What is ingrown pubic hair? When a hair grows back into the skin and not out to the surface, an ingrown hair occurs. Usually, when a hair is plucked, waxed, or shaved, it grows back through the skin surface and outward. When it doesn’t and the hair grows downward and back into the skin an ingrown hair develops. Another word for an ingrown hair is hyper pigmentation. When this occurs within your pubic hairs, you’ll want to get rid of it as soon as possible.
How to Get Rid of Ingrown Pubic Hair
The first sign of an ingrown pubic hair is a small, round bump also known as papules or if filled with pus, pustules. You may also notice some of the skin around the area has become darker. There may also be some pain or itching around the area. These can cause you considerable discomfort so understanding them and knowing how to remove them is important.
What Causes an Ingrown Pubic Hair?
Most hairs grow back after you’ve removed them. The hair shaft is supposed to regrow up through your skin. Some, however; grow underneath the skin which your body will respond to as a foreign object. Your body will react to this hair under your skin as an invasion which is why you feel the reactions to this. Symptoms of an ingrown pubic hair will be itching, redness, pain, and even swelling.
Symptoms of Ingrown Pubic Hair
Ingrown pubic hairs are very uncomfortable. They will create a red bump which resembles a pimple and it is painful. Sometimes these bumps become filled with pus, other times they are just hard bumps. The ones filled with pus are the result of your body trying to fight what it looks at as a foreign object.
These pus-filled bumps, pustules, can be from two to four millimeters in size. They may be itchy and slightly darker than the skin around them. These ingrown hairs can be the result of waxing or shaving hair in the pubic area. They can also be the result of wearing clothing that is too tight and has rubbed the area causing irritation.
What Causes an Ingrown Hair?
The ingrown hair results when a hair curls back or grows sideways into your skin. Coarse or curly hair is more prevalent to grow this way, although anyone can get them. People with high levels of certain sex hormones may have an excess of hair growth which makes them more prone to the ingrown hair.
Latinos and African-Americans generally have thick or curly hair and are prone to developing a type of condition known as, pseudofolliculitis, or ‘razor bump’. These ‘razor bumps’ develop after one has shaven, waxed, or tweezed to remove unwanted hair. When the hair starts to regrow, it has a sharper edge so it can easily poke back through the skin where it will get trapped under the surface.
Ingrown Pubic Hair vs Herpes
The herpes lesion closely resembles an ingrown pubic hair. When a person shaves around their genital area or at the top of the leg, it can cause red bumps to appear on the skin. These red bumps look very similar to herpes. The redness, however; is usually a skin irritation or an ingrown pubic hair.
If you seriously question the redness and bumps, if it is possible that you may have herpes, then the best solution is to have a blood test done. Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease and if you feel the sores you are experiencing could possibly be a disease, a medical practitioner can verify what you are suffering from.
What is an Ingrown Pubic Hair Cyst?
An ingrown pubic hair cyst is often an inflamed, ugly cyst growing in your pubic area. These cysts are known to grown deep into your skin and cause a lot of pain. They form in your pubic area, thighs, armpits, face, and neck. They are the result of an ingrown hair that has become infected and caused it to boil or abscess. A common term for this type of cyst is a trichilemmal cyst. It is often confused with the pilonidal cyst which develops at the tailbone. There are other confusions with the sebaceous cyst because there is no infection involved with the trichilemmal cyst.
The ingrown pubic hair cyst is not very common and usually forms just above the buttocks or near the anus. The difference between the ingrown hair and the cyst is sometimes hard to define due to their similarities. They are both under the skin and both are fluid-filled pockets. The difference with the ingrown hair is that it is a result of shaving or another event that results in the hair growing back. Cysts have a relationship to shaving or other hair removal activity as they begin with ingrown hair.
The other difference is the ingrown hair is a relatively small bump, where the cyst is much larger. You can also develop an ingrown hair cyst when your pores get clogged and there is then no room for hair growth. Pores can become clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells or dirt. The clogged pore can also cause a hair follicle to become infected resulting in swelling and pus accumulation which will then turn into a cyst.
Ways of How to Prevent Ingrown Pubic Hair
There are several ways for you to prevent getting an ingrown pubic hair:
- When using an electric razor, hold it slightly away from the surface of your skin.
- If you see longer portions of hair, trim them away with manicure scissors. Shorter hair is easier to remove.
- Shaving should always be completed in the same direction as your hair grows.
- If your hair is curly or coarse, soaking in a warm bath before shaving will soften the hair and make them less sharp and less likely to coil into your skin.
- Leave a small bit of stubble on your skin, don’t shave too close.
- Use a wet washcloth to rub your face every day in a circular motion. The use of an exfoliating scrub will help remove any stubborn ingrown hairs.
- A lotion or lubricating oil can be applied to the area you are going to shave. This will soften the hair and can be easily washed away and it also provides a reliable layer of protection against friction while shaving.
- When shaving with a blade, make sure it is a sharp single-blade razor.
- Before you apply a shaving lotion or gel, wet your skin with warm water.
- Rinsing the blade with water after every stroke is important to make sure the blade is always clear of hair.
- Irritation to your skin will be reduced if you apply a cool washcloth after shaving to the area you have just shaved.
- To decrease the risk of hair slipping back into your skin, use as few of strokes with your razor as you can. Pulling the skin tight before making a pass over it one time will also decrease the chance of hair becoming ingrown.
There are alternatives to removing hair than shaving it off. The market has a lot of hair removal products that you might want to consider if you suffer ingrown hairs often. Depilatory creams are one alternative and there is also the electric current or laser procedures to permanently remove hair follicles.
Steps on How to Get Rid of Ingrown Pubic Hair
You can get rid of ingrown pubic hair by following these tips:
- Clean the area– Take a hot shower to open the pores so hair is easier to remove. If you’ve already showered, you can apply a hot compress to the area as an alternative to showering again. Apply the heat for about five minutes.
- Epsom salts– Epsom salt works great on those ingrown pubic hairs that are deeply rooted. It helps to bring them to the surface of your skin and will also reduce the inflammation.
- Pat dry– Cover the entire area with a towel and gently pat it dry. Leave the towel cover the area while you prepare to remove the ingrown hair.
- Use astringent solution– The local drug store in your area should carry an astringent solution with salicylic acid. Many people use this compound for treating acne so you should be able to find it easily.
- Sterilize your tweezers– The tweezers you will use to remove the hair should be sterilized clean and your hands should also be clean.
- Apply pressure– Near where the ingrown hair is on your skin, apply pressure on either side of the hair. This pressure will force the hair upward. Grab the hair with the clean tweezers and pull it up.
- Apply astringent solution– Once you have pulled the hair out, apply the astringent solution with a cotton pad to the entire area. Remove any pus or blood that appears.
- Allow to dry– Let the area completely dry and continue applying the astringent solution several times a day. You can also use a topical ointment if you think the area has become infected. It is also suggested you allow it be exposed to some air each day and wear cotton underwear until the area is completely healed.
Best Treatment for Ingrown Pubic Hair
Ingrown pubic hair will often go away on its own. When it doesn’t and it becomes a problem for you, it may mean it has become infected and could possibly leave a scar on your skin. Your physician can help you treat this condition by making a small cut in your skin to release the hair. There are also medicines a doctor can prescribe to help you treat the condition. Some of these are:
- Antibiotic– There are antibiotics you can take orally or some that are available as a rub you apply directly to the area. This will help relieve and eliminate any infection that has occurred.
- Retinoids– There are times an ingrown pubic hair will discolor your skin. Retin A (Retinoids) can remove the dead skin cells. Removal of the cells will reduce the skin pigment change.
- Steroids– To bring down the swelling and irritation there is a steroid medicine available to apply directly to the infected area.
It should be noted that if you do not properly treat an infected ingrown hair, the infection can travel to other parts of your body. You should avoid using public showers or pools if you have an ingrown pubic hair as there are often bacteria in those waters. You should also not share towels with anyone and don’t wear the same clothes that have come in contact with the area.
How Long do Ingrown Pubic Hairs Last?
The ingrown pubic hair is definitely a pain, whether it is causing you severe discomfort where you have to seek treatment or need to remove it yourself. They are basically harmless and are not going to leave you with long-lasting health issues, but they are an irritation and unsightly if appearing visible when you wear a bikini.
While you can use some prevention methods to avoid getting them and treat them if they become a bother, there is no cure for them. They will go away, even if left untreated. The problem is they don’t go away until the hair has naturally grown out. This growth can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The amount of time an ingrown pubic hair will last all depends on the severity or depth of the ingrown hair.
If you have developed an ingrown pubic hair a good idea would be for you stop shaving that area for a while. Continuing to remove hair from the area will only further irritate the skin and could result in you developing, ‘Barber’s Itch’. This is when the ingrown hair becomes infected by bacteria or a fungus and severely slows down the healing process. While there has been some good ideas and advice provided here, you should consult a doctor is the ingrown hair area appears to spread or does not heal after several weeks. If this happens, it may take a lab test to determine the proper treatment to eliminate your infection.