All human beings grow hair in certain parts of their body. Pubic hair refers to the hair within our genital area. As part of our hygiene, most of us will shave or wax this area. However, during the process, some will make mistakes leading to the formation of ingrown pubic hair. Although this is a minor problem, it can be itchy, painful and unpleasant to the eyes. In a worst case scenario, it can even lead to an infection.
Normally, a hair grows outwards. In the case of pubic area, it grows sideways and back into the skin. This happens when dead skin cells block the hair follicle.
Ingrown hair will appear as a small, red bump. If it is infected, there will be swelling, itchiness and pain. It may also be filled with pus resembling a blister.
Ingrown Pubic Hair Cyst Images
What are the Causes?
Ingrown hairs can be caused by several factors including the following:
- Having a Coarse and Curly Hair
Although anyone can have ingrown hair in the pubic area, this condition is more prevalent in people with curly and coarse hair. One primary reason is because a curly hair tends to bend and grows inside the skin.
- Improper Hair Removal Technique
One of the most common mistakes during hair removal is not following the natural hair growth pattern. This increases the risk of hair breakage. Once the dead cells have blocked the hair follicles, the broken hair is trapped and will grow inward.
Shaving is another common cause of ingrown pubic hairs. When the skin is stretched during shaving, the cut hair may retract into the skin causing the hair to grow inward. Multiple-blade razors can also cause this problem when the second, third or fourth blade cuts the hair underneath the skin.
- Not Exfoliating
When the skin has too much dead skin cells, the opening of the hair follicles is blocked. Thus, the hair may grow inward. One way to avoid this problem is through exfoliation. It is highly recommended to exfoliate before any hair removal process. You can do this by using a soft cloth or exfoliating gloves.
Genetics play a role in having a coarse and curly hair. Most African-Americans have this type of hair. Thus, they are more prone to developing the ingrown hairs in bikini area.
Aside from the hair type, genetics also play a role in a person’s skin type. People with oily skin are prone to pubic ingrown hairs. This is due to the excess oil produced by the sebaceous gland, which can block the pores of the skin. If the hair follicles are clogged, ingrown hairs will develop.
- Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalance can also lead to this condition. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are an example for this. Since they have high levels of androgens, most of them suffer from hirsutism or excessive hair growth. Thus, they are more prone to developing ingrown hairs.
- Excess Weight or Obesity
In a 2014 report, it was revealed that women with excess weight are more likely to develop ingrown hairs in their legs and pubic area.
Top Remedies on How to Get Rid of Ingrown Pubic Hair
In most cases, ingrown hairs will go away even without treatment. However, if there is an infection, the following remedies can help.
Within the genital area are bacteria known as Staphylococcus aureus. They are the most common cause of infected ingrown pubic hair. As a treatment, topical antibiotics are prescribed. If the genital area is sensitive, the doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics.
It is best to avoid applying lotions, sprays, and deodorants within the infected area. If the symptoms persist, it is highly recommended to visit your doctor. You may have another medical condition.
- Anti-inflammatory Creams
Nonprescription anti-inflammatory creams are used to reduce swelling. For severe cases, steroid creams such as hydrocortisone, clobetasol, and betamethasone are prescribed.
During the first two days of the treatment, you may feel a stinging or burning sensation. Don’t worry, it will feel better afterward.
An analgesic can be taken if you are feeling an unbearable pain. Keep in mind that severe pain is a sign of a serious infection. It is best to consult your doctor for appropriate medication.
It is important to avoid picking the red, swollen bump or removing the ingrown hair. It will only aggravate the symptoms.
Retinoids help prevent ingrown pubic hairs by removing dead skin cells. It can also help reduce other symptoms such as skin thickening and darkening.
Retinoids can cause side effects such as redness, sensitivity, skin peeling, and flaking. To minimize these, it is best to use this medication occasionally and sparingly until your skin adapts.
- Benzoyl Peroxide
A common acne treatment, benzoyl peroxide can also help get rid of ingrown hairs in various ways. First, it helps unclog skin pores. It can also stop the growth of bacteria, which prevents an infection. When used together with exfoliation, it can help treat this condition that has pus.
The known side effects of benzyl peroxide are redness, skin dryness, peeling, and itchiness. For this reason, you should only use benzyl peroxide as instructed by your doctor. You should also avoid using it if you have broken skin, sunburn, or windburn because it can aggravate the problem. Lastly, it is recommended to clean the infected area before applying this medication.
- Green Tea
Green tea offers numerous benefits. You can also use it as another remedy at home. According to studies, it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is potent against Staphylococcus aureus. As an astringent, it can also help minimize pain and swelling by constricting the tissues of the body.
To use green tea, you can steep a tea bag in an 8 ounce of water (freshly boiled) for about 5 minutes. Once the tea is cool, you can apply it in the infected area using a cotton ball. You don’t have to wash the area before application. You can do this remedy twice or three times per day.
- Tea Tree Oil
As a widely-known essential oil, tea tree oil has the capabilities to help treat ingrown hair. According to various studies, it has anti-fungal, anti-allergy and antibacterial effects. Several studies have supported its capability to treat infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus.
To use tea tree oil, dilute 2-3 drops of oil with 2 teaspoons of carrier oil such as olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil. Before application, you have to test for allergic reactions. You can do this by applying a small amount in your forearm and wait for a minimum of 30 minutes. If there are no allergic reactions or sensitivity, you can massage a few drops of the oil in the area with ingrown hairs.
- Witch Hazel
As a potent astringent, witch hazel is a known remedy for swelling, itchiness, and pain. Aside from that, it can also help in repairing broken skin and in fighting microorganisms. Overall, this remedy is considered safe for the skin.
You can apply witch hazel to your skin after shaving. It can relieve razor burns. It can also prevent the formation of ingrown hair and infection. It there are any cuts, it can help slow down the bleeding.
- Warm Compress
A common remedy for pain and swelling is warm compress. Aside from relieving your discomforts, it can also help draw the pus towards the surface of the skin. Through this, draining the pus will be easier. As a result, the hair on your bikini area will shrink.
To avoid accidentally burning your genitals, it is best to apply a warm compress for not more than 20 minutes.
- Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a technique used to reduce hair growth. It is the quickest and safest way to prevent and stop your ingrown pubic hairs. It damages and weakens the hair follicles, which reduces their ability to produce hair.
Laser hair removal is a viable option for those who are prone to ingrown hair in the pubic area. This procedure is safe and effective if it is performed by a qualified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. However, there are a few side effects and it is expensive.
Most people have experienced an ingrown pubic hair. With proper hair removal techniques, it is preventable. Knowing the various factors that can cause this condition will also help prevent it. If you developed it, you can use the various remedies mentioned above to treat it.