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Small, Red Bumps on the Skin?

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Overview of Small, Red Bumps on the Skin

When you notice small, red bumps on the skin that weren’t previously there, panic may ensue, especially when the bump are “down there.” But don’t panic, just breath! Many times these symptoms aren’t any cause for concern. Sometimes, however, small red or flesh-colored bumps on the skin and genitals can indicate a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Potential Causes of Small, Red Bumps on the Skin

Genital Herpes

Small, red bumps on the skin are common symptoms of genital herpes. Herpes outbreaks can be mild and consist of small lesions or blisters on the genitals, upper thighs, anus or buttocks. Other times, herpes can produce large, painful, fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over.

Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases

When it comes to STDs, small, red bumps on the skin are a pretty generic symptom of STDs. Aside from herpes, mysterious bumps or lesions could be a sign of genital warts or syphilis.

Non-Sexually Transmitted Conditions

A variety of conditions can cause bumps or rashes around the genitals. These conditions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Fungal infections, such as a yeast infections or jock itch
  • Poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac
  • Allergic reactions to detergent, lotion, soap, etc.
  • Shaving irritation or razor bumps
  • Heat rash

Diagnosing Small, Red Bumps on the Skin

When experiencing these types of bumps, STD testing is highly recommended since this is a common STD symptom. Herpes testing and STD testing can provide a diagnosis within days.

Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for contracting an STD regardless whether condoms were used. If you are not sexually active, a doctor can help determine the cause of symptoms.

Treating Small, Red Bumps on the Skin

Fortunately, symptoms can be treated. If a herpes test comes back positive, a doctor can prescribe antiviral medication (such as Valtrex) to limit the severity and frequency of herpes outbreaks. Genital sores caused by syphilis can be cured with antibiotics, whereas genital warts can be removed by a doctor.

When caused by other conditions, treatment is achieved through over-the-counter medication or by changing one’s behavior. A doctor can advise on treatment for other causes.

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