Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Weird bump?


Up close bump
Up close bump  
QUESTION: hello! While I was showering today I felt a tiny bump on the upper part of my vagina. When I take a picture with the flash on, it shows as a white bump, but when there is no flash, it's a regular bump. Should I be concerned? Could it be a skin tag or does it look like a wart? Any advice you can give me is appreciated as I do not have the funds to see my Gyno at the moment. I'm kind of freaking out. Also, when I take a picture with the flash, I see other smaller white pin point bumps on either side of my vagina lips. As shown in photos thanks

ANSWER: Hello Brandie,
The bumps you see are all part of the normal variation in the texture of the vulva. Nothing to worry about.  They include "fordyce spots,"  hair follicles, oil & sweat glands.  

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Tons of bumps
Tons of bumps  
QUESTION: And we are talking about the suspicious areas circled in red, correct? Nothing to worry about? I also developed a red bump with a white center in the middle of it on one of my thighs. Where they rub together....I'm thinking heat related on that?

Hello Again, Brandie,
In the "Tons of bumps" photo, the "bumps" are absolutely normal, and are known as fordyce spots, and are basically tiny superficial sebaceous (oil) glands. Some people have them, others not; some will come and go.  

In the other photo labeled "Bump," the area in question is too difficult to differentiate.  It may be a simple epithelial skin tag, or it may be a small wart caused by HPV.  If it remains the same, over several weeks and months, than it's probably the skin tag. If it continues to grow, and if you apply vinegar and it turns white compared to the surrounding skin, than it probably is a wart.  The best way to know is to be evaluated by a knowledgeable health care provider. You see, the disadvantage of a 2 dimensional photo  is that the area cannot be stretched or viewed from different positions, which helps the observer better examine the area.

Good luck!

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Mark P. Behar


Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!


Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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