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Ingrown Pubic Hair: Causes, Prevention, And 5 Best Treatments

Grooming has more or less become a part of the daily schedule in present days, and with it, the issue of ingrown pubic hair has also become a daily occurrence. These ingrown hairs near the vagina are the worst as they are annoying and pesky.

Ingrown hairs near the vagina are very uncomfortable and nerve-wracking, but if they are handled incautiously, they can cause serious health issues. So, women must know better about ingrown hairs and how they should be dealt with.

Here are some of the most required information about ingrown pubic hair.

What Is Ingrown Pubic Hair?

Ingrown pubic hair
Photo by Cliff Booth from Pexels/Copyright 2021

Ingrown pubic hair is the hair that grows back into the skin instead of tearing through the skin and growing up.

Ingrown hairs are mainly of two types. One is when the extrafollicular penetration happens, in which the pubic hair curls and then grows downwards, tearing through the skin and causing inflammation at the spot. And the other when transfollicular penetration happens, the pubic hair grows laterally beneath the skin before it even breaks through the surface.

Both kinds of ingrown hairs cause inflammation and small bumps, called papules, to rise on the skin’s surface. It can make your skin feel slightly irritated, painful, and itchy.

Papules look similar to pimples. Small little red or flesh-toned bumps on your skin can make you feel uncomfortable.

What Causes Ingrown Pubic Hair?

Ingrown pubic hairs generally occur due to the various hair removal methods. When hair is removed from the hair follicle, it grows back. And it’s not a rare occasion for some of the removed hair to grow back imperfectly.

A cluster of ingrown pubic hairs in a spot can also be known as razor bumps or pseudofolliculitis barbae. But shaving is not the only hair removal method that causes ingrown pubic hair, plucking tweezing, chemical hair removers, and waxing can also cause ingrown pubic hair to grow on the skin’s surface.

Although ingrown pubic hair can materialize in any hair structure, people with curly hair are more prone to ingrown hairs. Because the curly hairs are more likely to bend and enter back into the skin after it has been shaved or removed. And especially in the pubic area, since the hair there is more coarse than the rest of the body.

Ingrown hairs can also occur without any intentional pubic hair removal. Wearing tight jeans or tight clothing that puts enough pressure to tear the hair or bend them can cause ingrown pubic hairs. Because the hair that grows back has a sharper edge, and any pressure can make it tear through the skin and go back inside.

How To Identify If It Is An Ingrown Pubic Hair Or A Vaginal Acne?

Although both have the same appearance, vaginal acne is different from ingrown hair bumps. The first appearance of the bump on your skin will confirm that.

Vaginal acne contains pus in it, while the ingrown hairs don’t. Ingrown hairs are just hair trapped beneath the surface of the skin.

Ingrown hairs, at first, look like small, red, tender bumps that accumulate pus only if some bacterial growth in it leads to a skin infection. In that case, you might need to see a doctor, but ingrown hairs in any other case never contain pus.

How To Treat Ingrown Pubic Hair?

Most ingrown hairs do not need any treatment to get resolved. With time they settle back on their own. But if the ingrown hair bump becomes too much itchy or painful, you can use the following home remedies to help heal the ingrown pubic hair.

1. Stop hair removal treatments for a while

Ingrown hair develops into a skin infection if you keep using hair removal techniques on it.

Shaving, waxing, or tweezing makes the bikini line and pubic area even more sensitive, which will add to your skin irritation, pain, and itchiness. So, it is considered wise to stop shaving in the area for a while. It will help the ingrown pubic hair to heal soon.

2. Remove dead skin cells

Dead skin cells, oil, or dirt might be trapping the ingrown pubic hair beneath the skin’s surface. So, removing dead skin from the pubic area helps the ingrown pubic hairs to heal soon.

Gently rubbing the ingrown hair bump in a circular motion every day, using an exfoliating glove, exfoliating scrub, or wet washcloth helps the ingrown hair to come back on the surface. Exfoliating regularly removes dead skin, dirt, and oil from the skin.

3. Apply a hot, warm compress to the ingrown pubic hair

The heat helps the ingrown hair to return to the surface.

So, use a warm compress or a washcloth dipped in warm water on the ingrown hairs. It will help in the pain and also reduce the irritation a little in the pubic region.

And after the ingrown hair comes back to the surface, you can pluck it with a sterilized tweezer. But make sure that the tweezer is adequately sterilized and do not prick the hair until it has fully come on the surface, or it could lead to scarring on the skin.

4. Using Retinoids and Steroid creams to reduce inflammation

Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and thus are recommended by many healthcare professionals to cure several skin problems. Retinoids also help to exfoliate and clear up dark patches on the skin. But it would help if you had a skincare professional’s prescription to buy retinoids.

However, retinoids are not prescribed for pregnant women.

Steroid cream is used to reduce inflammation from the small painful bumps. Some of the creams that help in soothing the itchy bumps and prevent skin diseases are:

  1. Benzoyl peroxide
  2. Witch hazel
  3. Anti-itch cream
  4. Hydrocortisone
  5. Pure Aloe vera
  6. Diluted tea tree oil

5. Remove the ingrown hair

The best way to coax an ingrown hair out of the skin is by applying a hot compress on it and then pulling the hair out with a tweezer.

After the ingrown hair has come out on the surface of the skin entirely by using a warm compress or hot bath, grasp it with the tweezer in the center and then gently twist it in both ways. This will loosen the tip of the hair and encourage it to come out.

After the tip is out, use the side of the tweezers to pluck the hair out of the skin thoroughly.

Wash the area with hot, soapy water then. Dry it with a soft towel and then apply some antibiotics to it. Avoid any contact in that area until it is adequately healed, and keep using the ointment until then.

How To Prevent Ingrown Pubic Hairs?

Shaving, waxing, or tweezing generally leads to ingrown pubic hairs, so clearly, one way to prevent ingrown hairs is to stop using all the hair removal methods. But if that’s not something you want to do, there are some precautions you can take to prevent getting ingrown pubic hair.

Following are the precautions you should take to avoid ingrown hair:

  1. Take a hot bath or soak the skin with warm water before shaving or using any other method. This makes pubic hair relatively soft and reduces the probability of getting ingrown hairs.
  2. Use a single-bladed sharp razor. A razor with multiple blades can cut the hair beneath the skin’s surface as it passes through the skin multiple times and cause ingrown pubic hair.
  3. Make sure that the razor has sharp edges and always shave in the direction of the hair growth. Shaving in the opposite direction gives a closer shave and increases the chances of getting ingrown hairs.
  4. Make sure to rinse the razor properly after every stroke.
  5. Before shaving, use a shaving cream or a moisturizer to avoid hair regrowth in the opposite direction and cause ingrown hairs.
  6. Exfoliate the surrounding skin before shaving.
  7. Try using moisturizing creams that contain glycolic acid or salicylic acid.
  8. You can also use laser hair removal techniques to prevent ingrown hair. Although expensive, laser therapy burns the hair follicles, completely eradicating the issue of ingrown pubic hair.
  9. Try non-shaving options like an electric razor.

When Ingrown Pubic Hairs Need Medical Attention?

Medical attention for ingrown hairs
Photo by Cliff Booth from Pexels /Copyright 2021

Ingrown hair bumps are usually harmless and heal on their own after some time. But in some cases, these ingrown hairs need medical attention and can cause serious issues if left untreated.

You should seek medical attention when:

1. Often getting ingrown hair.

Occasional ingrown pubic hair is nothing to worry about, but you should probably see a doctor often if you are getting them. Your doctor will treat and prevent future problems.

2. If there are visible signs of infection.

If you see signs of infection in the ingrown hair bumps. Some signs of infection comprise of:

  1. Redness and swelling
  2. Pus filled in the bumps and unusual pain
  3. Bleeding from the bumps.

Your doctor will examine and prescribe some oral antibiotics or antibiotic ointment for the infection. But make sure to see a doctor if you see these signs because sometimes some sexually transmitted infections, like genital herpes, can cause bumps with a similar appearance. A doctor will tell you what it is.

3. Too much pubic hair

If you see unusual hair growth in your pubic area, consult your doctor because it is possible that a severe health issue might be contributing to that. A doctor will tell you the exact diagnosis and its treatment.

So, these are ingrown pubic hairs and their treatment. If handled carefully, ingrown pubic hair does not cause any serious issue and can be treated pretty early. All you need to do is pay close attention to your hair removal methods to avoid ingrown hair altogether.

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Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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