Ingrown pubic hair is typical when the hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin instead of emerging from the hair follicle. It can cause discomfort, pain, and unsightly bumps in the pubic area. This article will explore the causes, treatment options, and preventive measures for ingrown pubic hair.
What are ingrown pubic hairs?
Ingrown pubic hairs are when the pubic hair grows back under the skin and not up to the surface. Ingrown pubic hair can occur after your pubic hair is shaved, waxed, or pluck.
You may see small, round bumps known as papules or smaller, pus-filled bumps known as pustules. Sometimes, the skin around an ingrown hair can become darker. This is hyperpigmentation.
The ingrown hair may cause pain or itching.
Ingrown hairs may be more common in certain people. Ingrown hairs are more common in people with curly hair than in those with thin, fine hair. Pubic hair is more coarse than the hair on the head and the rest of your body.
What causes Ingrown Pubic Hairs?
Several factors contribute to the development of ingrown pubic hair.
Hair Type and Texture
One of the primary factors contributing to ingrown pubic hairs is the type and texture of hair. Curly or coarse hair tends to be more prone to curling back and re-entering the skin, leading to ingrown hairs. Individuals with naturally curly or coarse pubic hair are at a higher risk of experiencing ingrown hair compared to those with straight or fine hair.
Improper Hair Removal Techniques
The methods used to remove pubic hair can significantly influence the likelihood of developing ingrown hairs. Shaving against the natural direction of hair growth, using dull razors, or applying excessive pressure while shaving can result in the hair being cut below the skin surface, increasing the chances of ingrown hairs. Additionally, waxing, plucking, or excessive friction from tight clothing can cause hair to grow back improperly and lead to ingrown hairs.
Blocked Hair Follicles
Blocked hair follicles are another common cause of ingrown pubic hairs. Dead skin cells, dirt, and oil can accumulate in the hair follicle openings, preventing the hair from growing naturally. As a result, the hair can become trapped under the skin, leading to ingrown hairs.
Hormonal imbalances can affect hair growth patterns and increase the likelihood of ingrown pubic hairs. Changes in hormone levels, such as those occurring during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can alter the structure and texture of the hair, making it more susceptible to becoming ingrown.
Friction and Irritation
Excessive friction and irritation in the pubic area can contribute to developing ingrown hairs. Wearing tight clothing, particularly synthetic materials that do not allow the skin to breathe, can increase friction and lead to hair becoming trapped or growing back improperly. Conflict from repetitive activities such as cycling or intense physical exercise can also contribute to the occurrence of ingrown pubic hairs.
Genetics can play a role in determining an individual’s susceptibility to ingrown pubic hairs. Some people may inherit specific characteristics that make their hair more prone to curling back into the skin. This genetic predisposition can increase the likelihood of experiencing ingrown hairs.
How can ingrown pubic hairs be treated?
Ingrown pubic hairs are usually not an issue. Ingrown pubic hairs will often resolve on their own.
You may have to consider one of these options if the hairs do not grow back through your skin.
Do not remove hair from that area
Don’t wax, shave, or pull hair from that area. Wait until ingrown hairs disappear.
Continuing to shave can further aggravate the sensitive areas. Your discomfort will be worsened if you scratch or pick at ingrown hairs. You could get a skin infection or a scar.
Warm compresses are recommended undefined
A soft toothbrush or wet washcloth can be used to rub the skin in a circular motion.
Gently pull the hair out
You should not pull it out until the area has healed. Otherwise, the skin will grow back over the hair. Don’t dig into your skin. An infection could result from tearing through your skin.
Remove dead skin
To help ingrown hairs return to the skin’s surface, gently wash the area and exfoliate.
Your doctor may prescribe a drug to help the dead skin cells shed faster if that fails.
Creams can be used to reduce inflammation
Your doctor may recommend a steroid cream if the ingrown pubic hair causes a lot of inflammation and redness. This can reduce swelling and irritation.
Retinoids such as Renova, Retin A, and tretinoin can accelerate the removal of skin cells. They can also be used to treat ingrown hairs. Retinoids will require a prescription from your physician. These medications can dry out the skin.
If you are pregnant, don’t use any products containing retinoids. This medication can cause birth defects and is potentially dangerous for the baby.
Symptoms of an Ingrown Pubic Hair
The symptoms of ingrown pubic hair are irritation, redness, and bumps in the area where the hair was removed. The symptoms can vary from person to person, but usually include one or more of these symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out other possible causes.
Other symptoms of ingrown pubic hair can include:
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor. In some cases, ingrown pubic hair can lead to a more serious infection.
What happens if the ingrown hairs get infected?
Ingrown hairs are a common problem, but they can become infected if the hair follicle becomes blocked by bacteria. This can happen if the hair is cut too short, the skin is irritated, or the hair cannot grow out properly.
If an ingrown hair becomes infected, it will usually appear as a red, swollen bump. The bump may be painful and may have a white or yellow head. In some cases, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissue, causing a more severe disease.
If you think ingrown hair has become infected, it is essential to see a doctor. The doctor can diagnose the infection and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Treatment may include antibiotics, warm compresses, or drainage of the infected area.
In most cases, ingrown hairs that become infected can be treated successfully with antibiotics. However, if the infection is not treated, it can spread and cause more severe problems.
Prevention Tips for avoiding Ingrown Pubic Hair
Ingrown pubic hairs are a common problem caused by shaving, waxing, or tweezing. They occur when hair curls back and grows into the skin instead of out. This can cause pain, itching, and inflammation.
There are several things you can do to help prevent ingrown pubic hairs, including:
- Shaving in the direction of hair growth will help prevent the hair from curling back and becoming ingrown.
- Using a sharp razor: A dull razor can cause the hair to be cut too short, increasing the risk of ingrown hairs.
- Exfoliating the area regularly: This will help to remove dead skin cells and prevent the hair from becoming trapped under the skin.
- Using a gentle soap or lotion: Harsh soaps and lotions can irritate the skin and make it more likely to develop ingrown hairs.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing: Tight-fitting clothing can rub against the skin and cause irritation, increasing the risk of ingrown hairs.
- Letting your hair grow out: If you are prone to ingrown hairs, consider letting your hair grow out. This will help to reduce the risk of the hair curling back and becoming ingrown.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can ingrown pubic hair lead to infection?
Yes, if left untreated or if there is excessive scratching or picking, ingrown pubic hair can become infected.
Are there any home remedies for ingrown pubic hair?
Yes, warm compresses, gentle exfoliation, and over-the-counter salicylic or glycolic acid creams can be effective home remedies.
Can ingrown pubic hair be prevented completely?
While it may not be possible to prevent ingrown pubic hair entirely, following proper hair removal techniques and maintaining good skin hygiene can significantly reduce the occurrence.
Is it safe to remove ingrown hair with a needle?
A sterile needle can lift it carefully if the hair is near the skin’s surface and visible. However, caution must be exercised to avoid infection.
Can ingrown pubic hair cause scarring?
In some cases, repeated ingrown pubic hair can lead to scarring. Proper management and avoiding picking or scratching can minimize the risk.