ZocdocAnswersWhat is the difference between herpes and abscess in the genital area for a woman?

Question

What is the difference between herpes and abscess in the genital area for a woman?

4 days ago I realized that There was something that looked like a blister outside my left labia majora. I thought it was just a zit and would go away. But unfortunately it didn't and it's now on both sides and are sore, red and liked with pus. I got worried that it might be genital herpes but I've never had it before. My partner also never had gentian herpes but get cold sores in his mouth like other people. I don't have insurance anymore so I can't get it checked. I took a picture but I don't know how to post it on here. Are these symptoms genital herpes or could it be something else like abscess? I am very thankful for any advice you may give. Thank you very much!

Answer

It is not possible for me to determine what this is without actually seeing it so it is important that you see your primary care physician. However, I think that you probably have 1 of 2 things. Probably the most likely thing that you have is folliculitis. Folliculitis is when small hair follicles get filled with bacteria and grow into a small abscess. This occurs commonly in areas where people shave. If you shave that area of your pubic hair then it makes it more likely that she would develop folliculitis in the area. Folliculitis causes red painful pimple like lesions that can also be filled with puss. The fact that they occur on both sides of your labia makes herpes a little bit less likely. Herpes generally occurs on only one side but can occur on both. The lesions can be described as something like a blister but usually cause symptoms of pain, burning, and tingling. It is certainly possible that this is herpes, so I think it's a little bit less likely than folliculitis. I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. You need a full physical exam to determine what this is. Your doctor might decide to get blood testing for herpes virus just to make sure that you have not been exposed. Good luck.

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