Ingrown pubic hairs aren’t medically dangerous and don’t usually cause infections or health problems, according to MayoClinic.com, but they can be painful, not to mention unsightly. They can occur all over the body, anywhere you shave or wax. The downside to ingrown hairs in the pubic area is that clothing can rub them and increase discomfort and irritation. If your ingrown pubic hair is bothering you, you can safely remove it and speed the healing process.
Position a mirror so you can comfortably see your hair in the pubic area from a seated position. Choose a well-lit area.
Wet a wash cloth and microwave it for a few seconds to create a warm compress. Test to make sure the compress isn’t too hot before placing it on your skin, to avoid burns. Leave the wash cloth in place for 10 minutes to open up your pores.
Exfoliate the area to remove dead skin cells that may be clogging the pores and keeping the hair trapped. Use an exfoliating body wash or a loofah and scrub in a gently circular motion. Exfoliation itself is sometimes enough to get rid of an ingrown hair.
Find it by looking for the loop it creates under the skin. If you can’t locate the hair, try alternating heat and cold to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Use sterilized tweezers or a sterilized needle to pull out the hair at the loop, according to MayoClinic.com. Position the instrument just under the loop and use a quick but gentle upward motion to free the hair. Do not pull the hair out, according to Oregon State University.
Gently rewash the area if freeing the ingrown hair released any blood or pus. Follow up with an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
Things You’ll Need:
- Wash cloth
- Tweezers or needle
- Antibiotic ointment
- Ice pack (optional)
How to Prevent
When you decide to remove your ingrown pubic hair, you are putting yourself at risk of ingrown hairs and razor bumps. However, hair removal isn’t the only cause of ingrown pubic hairs. Epigee states that ingrown hairs are also caused by oil in the hair follicles, having coarse, curly or stiff hair, and dry skin. While there isn’t any way to completely prevent ingrown pubic hairs, there are ways to reduce the risk of developing them.
Protect the Pubic Area
Wear loose clothing. Tight clothing may rub against the skin and contribute to developing ingrown hairs, notes Medline Plus.
Allow the pubic area to get air by wearing natural fibers like cotton. Moisture wicking synthetics are also appropriate.
Rinse your pubic area off after working out or sweating to remove the oils and sweat that may mix with dead skin to block pores. If the pores are blocked, hair growth may be blocked or redirected and cause ingrown hairs.
Apply non-comedogenic moisturizer to the pubic area to minimize the chance of dry skin or clogged pores leading to ingrown hairs.
Exfoliate between shavings if there aren’t any ingrown hairs present. Use a towel or toothbrush to gently rub the area using circular motions.
Trim the pubic hair as short as possible using barber clippers or scissors, notes the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. This reduces the chance of hairs getting pulled by the razor and reduces inflammation associated with shaving.
Soften your pubic hair by sitting in warm water for at least five minutes before you shave. You can also apply hair conditioner to the hair if desired.
Use shaving gel. This will lubricate your skin and hair. It also provides a protective barrier between the skin and razor blade.
Shave with a special bump fighting razor, also called a PFB, or a single blade razor in the direction your pubic hair grows. Shaving against the grain of the hair increases your risk of ingrown hairs. For example, when shaving the mons pubis, or area above the genitals, you should shave from the top to bottom. As you shave, don’t pull the skin as this will make the hair come out of the follicle a little, which may lead to deep ingrown hairs.
Rinse the pubic area well after you finish shaving to remove any traces of shaving gel or hairs. Use cool water to reduce inflammation in the area.
Tips and Warnings:
Don’t shave pubic hair as soon as you wake up. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation recommends waiting 20 to 30 minutes for swelling that naturally occurs overnight to abate.
Things You’ll Need:
- Non-comedogenic moisturizer
- Barber clippers
- Shaving gel
Cures For Ingrown Pubic Hair
You are at risk for developing an ingrown hair if you shave your pubic hair or trim it very short. The pubic area is one of the most common areas for women to get these hairs, according to the Mayo Clinic. An ingrown pubic hair looks similar to a pimple. It may be painful, red and itchy. Treatment options should be started as soon as you notice it.
Soaking in a bathtub of warm water for 10 minutes a day, three times a day, can help to soften the ingrown pubic hair and help it to heal. If you can’t soak in the tub three times a day, you can apply a warm, wet compress to the area instead of soaking. When you do this, you may have to re-wet the compress if it starts to get cold.
Clothing that rubs against the ingrown pubic hair can irritate it and make the healing process take longer. Epigee.org recommends wearing loose clothes. Loose cotton undergarments and loose pants or skirts should be worn. Place a loose bandage over the ingrown hair to minimize the amount of rubbing irritation if you must wear tight clothing over the area.
Ingrown hairs may itch, but scratching them can introduce bacteria into the area and increase the time it takes to heal. You can apply 1-percent hydrocortisone cream to the ingrown hair to help minimize the itching. This cream is available over-the-counter. Follow the manufacturer’s directions, as these may vary slightly from one product to another.
If the ingrown end of the hair has been removed or if it comes out on its own, applying an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment can help to reduce the risk of infection, or folliculitis. Palo Alto Medical Foundation recommends applying the antibiotic ointment two to three times per day.
Pull the Hair Tip Out of the Skin
You can use a sterilized needle or tweezers to pull the ingrown end of hair out of the skin if you can see the ingrown hair above the skin. When you do this, be sure to only pull out the ingrown end of the hair. You don’t want to pull the hair out of the natural follicle, as doing so would increase your risk of getting an ingrown hair in the same area as the hair grows back.
Prescription treatment is sometimes needed for ingrown hairs. If you suffer from chronic ingrown hairs or have numerous ingrown hairs, you should speak to a dermatologist to determine if you need prescription treatments. Corticosteroids, antibiotics and retinoids are some of the prescription treatment options listed by the Mayo Clinic.
Laser treatments and electrolysis can be used to treat such hairs. Laser treatments can destroy the hair follicles. The ingrown hairs are removed, and if the procedure is successful, the hairs won’t be able to grow back again. Laser treatments may also help to reduce scars that are the result of ingrown hairs. Electrolysis is a cosmetic procedure that can help to reduce the risk of getting ingrown hairs. With this treatment, a small metal probe is placed into the hair follicle to introduce a mild electric charge that will destroy the hair and the follicle.