Ingrown Pubic Hair Infection

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Improper shaving techniques can result in ingrown hairs.
Improper shaving techniques can result in ingrown hairs. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Robby!)

It is common to experience irritation in the pubic area due to hair removal. An infection caused by an ingrown pubic hair can be painful. Ingrown pubic hair infections are usually mild, but occasionally become severe, recurrent and painful.

Causes

Ingrown pubic hairs occur when the hair does not break the surface and instead curls back inward or grows sideways into the skin. An ingrown hair does not automatically signal that there is an infection. An ingrown hair becomes infected at the hair follicle when bacteria gets into the skin that has been pierced by the hair.

Identification

Symptoms of an ingrown pubic hair infection include pain, swelling and itching in the area and a pustule containing pus. The pustule resembles a large red blister. This infection can mimic symptoms of other conditions such as a swollen gland or a pimple. However, it also can mimic herpes, a sexually transmitted disease. The only way to be certain is to visit the doctor.

Significance

While the infection is not debilitating, it can be painful. Furthermore, untreated infections of any kind are taxing to the immune system. This could lead to frequent illness and becoming more susceptible to other types of infections.

Treatment

If you have an infected ingrown pubic hair, there is an at-home remedy you can try. First, apply alcohol to the pustule or ingrown hair to disinfect the area. Next, place a very warm washcloth on top of the infected area. Continue applying the warm washcloth to the area until the ingrown hair rises to the surface. Once that happens, use tweezers to remove the hair. Immediately apply a topical antibiotic cream. Continue to apply that cream to the area for several days. If the infection does not clear up, then a visit to the doctor is necessary.

Prevention

Ingrown hairs in the pubic area are often the result of shaving. There are steps that can be taken prior to hair removal that will help prevent ingrown pubic hairs and infections. First, exfoliate the area with a light scrub and a washcloth. Then sit in a warm bath for at least 10 minutes. Apply a shaving cream that is suitable for sensitive skin. Always use a new razor and shave in the direction of the growth of the hair. Shaving against the grain can cause ingrown hairs.

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