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Finding a bump, lump, or, heck, even a spot down "there" is probably going to cause you to panic. Is it an ingrown hair? A pimple? Wait, is it even possible to have a pimple downstairs? OMG, is it an STD? It can be difficult to decipher exactly what's what—and if it needs treatment. To help save your sanity, here's a rundown on some common skin conditions you might see in your genital area and what to do about them.
Skin Skin Cancer Skin care Summer Skin Women, Real Women Women's Health Body Weight Workout The Truth About Those Below-the-Belt Skin Conditions, Bumps, and Rashes


What it looks like: Pink or red bumps, sometimes with a little white cap of pus. What most people describe as pimples in the groin area is usually folliculitis, says Victoria Barbosa, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Folliculitis can occur on the vulva, groin, or buttocks. For some people, it's just there and doesn't cause any issues, but sometimes it can be mild to moderately uncomfortable, with itching or burning.
How it got there: Folliculitis occurs when hair follicles become inflamed or infected. "It can be due to irritation from friction (walking, tight underwear, exercising), sitting around in your sweaty, wet gym clothes for hours, or bacteria," says Tsippora Shainhouse M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills. Shaving is another possible culprit. 
What to do: A gentle antibacterial cleanser should help clear things up. It's also important to remove whatever it is that's irritating the hair follicles. So if that's wearing your workout clothes a little too long, make sure to change out of them as soon as you're done working out. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes, keep the area clean and dry, and if you shave, replace your razor frequently (after two or three uses if only shaving the pubic area, or after every use if you also shaved a larger surface area like your legs). If things haven't improved after a week or two, make an appointment with your doctor," says Barbosa.

Skin Tag

What it looks like: A soft, painless, skin-colored flap that hangs from the skin.
How it got there: Friction. "Skin tags occur in areas where skin rubs skin, so the most common areas they appear are the neck, underarms, and the groin," says Barbosa. Skin tags usually occur in older adults and are more common in people who are carrying a little extra weight. That's not to say being lean guarantees you won't develop a tag. "People of all shapes and sizes, even the trimmest, get them," she says.
What to do: Don't DIY! "There's a myth that it's a good idea to tie a string around the skin tag to choke off the blood supply so that it will fall off on its own," she warns. "However, I have seen many cases of swollen, infected tags due to people trying to remove them at home." Skin tags are benign and don't necessarily have to be removed. However, if you want it gone, your dermatologist or ob-gyn can freeze, burn, or clip it off.

Plain Ol' Irritation

What it looks like: Rather than a "bumpy" appearance, simple irritation tends to be red, inflamed, and sometimes a little dry and scaly looking. The skin can also be usually itchy.
How it got there: Something irritated the skin or caused an allergic reaction. "Consider any new products that you may have been using in the area: Soaps, wipes, shaving creams, and pads are common culprits," says Shainhouse. Some other possibilities include laundry detergents, latex condoms, lubricants, and toilet paper that's scented or colored. Skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis, may also show up in your nether region.
What to do: If you suspect that a skin condition like eczema is causing the irritation, discuss it with your dermatologist. Otherwise, narrow down the irritant and get rid of it. "When it comes to your vaginal area, be boring," says Angela Jones, M.D., an ob-gyn and founder of That means using a plain, non-scented white bar of soap and avoiding products with perfumes and dyes, she says. You may have to change your soap or detergent, switch hygiene products, or even swap out your underwear. If you think latex is causing the reaction, check with your doctor to see if polyurethane condoms may be right for you. "Stopping the offending agent and applying a thin layer of over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream a few times a day (for a few days) should help relieve the irritation," says Shainhouse. If not, it's time to schedule a visit to your doctor.

Ingrown hair

What it looks like: Similar to folliculitis—a pink or red bump, sometimes with pus, except you can sometimes see the hair embedded in the bump.
How it got there: "Ingrown hairs are common when you have thick, coarse, kinky pubic hair, and when your pubic hair grooming involves a super-smooth shave or wax," says Shainhouse. Shaving makes the hair very sharp at the end, which can irritate the follicle when the hair grows back. "Repeated waxing weakens the hair and damages the follicle, which can alter its orientation so that the new hair is no longer in a straight line leading out of the skin," she says. What ends up happening is either the hair emerges from the follicle, exits the skin but then curls back into the skin, or the hair never makes it to the surface of the skin. The bump is the end result.
What to do: If the hair is right at the surface, you can use sterile tweezers to remove it. For deeper hairs, try using warm compresses to help open the pore and free the hair. You could also apply a thin layer of salicylic acid or Retin-A, daily, until the overlying skin peels and the hair pops out, she adds. If the hair is really deep or doesn't seem to be making any movement toward the surface of your skin, you may need to ask your doctor extract it.


What it looks like: "A firm little lump, about the size of a pea or slightly larger, just beneath the skin," says Monica Leff, M.D., women's division chair at Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach, in California. A cyst is usually painless, however, it cancause tenderness if the cyst becomes very large or, in rare cases, gets infected. If a cyst ruptures, it can release a material that has a cottage cheese-like texture and an unpleasant odor.
How it got there: A cyst occurs when a gland or duct becomes clogged. It's not exactly clear why this happens, but an injury to the area (due to friction, an ingrown hair, etc.) or bacteria may be related.
What to do: A cyst is benign, so as long as it isn't infected or so large that it affects your daily activities, you can leave it alone. Some cysts go away on their own (but they may return). "If the cyst bothers you, it's very easy to remove it under local anesthesia, and takes only 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the cyst," says Barbosa.

Genital Warts

What it looks like: A soft, pink or flesh-colored bump that can be small or large, and raised or flat. You could have a single wart or a cluster of warts that look like the top of a cauliflower. Genital warts aren't usually painful or itchy, but they can get irritated if there's a lot of friction.
How it got there: "Genital warts are caused by low-risk types of the human papillomavirus (HPV)," says Jones. HPV is the most common STD. High-risk types of HPV are associated with cervical cancer, but the low-risk ones simply cause warts or no problem at all. 
What to do: There's no cure for HPV, but it sometimes clears up on its own. If left untreated, genital warts may go away eventually, but they could stay the same or increase in number and size. If you choose to have them removed, your doctor can either burn, freeze or clip them off, or use laser therapy or a prescription topical medication, she says.


What it looks like: It starts off as several small blisters that turn into little ulcers a few days later, says Leff. Herpes sores can be very painful (especially during the first outbreak). Some people experience burning when urine hits the open sores, so using the bathroom can be extremely uncomfortable. You may feel a tingling sensation or pain in your genital area, legs, or buttocks a few hours to days before the blisters appear. An initial herpes outbreak can last 10-14 days, and anywhere from 4 days to a week during recurrences.
How it got there: Herpes is an STD caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV-1 usually causes oral herpes (also known as cold sores or fever blisters), and HSV-2 usually causes genital herpes. However, either strain can cause sores on the mouth or genitals. Herpes is highly contagious and can be spread through sex of any kind, touching the sores or fluids, or using something that has been in contact with the herpes blisters (like an infected razor or towel). You can even spread the virus from one part of your body to another (for instance, from your mouth to your nether region) if you touch a sore and then touch a different area. To prevent spreading the infection, avoid sexual contact during (or right before) an outbreak, use a latex condom to lower the risk of transmission when you have no sores or symptoms, wash your hands after using the restroom, and put any towels you used for showering or bathing into the laundry after a single use, she says.
What to do: Herpes usually isn't included in the normal battery of STD testing, so you may have to ask your doctor to test you for it specifically. There's no cure for the HSV, but fortunately, it's not something you have to deal with on a daily basis. "The virus lives in the nerves near the spine and just sits there quietly most of the time," says Leff. But sometimes it can reactivate and cause symptoms. Some women notice their outbreaks occur during times of high stress or around their period, but it can also happen randomly. If you have frequent or very bad flare-ups, your doctor can prescribe an antiviral medication to shorten the length of the outbreak and reduce symptoms.
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Remember when you heard of the first meal-delivery service and thought, "hey, that's a cool idea!" Well, that was 2012—when the trend first started—and now, just four short years later, there are over 100 meal delivery services in the U.S. and a $400 million market that's projected to increase tenfold in the next five years, according to a special report by Consumer Reports.
Getting meals that are pre-prepped can do wonders for anyone who feels clueless in the kitchen, or loathes battling lines at the grocery store or planning their meals. As far as convenience goes, the services are a win-win. But when it comes to being healthy and cost-effective? Hmm.
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To break them down, Consumer Reports had food and nutrition experts test five of the major services—Blue ApronPurple Carrot, HelloFresh, Green Chef, and Plated—and surveyed 57 meal-service devotees about their experience.

Are they healthy?

While most services have über fresh-sounding names and feature fresh produce and ingredients, that doesn't automatically make them healthy. Plus, there's the downside of not knowing the exact nutrition. Consumer Reports found that HelloFresh listed the most nutritional info—calories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, sodium, and sugars—on their recipe cards, while other services only provided a calorie count. HelloFresh also proved to be (on average) lowest in calories and sodium and tied with Green Chef for lowest fat. They noticed that while some services—Green Chef specifically—had a hefty serving of veggies, others were lacking. Purple Carrot recipes are vegan and super high in fiber but tied for highest fat content with Plated.
However, the biggest worry was actually sodium content. Of the dishes they tested, Consumer Reports found that half had 770 mg of sodium (more than a third of the maximum recommended daily intake of 2,300 mg) and that ten of the dishes had more than 1,000 mg per serving. (To be fair, new studies are debating the new recommended sodium max, so it might not be a deal breaker.)

Are they actually a good value?

It depends on what you consider valuable—Consumer Reports found that for most of the dishes, the meal kit price was about twice as expensive as the per-portion cost of buying the ingredients yourself. For example, making Blue Apron's Spring Chicken Fettuccini it would cost you $4.88 to buy for yourself vs. $9.99 for the pre-prepared meal. You could make HelloFresh's Blackened Tilapia for$5.37 per-portion vs. $11.50 for the meal from the service. Of course, the prices range depending on which service and option you select. Consumer Reports found Blue Apron to be the least expensive, and Plated to be the most.
If you value your time and energy more than those five or so dollars, meal delivery services could be totally worth it. But if you're penny pinching? It's better to put in the legwork and DIY. 

The Takeaway

It's worth noting that there are TONS of meal-delivery services out there and that the Consumer Reports sample didn't cover them all. 
Arguably, the best part about these meal services is that you don't need to go through all the planning and decision-making needed to whip up fresh, delicious meals on the reg—but having someone else do that for you is exactly what can keep them from being healthy. Take advantage of meals with large servings of veggies and limit yourself on sauces, sodium, and condiments the same way you would if you were DIY-ing your healthy diet. Then sit-back, relax, and enjoy the fact that you don't have to fight the Trader Joe's line this week.
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Being a celebrity seems pretty stressful. Sure, celebs make a lot of money and get tons of free stuff, but they're also constantly under the world's microscope when it comes to their appearance, what they say, and how their actions are perceived. In an interview on Elvis Duran's radio show yesterday, Katy Perry discussed how she juggles all those pressures that come along with being famous. One of her key coping mechanisms? Therapy.
Katy Perry Opens Up About Going to Therapy Celebrity Celebrity Fashion Celebrity Fitness Celebrity Weight Loss Celebrity WorkoutWhen asked how she stays "normal" amid the chaos of being under the lens, Katy says, "I have a lot of tools. I can go to therapy, I don't get excessive on the substance. I've kind of learned that dance ... it's difficult in this industry. You're holding on for dear life and you feel like you're riding a rocket, and now I'm kind of not holding on for dear life. I've learned how to ride it, and I'm surfing and feeling good!" Clearly, she's got it under control.
Katy certainly isn't the first celeb to be vocal about mental health issues. Other stars like Lena Dunham, Demi Lovato, and Emma Stone have all been open about their struggles with everything from depression to panic attacks. We've got to hand it to these women. Just by talking about these sometimes taboo issues to their wide fan bases, they're creating awareness and letting people know that they're not alone in their experiences of mental health problems. 
Another thing Katy loves: Panda Express. Yup, you read that right. She talks about keeping her diet mostly healthy but also indulging in cheat meals, like a dinner from the Chinese fast-food chain. It's all about balance! And there's more good news for fans: She's coming out with a new album very soon, and is currently "deep in the writing process," spending long nights at the studio. She's also got a shoe line in the works that will hit stores in the spring of 2017 that she says is "very colorful, very fun and very tongue-in-cheek." Sounds about right for KP.

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You may not feel up for saying "om" during your time of the month, but with these poses you'll ease aches, bloating, and relieve stress instantly.
Yoga has a natural remedy for just about everything, and PMS (and the cramps that come with it!) are no exception. Whenever you start to feel bloated, blue, achy, or crampy—and you know your cycle is on its way—try these poses to nurture your body and get you back to feeling great.
Yoga Classes Yoga Yoga Clothes Yoga Poses The Best Yoga Poses for PMS and Cramps
Why: A great resting pose to gather up your energy
How to do it: Kneel with knees slightly apart and crawl hands forward. Keeping arms long and in front of you, allow forehead to rest on the ground. Breathe here for 10 or more deep breaths.
Yoga Classes Yoga Yoga Clothes Yoga Poses The Best Yoga Poses for PMS and Cramps
Why: Massages the abdomen and reproductive organs
How to do it: Lie facedown on the floor with big toes together. Reach arms long on either side of you and use a big inhale to lift chest and feet off the ground. Breathe here for five deep breaths.
Yoga Classes Yoga Yoga Clothes Yoga Poses The Best Yoga Poses for PMS and Cramps
Why: Restorative, opens groin
How to it: Begin lying on your back. Bend knees and place feet on the ground. Take feet together, knees apart, allow arms to relax on either side of you. Breathe here for at least 10 breaths.
Yoga Classes Yoga Yoga Clothes Yoga Poses The Best Yoga Poses for PMS and Cramps
Why: Introspective, opens back body, and massages internal organs
How to do it: From a seated position, extend legs long in front of you and together. Keeping knees soft, take a deep breath to fill yourself with space, and use your exhale to lean forward into the space you just created. If you have a tight lower back, sit on a block or blanket. Take at least five deep breaths here.
Why: Opens hips and low back.
Yoga Classes Yoga Yoga Clothes Yoga Poses The Best Yoga Poses for PMS and Cramps

How to do it: From standing, heel-toe feet wide apart, pointing toes out so that hips are open. Start to soften and bend knees, releasing hips toward the ground, hovering above at whatever height feels good for you. Take elbows inside of thighs, lightly pressing them out, and take hands together like a prayer at the center of chest. Try to keep spine long. Breathe here for five to 10 deep breaths.