Can you get pimples on your vagina? If so, check this out!

Pimple on vagina

Vaginal pimples are similar to that of the usual pimples on the face as well as other parts of the body. However, pimples on vaginal lips are very painful.

The pimple appears alone or in cluster. Some are small while others are big. In fact, some of them look more of a vaginal sore than pimple. (5)

Photo (blurred) : A cluster of pimples in the vaginal area

Image 1 : A cluster of pimples in the vaginal area, particularly in the labia majora
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Figure 2 : An infected pimple on the vulva
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What are the causes of vaginal pimples?

  • Bacterial infection – If there is an infection in the vagina, it makes you prone to pimples. As you know, harmful microorganisms love to thrive in moist and warm area.
  • Contact dermatitis – It is one of the leading causes of pimple on vagina. Contact dermatitis involving the vagina may be due to sensitivity to tampons or sanitary pads, soaps with strong chemical content, allergic reaction to feminine wipes, powders, or lotions, and sensitivity to laundry detergents.  Contact dermatitis can also be caused by excessive vaginal discharge and perspiration.
  • Folliculitis – if the hair follicle in the vagina gets infected, it makes you susceptible to infection such as pimples. Shaving of vaginal hair/pubic hair can lead to folliculitis. The types of razor you use when shaving pubic hair is also another contributing factor to vaginal pimples. Not only will it cause pimple, but as well as other conditions like razor burn, bumps, and blisters.
  • Acne inversa/Hidradenitis suppurativa – It is a chronic disease of the sweat glands. It forms a lesion that looks like a pimple. It can occur in various parts of the body, including the vaginal areas, especially in the vulva.
  • Molluscum contagiosum – It is a viral infection that causes pimples on various parts of the body including the genital region. It is usually treated using oral and topical medication.(1, 3, 4)

Will popping help get rid of vaginal infection?

A lot of people pop the pimples on their face. What about pimple on the vagina? Is it safe to pop vaginal pimples? When you notice that there is a pimple in your vagina, it is safe to not pop it. By doing so, you are unconsciously spreading the bacteria, which will lead to further infection. (7)

How to treat vaginal pimples?

Vaginal pimples caused by minor irritation usually clear up on its own. If the pimple gets worst, it is an indicator that you need to seek medical help. The doctor will thoroughly assess your vagina and will determine the extent of the condition. The doctor will usually prescribe topical medications to help get rid of the pimples.

However, topical medications for vaginal pimple only helps when the cause of the pimple is contact dermatitis. Pimple on the vagina can also be caused by ingrown hair. Such kind of pimple usually clear on its own too. Again, if the pimple does not clear up on its own, then you need to consult your doctor. (4, 5)


Treatment of choice for vaginal pimples

There are vast choices for treating pimples, including the ones in the vagina. There are a lot of over the counter topical creams as well as prescription medications. They are not just available in creams, but as well in lotions and serums.

For severe cases, an oral medication and injection are used. However, injections and oral route should only be recommended once the root cause of the vaginal pimple is ruled out. (2, 3)

How to treat vaginal pimples at home?

  • Make it a habit to wash your vagina regularly. Make sure to use clean water. Wash the vagina gently while bathing and wash again before going to bed. You don’t necessarily need to use soap. Just plain water is enough. Scented soaps and gels can actually cause vaginal infection including pimples, especially if you have a sensitive skin. (7)
  • Wear underwear that can help absorb extra moisture such as underwear made from cotton materials. If you are not comfortable with cotton panties, then you can at least just wear at bedtime.
  • Your diet plays a vital role in your vaginal health. Some foods can increase the production of pimples such as fried and greasy foods. Instead of eating fried foods, you can just switch to fruits and green leafy vegetables. They help get rid of toxins in the body, which actually helps in preventing pimples on the face and vagina. (1, 3, 5)
  • Keep your body hydrated. Drink plenty of water and natural fruit juices. Try to limit your intake of alcoholic drinks, caffeinated and carbonated drinks. They have a dehydrating effect to the skin. They can make the vagina dry, which will make it more susceptible to pimples.
  • Increase your intake of foods with high amount of good bacteria such as fresh yogurt. Such foods can help maintain the pH level of the body, especially in the genital region.
  •     Give your body a dose of exercise every day. By staying active, you are allowing your skin to breathe and at the same time improve the circulation of blood throughout the body. It helps in cleansing the lymphatic channels, which actually reduces the formation of pimples in various parts of the body, including the vaginal region.  (4)

What you should do if the pimple in the vagina gets infected?

If the pimple in the vagina won’t seem to go away and gets more painful and inflamed as time passes by, the best thing to do is to see your doctor. Never attempt to pop of squeeze your pimple. See your doctor right away because an infected pimple can indicate a more serious disease condition such as a form of sexually transmitted disease. (2)

How to prevent vaginal pimples?

There are a lot of simple things you can do to prevent vaginal pimples and lessen its reoccurrence.

These include the following:
  • Avoid wearing things that can cause friction in the vaginal region such as wearing tight fitting clothes and tight fitting pantyhose stocking. (8)
  • You have to be selective with the type of underwear you are wearing. As much as possible, you should stick with underwear made from cotton fabric.
  • If you already have pimple on your vagina, try to avoid touching it. Your hands can easily spread the infection and could be the culprit for further infection.
  • Use lukewarm water when washing the vagina.
  • Do not use scented vaginal soap as it can cause further irritation. If you want to use feminine hygiene products, it is always best to ask the opinion of your doctor. There are so many feminine hygiene products readily available in the market. Some of them contains ingredients that can cause irritation.
  • If the skin in the vaginal region is too sensitive, then you can just omit the shave and turn to scissors. Just trim your pubic hair using scissors. If you really want to shave your pubic hair, then make sure you are going to use high quality razors. When shaving, always go with the angle of your hair. (9, 10)

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What is Infantigo - Pictures (How does it look like) Treatment (Home Remedies)

What is infantigo?

Infantigo is a contagious skin disease that manifests itself as a simple lesion/sore on the face, particularly in the areas surrounding the nose and mouth. It affects children and adult, but 90% of cases are infants and children (2 to 6 years old) and so the name is infantigo.

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How to treat an infected cartilage piercing

A cartilage piercing is a penetrating tiny hole on the higher regions of the ear. The ear part is primarily the preferred location because it has a lower risk compared to other parts of the body. It is commonly known as“ear piercing” or earsplitting.

Different parts of the ear lobe like antitragus, conch, daith, helix, rook and snug can be pierced too. There are people who like a nostril piercing. The piercing is done in the high part of the nostril.

A cartilage is a hard-flexible tissues found mostly on the nostril, ear region (underneath the rook of the ear part), the neck area, and some parts of the forehead. Many people have piercings as a way of expressing their character and personality. (1)

Infection of cartilage piercing

About 34% rate of cartilage piercing has a possibility of getting infected. The infection is caused by the Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa pathogens. Infected cartilage piercing should be treated right away to avoid further infection, which could worsen the condition. The common reasons for infected cartilage piercing are:
  • Use of non-sterile equipment for piercing.
  • Not observing sterile techniques such as touching the pierced site without wearing gloves.
  • Wearing of very tight clothes and jewelries, which could restrict the flow of blood, making you vulnerable to infection.
  • Poor hygiene, making you susceptible to infection.
  • Used of substandard piercing equipment such as fancy jewelry.
  • Swimming in dirty water.
  • Harbored bacteria in the hospital or so-called nosocomial infection.
  • Improper piercing techniques (2, 3)

Image 1 : An infected cartilage piercing on the ear region characterized by redness and swelling.
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Figure 2 : A severe infection of the cartilage piercing. There are multiple piercings and the infection is severe.
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Signs and symptoms of infected cartilage piercing

  • There is a noticeable redness and swelling on the affected part.
  • The infected part and its surrounding tissues are tender to touch.
  • The patient complains of severe pain.
  • There could be some discharges, which are yellowish to greenish in color.
  • hyperpyrexia (a very high fever)
  • bleeding
  • formation of crust or scab on the surface (4)

Secondary complications of infected cartilage piercing include the following:
  1. formation of abscess
  2. Sepsis (infection in the blood)
  3. Boils
  4. Hepatitis B or C
  5. Hypertonic disfiguring
  6. Keloid formation
  7. Mental Sensitivity (5)

How to treat an infected cartilage piercing

Before choosing the best treatment remedy for infected cartilage piercing, it is important to know the root cause of the problem. Infected cartilage piercing can be treated using a combination of medical remedies and home remedies. The recommended treatments include the following:
  • Antibiotics – Antibiotics are very good at treating infection, especially cartilage piercing infection. A medical practitioner will thoroughly assess the infected part to verify if the infection is caused by a bacteria. However, ordinary antibiotics may not work due to restricted blood supply in the cartilage area. A stronger antibiotics should be used.
  • Warm compress – To increase the blood supply in the cartilage, a warm compress should be applied. It would help a lot if you are going to prepare a mixture of warm water and sea salt. Basically, you will have a saline solution. To further boost the circulation of blood to the infected part, you have to eat nutritious foods and avoid bad vices such as smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Anti-bacterial ointments – Do not just resort to ordinary ointment. Before applying any ointment on the infected part of the body, you have to make sure that it is safe and effective. To be sure, you need to seek the approval of your doctor prior to using any types of ointments. Keep in mind that the ointment has a direct impact on the draining process, which could unfortunately slow down the healing process. (6, 7)

Is it necessary to remove the jewelry if the piercing gets infected?

Your instinct will tell you to remove the jewelry once you notice the signs of infection. Well, this is a wrong move. The jewelry can actually help in the draining process and so you shouldn’t remove it. If you remove the jewelry, it could close up the pierced channel and an abscess will form.

There will be pain and swelling along with hardening and darkening of the surrounded tissues. If the infection gets severe, you should immediately see your doctor or at least a professional piercer. The piercing will only be removed if there is a severe destruction of the tissues surrounding the piercing site. (8)


Proper way of cleaning an infected cartilage piercing

The cartilage does not have that much supply of blood, which requires it more time to heal. To somehow hasten the healing process, you should observe proper hygiene and proper care. Keep the piercing site clean at all times.

When cleaning the piercing site, you should use a saline solution. You can create your very own saline solution by mixing warm water and sea salt. You have to be very gentle when cleaning the area. Make sure you thoroughly yet carefully remove the dead tissues, debris, dirt, pus, and foreign object. You might also want to consider using antibacterial soap. (8)


How to prevent cartilage piercing infection?

  • Be very gentle with your cartilage piercing. The piercing site is an open wound and it definitely takes time to heal. Hence, you have to make sure you keep it clean to prevent infection. Clean the piercing site with a saline solution or an antibacterial soap. If you have a sensitive skin, then you should use gentle soap and wash the piercing site two times a day. Rinse and pat dry using a disposable paper product. Do not use cloth as it can harbour harmful microorganisms.
  • As much as possible, you should avoid being exposed to substances that might cause infection to the pierced site. Keep your clothing clean at all times. If the piercing site is on the ears, then you have to be very mindful when it comes to using telephone and pillowcase. See to it that anything that gets in contact with the piercing site is clean.
  • Avoid putting cosmetics near the pierced site. Before using any cosmetic products, you have to make sure that the piercing site is completely healed. (9, 10)
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Cyst on the Forehead

A cyst on the forehead signifies that something is not right in your body. It is a sign of infection. It is a sac-like structure and its size varies. Large cyst can be a source of embarrassment.

A cyst can be filled with liquid, gaseous, and semi-solid material. It looks like a small pea underneath the skin surface. At a glance, it looks like a pimple, but cyst is rooted deep in the skin. (1)

Causes of cyst on the forehead

The cyst on forehead causes vary. Some of the common causes include the following:
  • Sebaceous cyst – It is caused by a swollen hair follicle. It starts from the sebaceous gland, the moved to the surface of the skin, move deeper and multiple causing the formation of cyst.
  • Basal cell nevus – It is a genetic condition affecting various parts of the body, including the skin, bones, nervous and endocrine system. In the United States, the basal cell nevus or also known as Gorlin Syndrome or NBCCS (Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome) is the most common type of skin cancer. (1, 2)
  • Gardner’s syndrome – It is a genetic condition common in people with APC gene defect. It affects the growth of cells, especially cell division which leads to abnormal growth of tissues. It is characterized by cyst under the skin in various parts of the body including hard cyst on forehead, multiple growth in the colon, and colon cancer. (3)
  • Milia – It is a small white bump commonly found on the face, especially on the cheeks, nose, lips, and forehead. It occurs when the keratin is trapped beneath the skin’s surface. Milia is common in babies, especially newborns and goes away on its own. However, milia in adults is linked with excessive use of steroid, burns, sun damage, and blisters from injury.
  • Surgical wound - Cyst on forehead under skin can be caused by cuts and incisions in the skin. It could be secondary to surgical procedure or skin opening caused by draining of pus from skin lump.
  • Acne Vulgaris – It is a severe form of pimple. It is a long term skin infection common in people aged 12 to 25. The prevalence is higher in adolescents. A severe form of acne could lead to the development of acne cyst on forehead and other parts of the body. (2, 3,4)

Image 1 : A flesh colored cyst on the upper part of the forehead
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 Picture 2 : A cyst on the forehead filled with pus
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Cyst on Forehead Treatment

Topical ointment

 A skin ointment or cream can hasten the healing process. It contains benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which help in reducing the infection. (4)

Corticosteroid Injections

 If the cyst is inflamed, one of the best remedies is corticosteroid injection. Corticosteroid is a potent anti-inflammatory medication, but it does have side effects. It could lead to shrinking of soft tissues and loss of skin color. (5)

Incision and Drainage

 Cysts are filled with fluid. One of the approaches used by medical professionals is draining the cyst. The doctor punctures the cyst and remove the content of the cyst. It does have a downside though. There is no guarantee that the cyst won’t recur anymore. To prevent secondary infection, the doctor will thoroughly clean the wound. (6)

Cyst on Forehead  : Home Remedies

  • Cold Compress - A lump on the skin secondary to injury usually heals on its own. To ease the pain and discomfort, you should apply an ice pack and keep the affected part elevated. Cold temperature helps constrict the blood vessels, which helps in alleviating swelling and inflammation. (6)
  • Hot Fomentation – It should be applied on the forehead after 24 hours of cold compress. It should be applied for at least a few minutes. The purpose of hot fomentation is to improve the circulation of blood and hasten healing.
  • Steam – Boil water and transfer in a basin. While the steam is evaporating, you should place your face directly on the steam. The temperature of the steam opens the pores, which aids in draining the cyst naturally. A hot shower or a steam bath also help in removing the cyst naturally. (7)
  • Hydration – You should drink plenty of water to help flush out the toxins from the body. Aside from water, you also need to increase your intake of natural fruit juices.
  • Tea Tree Oil – This essential oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory property. Apply a liberal amount of tea tree oil on the cyst to prevent infection. You can also mix tea tree oil and carrier oil and apply on the cyst three times a day. (7, 8)

Cyst on Forehead Removal Cost

The cost of removing cyst on the forehead varies from one doctor to another. There are a few considerations too such as the size and nature of the cyst. Large cysts cost more, especially if the cyst is infected. The cost ranges from $500 to $1,000. The cost is also affected by geographic location. If there are a lot of surgeons in the area, the cost fluctuates because there are a lot of competitors.

On the other hand, if only a few surgeons are there, the cost is quite high. Cyst removal is typically performed in the doctor’s clinic. Many surgeons accept insurance, but they only accept a certain amount. With every surgical procedure, there is a corresponding insurance code. The code varies depending on the size and position of the cyst. (9)


When a cyst on the forehead becomes alarming?

  • Cyst on the forehead usually resolves on its own. There is really nothing to worry about. However, there are warning signs you should be aware of. Once you notice any of the following warning signs, then you have to contact a doctor right away:
  • If there is a serious wound in the cyst area
  • A clear fluid or blood is coming out of the ears, nose, and mouth
  • If you feel unconscious for a couple of hours
  • You are experiencing visual disturbances
  • Complaining of severe headache
  • The pupils are unequal in size
  • The speech is slurred
  • You are having problems with balance and coordination (9, 10)

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Poikilocytosis is a condition characterized by presence of abnormally shaped red blood cells (poikilocytes) in the blood. 

The poikilocytes make up 10% or more of the total population of red blood cells. It is rare in humans, but common in domestic animals. The shape of a normal red blood cells is round and looks like a flattened disk. Normal RBCs are thinner in the middle as compared to the edge. 

An increased number of abnormal red blood cells can cause various problems. It could interfere with the proper circulation of blood including the transfer of oxygen and supply of nutrient. The supply of oxygen in the blood will significantly reduce, which could lead to the development of various health disorders. (1)

What causes abnormally shaped red blood cells?

Poikilocytosis can be caused by many factors. It primarily linked with vitamin deficiency and reduced folic acid in the blood. If the blood lacks folic acid, vitamin deficiency follows.


What is the meaning of Anisocytosis?

Anisocytosis pertains to red blood cells that are different in sizes. What is the difference between anisocytosis and Poikilocytosis? With anisocytosis, the size is unequal whereas in Poikilocytosis, it is the shape that is irregular. Unequal size of red blood cells possess danger to your health because it can greatly affect the transport of oxygen. The red blood cells will have a hard time disseminating oxygen in an efficient manner. (2, 3)


What are the causes of Anisocytosis?

  • Anemia
  • Vitamin deficiency, specifically vitamin A, B12, and folate deficiency.
  • Iron deficiency (3)


What are poikilocytosis symptoms?

Poikilocytosis symptoms are somewhat similar to that of anisocytosis. The patient will experience anemia-like symptoms including the following:
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Easy fatigability
  • Pale skin
  • Weakness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Poor concentration due to lack of oxygen supply in the blood (4)
Picture 1 : Red blood cells in their degenerative forms.
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Figure 2 : A microscopic view of the normal structure of red blood cells
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Classifications of Poikilocytosis

  • Teardrop cell (Dacrocytes) – The shape of the RBC is similar to teardrop. It is linked with diseases like myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia.
  • Target cells (Codocytes) – The red blood cells are like bull’s eye. In the center of the cell, you will see the haemoglobin. It is linked with liver cirrhosis, splenectomy, anemia, thalassemia, iron deficiency anemia, and hemoglobinopathies.
  • Spherocyte – The RBCs are small and rounded (sphere-shaped), which is linked with anemia, severe burn, jaundice in newborn, immune mediated haemolytic anemia, and genetic spherocytosis.
  • Sickle cell (Drepanocytes) – The RBCs look like thorns and the haemoglobin is S-shaped. It is linked with sickle cell anemia.
  • Schistocyte – The RBCs has no definite shape and size. It is linked with platelet disorders like purpura, thrombocytosis, haemolytic uremic syndrome, coagulation disorder, and severe burn.
  • Acanthocyte – The red blood cells are irregularly arranged and has irregularly spiked cell membranes. It is associated with severe liver disease, microangiopathic haemolytic anemia, vitamin E deficiency, hypothyroidism, and abetalipoproteinemia.
  • Stomatocyte (mouth cells) – The RBCs are cup shaped and have a split in the center making them look like kissing lips. They are linked with diseases like hereditary stomatocytosis, alcoholism, and hepatic disorder.
  • Ovalocyte – The red blood cells look like a pencil. It is linked with anemia, hereditary elliptocytosis, and thalassemia.
  • Bite cell (Degmacytes) – It looks like a bite is taken out from the red blood cells. If the cells look like a bite, it is because the patient is suffering from haemolytic anemia, G6PD, liver cirrhosis secondary to excessive intake of alcohol, and poisoning.
  • Echinocyte/burr cells – The RBCs are abnormally small and have rounded structure at the outer edge. This indicates that the patient is suffering from severe stomach disease such as cancer, uremia, pyruvate kinase deficiency, and ulceration.
  • Semilunar bodies – The cells have a crescent shape. The haemoglobin is completely loss that is why it is also called the ghost cells or phantom cells.
  • Microspherocytes – The diameter of the cell is smaller than the usual, but it is thicker.
  • Pyropoikilocytes – This type of cell is sensitive to heat.
  • Keratocytes – This is caused by severe trauma. Before the cells become keratocyte, they have blisters and ruptures. A keratocyte cell looks like a helmet with a strap. (2)


How to diagnose poikilocytosis?

Blood Film Test

This test is done to check if the number of abnormal shaped red blood cells is higher than usual. A blood sample is drawn and the medical technician will create a thin layer of blood film on the slide. Using a microscope, the shape of the red blood cells will be thoroughly examined.

Depending on the result of the test, the doctor might request for further blood work to thoroughly assess the condition of the patient and to be able to come up with the best treatment management. (5)

Differential Blood Count

The purpose of this test is to count the number of abnormal cells in the blood. This is usually ordered together with the blood film test.

Blood Composition Test

This test is used to detect the root cause of the deficiency. To find out the exact composition of red blood cells, a haemoglobin test is ordered. This test gives a clear picture as to how severe poikilocytosis is. Hemoglobin is the main protein composition of the red blood cells.

The ideal number of haemoglobin ranges between 14-18 milligrams/deciliter. If the result turns out to be lower than the average, then you are suffering from haemoglobin deficiency. (6)


A patient with poikilocytosis is advised to change his diet and lifestyle. The focus of care is to improve the vitamin and nutrient level in the body. This can only be achieve through diet and lifestyle modification. As with the underlying cause of poikilocytosis, the doctor will come up with the best possible remedy to cure the underlying cause. (7)

If the number of abnormal shaped red blood cells goes out of control, it could indicate a more serious problem. The patient could be suffering from celiac disease, sickle cell disease, or anemia. The underlying medical condition should be treated with drug therapy and lifestyle change.

For vitamin deficiency, the patient should take folic acid supplement and essential vitamins like A, C, and B complex. The patient is strongly advised to eat healthy and nutritious foods. Nutrients from foods and supplements can be easily absorbed by red blood cells. Hence, after a few weeks, the red blood cells will go back to their normal range. (8)


The importance of folic acid in the blood

For patients with poikilocytosis, it is a must to manage nutritional deficiency. For the red blood cells to be healthy, it is important to have sufficient amount of vitamins, especially folic acid and vitamin B12. These vitamins facilitate the absorption of essential nutrients in the small intestines. Folic acid, in particular plays a major role in the blood.

It affects the growth and development of red blood cells. If you have poikilocytosis, it could also mean one thing, you don’t have enough folic acid in the blood. This is the prime reason why there is a deformity in the structure of red blood cells. To significantly improve the condition, patients are strongly advised to eat folic acid rich foods and take folic acid supplement religiously. 

As mentioned above, dietary changes should be made. There are foods you should include in your diet as well as foods you should completely eliminate from your diet. Foods you need to include in your day to day diet include protein rich foods like soy products, protein from animal sources, whole grains, and lentils. Folic acid rich foods are also important.

Examples of folic acid rich foods are broccoli, spinach, almond, and beetroot. Patients should also increase their intake of green leafy vegetables. There are certain food groups patients should avoid such as gluten rich foods. It should be strictly followed by patients whose poikilocytosis is caused by celiac disease. You will need the help of a nutritionist to lay out the best diet plan for poikilocytosis secondary to celiac disease. (9, 10)

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Exploding Head Syndrome - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

What is exploding head syndrome? It is a parasomnia wherein an undesired event comes along with sleep. It usually is in the form of a loud noise that you suddenly hear before falling asleep. Sometimes you imagine the noise in your head as you wake up in the night. 

The loud noise could be in the form of a crashing cymbals, a bomb explosion, or a sound of a gun. (1)

What are exploding head syndrome symptoms?

  • A perception of loud sound with bright flashes just before falling asleep or after waking up in the middle of the night
  • Anxiety
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Difficulty of breathing
  • The noise in your head suddenly wake you up with a sense of fright
The symptoms vary from one person to another. According to the American Sleep Association, physical pain is not present in EHS. (2)
Image 1 : A woman who is having trouble sleeping at night because of exploding head syndrome
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Figure 2 :A polysomnogram procedure in a patient suffering from exploding head syndrome
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Who are at risk?

Exploding head syndrome (EHS) can affect anyone, but the prevalence is higher in women. Those who are 50 years old and above are at risk too. However, even as young as 10 years old could experience a sudden exploding head syndrome. (3)


Causes of exploding head syndrome?

The actual cause of EHS is still unknown up to this time. It could be associated with stress and fatigue (physical and mental). It could be caused by minor seizures that affect the temporal lobe of the brain. A sudden shift in the components of the middle ear might also lead to episode of exploding head syndrome. (4)


Is Exploding Head Syndrome dangerous?

Exploding head syndrome can be very alarming to someone who heard or read it. Will it cause the head to explode? The truth of the matter is there is no explosion and not possess any danger. However, it can interfere with your sleep.

In fact, some people become anxious when going to sleep because they feel like they will experience another episode of exploding head syndrome. EHS is a true condition and it needs to be addressed the best way possible.

Exploding head syndrome usually occurs in the state wherein the person is in the middle of sleep and complete alertness. As a person drifts to sleep, there will be an involuntary spasm of the muscle (hypnagogic jerk). It could occur abruptly or can be triggered by an external stimulus such as a sound or a light. Those experiencing exploding head syndrome have hypnagogic jerk episode as a natural response of the body as it transits from a state of alertness. The nerves go awry during the transitional phase. (4, 5)


Exploding head syndrome and sleep paralysis

Exploding head syndrome and sleep paralysis are often linked together. In the case of sleep paralysis, you are feeling awake, but you cannot move your body. What’s common between sleep paralysis and EHS is the changeover between the state of alertness and sleep.

As with the sleep paralysis condition, a part of the brain is in the rapid eye movement sleep while the other areas of the brain are in the conscious state. In layman’s explanation, it is like you are dreaming while you are awake. What makes it even scary is you are experiencing auditory hallucination. You hear things and sometimes feel things that are not actually there. (6)



If you are experiencing exploding head syndrome and it disrupts your sleep, then the best thing to do is to consult a sleep specialist. This is necessary, especially if exploding head syndrome is making you feel anxious and distressful.

The doctor will thoroughly assess your condition by asking a few information such as how and when the episode began and how long the episode lasts. The doctor will also review your past medical history and past surgical history, including the medications you’ve taken in the past as well as today. (7)

If you suffered from sleep disorder before, then you have to inform your doctor. The same things goes if you have a family history of sleep-related conditions. Trace your sleeping pattern by filling out a sleep diary for 15 days. Give the diary to your doctor to properly assess your sleeping pattern and find out what problems could possibly lead to exploding head syndrome.

In addition, the doctor will conduct a polysomnogram, or overnight sleep study, especially if the exploding head syndrome is disturbing your sleep. The polysomnogram will chart the brain waves, breathing, and heartbeat while you are asleep. The purpose of this study is to find out whether the sounds you hear in your head correlates with other sleep disorder. (7)


Exploding head syndrome Treatment

What is the cure for exploding head syndrome? The root cause of the problem should be addressed first. If the exploding head syndrome is caused by fatigue or stress, the doctor will come up with stress management methods for the patient to try. This includes taking a hot bath before going to bed at night, drinking warm milk, meditation, and yoga.

Reading books or going for a short walk before going to bed also improves sleep. Do not take alcoholic beverages before going to bed as it can cause sleep disturbances. (8)

According to American Sleep Association (ASA), some drugs cause sleep disturbances. If you are taking any medications, you should use it moderately to significantly improve the symptoms of exploding head syndrome. If you have tried the relaxation techniques mentioned above, but nothing seemed to work, the best thing to do is to ask medications from your doctor or sleep specialist. Sometimes, the doctor recommend clomipramine, one of the drug of choice for exploding head syndrome.

Some studies revealed that clomipramine can help in the treatment and management of exploding head symptoms. You should see a sleep specialist of a doctor if you want to take medications for exploding head syndrome.

In many people, exploding head syndrome problem disappear on its own. To significantly lessen the episode of exploding head syndrome, you have to limit your exposure to sleep and get enough sleep. The average sleep an adult need is between six and eight hours of sleep per night. (9, 10)

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Essential Oils for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions characterized by muscle and joint pain. If the symptoms are not managed, it could lead to depression and social isolation. 

To effectively manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia, you need to know the cardinal signs and symptoms or also known as the fibromyalgia syndrome. These include the following:
  • The joints become tender to touch
  • You easily get tired
  • There is a widespread pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression and mood disturbances
  • Restlessness
  • Chronic headaches
  • Noticeable pain in the abdomen
  • Incontinence
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in the feet and fingers
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold objects
  • Poor concentration

Picture 1 : Pressure points in a patient suffering from fibromyalgia
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 Image 2 : Helichrysum oil
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Most of the time, fibromyalgia is confused with other disease because of similarity of symptoms and clinical manifestations. In some instances, fibromyalgia is confused with osteoarthritis and tendinitis. According to research, more than 12 million people in America suffers from fibromyalgia, but the prevalence is higher in women than men. (1)


Test and Diagnosis

To properly and accurately diagnose the condition, the doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination and will draw information about your past medical history. Certain diagnostic procedures should be done to confirm the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
  1. FM/a Test - Some medical institutions use FM/a test. What it does is it identifies the markers produced by the blood cells in patients suffering from fibromyalgia. This test is quite expensive. It can range from $700 to $1000.
  2. Complete blood count (CBC) – The doctor will ask for a CBC to rule out more serious disease condition. In some instances, the doctor will also ask for a glucose test to find out any disease that causes similar problems to that of fibromyalgia.
  3. Thyroid Test – If a patient has hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), it can cause symptoms similar to fibromyalgia. Hence, a thyroid test is done to detect whether the patient has fibromyalgia or thyroid problems.
  4. Other laboratory tests should be done to rule out fibromyalgia and other serious illnesses like rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibodies, Lyme titers, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and level of calcium and vitamin D. (2, 3)


Fibromyalgia syndrome as outlined by the American College of Rheumatology

A widespread pain that has been around for three months. The pain is felt all over the body including the chest, entire back, neck, and other parts of the body. Mood swings, sleep disturbances, and fatigue should be assessed too, especially the severity of the symptoms. (4)


How to treat fibromyalgia?

Up until now, there is no cure for fibromyalgia. The treatment is yield towards the management of fibromyalgia symptoms. To best manage the symptoms, a combination of medical remedies is used, which include traditional and alternative treatments. There should be a combination of medication, exercise, and behavioural modification and therapy.

The drug of choice for pain relief secondary to fibromyalgia include Lyrica and Cymbalta, as per the recommendations of the American College of Rheumatology. Aside from drug therapy, essential oils can also be used to calm the nerves, relax the muscles, and alleviate the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia. (5)


The potential benefits of essential oils in the symptomatic relief of fibromyalgia

The use of essential oils for various diseases started a long time ago. In the ancient times, essential oils were used to alleviate pain and discomfort. They are applied on the affected parts of the body, especially during night time.

Today, there are tons of ways to use essential oils. They can be added to the water bath. They can also be used as a massage oil, release into the air in the form of a diffuser, inhaling the scent, and many more. If you are going to apply the oil directly to the skin, you have to use a carrier oil such as jojoba oil and coconut oil. (6)

Below are the ideal essential oils for fibromyalgia

  • Helichrysum oil – This essential oil is helpful in decreasing muscle pain brought by fibromyalgia. It also improves blood circulation and promotes nerve tissue healing. If you are looking for the best essential oil to help manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia, the answer is Helichrysum oil.
  • Lavender essential oil – A patient with fibromyalgia is under emotional stress. To alleviate stress and discomfort, a rub of lavender essential oil is needed. It can also be used to reduce the pain and calm the nerves. (7)
  • Rosemary oil – This oil is known for its analgesic and brain tonic properties. The analgesic property makes it very effective in alleviating pain, inflammation and discomfort. It promotes skin healing, relieves headache, promotes hair growth and reduce the build-up of cellulite.
  • Thyme oil – It is one of the common ingredients of many dishes, but it does have cosmetic and medicinal benefits too. Thyme oil promotes strength and well-being. It promotes proper blood circulation and has a calming effect to the body. Thyme oil is perfect for people with fibromyalgia because it alleviates joint and muscle pain. It is an essential oil of choice not only for fibromyalgia, but as well for rheumatism and arthritis. (8)
  • Eucalyptus oil – This essential oil has been proven effective in promoting proper blood circulation. The symptoms of fibromyalgia such as muscle pain and stiffness are caused by poor circulation of blood. Hence, eucalyptus oil can help alleviate such symptoms. Eucalyptus oil is a potent anti-inflammatory agent, which helps in alleviating muscle pain. Furthermore, it helps the body in flushing out toxins from the body.  (9)
  • Peppermint oil – it has uplifting and refreshing property, which makes it helpful in combating physical fatigue and improves mental alertness. If you are experiencing muscle and joint pain, all you need to do is to massage the affected area using a peppermint oil and after a few minutes, you will notice a relief from pain and discomfort. You can also add peppermint oil to your night time bath. (10)
  10. Fibromyalgia Self-care Management: Use of Essential Oils by Regina Ann Sacco Izu
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