STD or Ingrown? The (Virtually) Foolproof Way to Self-Diagnose

If you've ever had a FaceTime chat with your V, you'll appreciate this.
Publish date:
July 6, 2012

"Sometimes I look at my vagina with my iPhone and count all of the possible STDs," says one of my friends. A sex hypochondriac, she is sent into a state of panic over bikini bumps and irregular periods, convinced that she's been infected with something terrible, or impregnated.

The latter is dispelled fairly easily -- here at xoJane we have a communal First Response box -- but the former often requires a time-consuming/expensive trip to the gynecologist. And the bump in question may just be a benign ingrown hair.

If you too have FaceTimed with your V, you'll appreciate this (virtually) foolproof trick for self-diagnosing suspicious bumps courtesy of Nurse Practitioner Molly Brown of Ottenheimer Health in New York City. Just to be clear, we're talking about identifying an HPV-induced wart. Of course if you're still uncertain after this at-home test, by all means make an appointment with your gyno and have it checked out.

What you need:

White Vinegar


What you do:

Stop reading now if you're squeamish. Warts look like cauliflower up close, so if your bump is smooth, chances are it's an ingrown. Still in doubt? Take the vinegar test.

To find out what you're working with down there, simply soak a cotton swab in white vinegar and hold it on the bump in question for a few minutes.

"Any skin infected with HPV will turn white with the application of white vinegar," explains Brown. "Anything else won't change color at all."

If your bump does turn white, that's your cue to see your doctor, advises Brown. Keep in mind that having a wart isn't some kind of sexual scarlet letter. HPV warts can be removed either surgically or with a chemical solution. While this won't treat HPV -- duh, it's a virus -- it will leave you wart-free for the time being at least.

I hope this was helpful! Have you ever freaked out over an ingrown hair? I certainly have.

Follow Julie on Twitter @JR_Schott.