signs of itchiness?  

In my case, the itchiness began 9 days after the encounter, I first saw a bump under the skin on my vaginal lips 14 days after the itchiness, and then the bumps turned into blisters on the surface 5 days later.  So the bumps didn't appear like blisters until 4 weeks after the encounter.

In your opinion, does that present like a herpes initial outbreak?

Again, thank you so much for your time and help with this.
101028 tn?1419606604
bv can cause an itch to drive you insane!!  I hate bv more than I could ever hate my herpes!!

Definitely be seen again monday. You also should ask them to check one of your new blisters for MRSA and other bacterial skin infections too.  Those are more typical with the "rising to the skin" than herpes is.
Avatar universal
Okay thanks so much, Grace.  I will ask her to check for other infections too.

I was also wondering your opinion about my last questions posted above -- about how long it typically takes a herpes blister to form from the encounter in an initial outbreak? And how long from the first signs of itchiness?  Also, once formed, how long does it take them to burst?

Thank you again for your (very quick!) responses!
101028 tn?1419606604
you will get a prodrome feeling a day or two before obvious lesions on the skin with herpes but if you are describing what I think you are, that's not herpes related.
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