An unrecognizable woman an undergarment and trimming a plant kept in front of her pubic. An unrecognizable woman an undergarment and trimming a plant kept in front of her pubic.

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 uncomfortable and nerve-wracking, but if 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.

1. What Is Ingrown Pubic Hair?

A woman with white undergarments representing Ingrown pubic hair with red beads on her inner thighs.
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.

2. Types of Ingrown Pubic Hair

Ingrown hairs are mainly of two types.

One is when 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 hand, when Transfollicular penetration happens, the pubic hair grows laterally beneath the skin before breaking through the surface.

Both 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 red or flesh-toned bumps on your skin can make you uncomfortable.

3. What Causes Ingrown Pubic Hair?

Ingrown pubic hairs generally occur due to various hair removal methods. When hair is removed from the hair follicle, it grows back. And it’s not rare 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.

Ingrown Hairs - Daily Do's of Dermatology

Although ingrown pubic hair can materialize in any hair structure, people with curly hair are more prone to ingrown hair 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 is more coarse than the rest of the body.

Ingrown hairs can also occur without any intentional pubic hair removal. Wearing tight jeans or clothing that puts enough pressure to tear or bend the hair 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.

4. How to Identify if It Is an Ingrown Pubic Hair or a Vaginal Acne?

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

Vaginal acne contains pus in it, while 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 bacterial growth 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.

5. 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 itchy or painful, you can use the following home remedies to help heal the ingrown pubic hair.

5.1. Stop Hair Removal Treatments for a While

Ingrown hair develops into a skin infection if you use hair removal techniques.

Shaving, waxing, or tweezing makes the bikini line and pubic area even more sensitive, adding 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.

5.2. Remove Dead Skin Cells

Dead skin cells, oil, or dirt might trap 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 return to the surface. Exfoliating regularly removes dead skin, dirt, and oil from the skin.

5.3. 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 with the pain and also reduce the irritation a little in the pubic region.

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.

5.4. 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 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

5.5. Remove the Ingrown Hair

The best way to coax an ingrown hair out of the skin is by:

  • Apply a hot compress and then pull the hair out with a tweezer.
  • After the ingrown hair has come out on the skin’s surface entirely by using a warm compress or hot bath, grasp it with the tweezer in the center and 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.

6. How to Prevent Ingrown Pubic Hairs?

How to Stop Ingrown Hair & Razor Bumps from Waxing & Shaving | Treatments & Products | Black Skin

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:

  • 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 hair.
  • 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 causes ingrown pubic hair.
  • 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.
  • Make sure to rinse the razor properly after every stroke.
  • Before shaving, use a shaving cream or a moisturizer to avoid hair regrowth in the opposite direction and causing ingrown hairs.
  • Exfoliate the surrounding skin before shaving.
  • Try using moisturizing creams that contain glycolic acid or salicylic acid.
  • 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.
  • Try non-shaving options like an electric razor.

7. When Ingrown Pubic Hairs Need Medical Attention?

A woman in red undergarments with a flower on her vagina which represents ingrown pubic hair.
Photo by Cliff Booth from Pexels /Copyright 2021

Ingrown hair bumps are usually harmless and heal independently after some time. But sometimes, these ingrown hairs need medical attention and can cause serious issues if left untreated.

You should seek medical attention when:

7.1. Often Getting Ingrown Hair

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

7.2. If There Are Visible Signs of Infection

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

  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.

7.3. Too Much Pubic Hair

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

8. In the End

So, these are ingrown pubic hairs and their treatment. If handled carefully, ingrown pubic hair does not cause serious issues and can be treated early.

All you need to do is pay close attention to your hair removal methods to avoid ingrown hair altogether.

9. Frequently Asked Questions

9.1. What does an ingrown pubic hair bump look like?

An ingrown bump usually looks like a small red or flesh-toned pimple with one hair on the top of it. The ingrown hair produces cyst that extends from the body’s surface.

9.2. Will an ingrown pubic hair heal itself?

Ingrown pubic hair usually heal itself with time. However, sometimes it needs treatment. It will need medical attention when the ingrown pubic hair is growing abnormally.

9.3. Should I worry about ingrown pubic hair?

There is no need to worry about the ingrown pubic bumps.  They usually heal on their own. However, professional advice is needed when irritation, pain, or any infection is causing difficulty.

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