Anyone who shaves the pubic area is at risk for developing ingrown pubic hairs. The pubic area is one of the most common areas for women to get ingrown hairs, states Health Guidances.com. The hairs are caused when a hair that has been shaved, plucked or waxed grows into the wall of the hair follicle or when it curves around and grows back into the skin. When either of these occurs, the immune system reacts to the hair as it does to any foreign body. This causes inflammation.
An ingrown pubic hair may cause itching and some pain. Usually, a bump that resembles a pimple or boil will form over the ingrown hair. This is the result of the irritation the hair causes when it grows through the hair follicle wall or into the skin. In some cases, the area around the ingrown pubic hair will look darker than the rest of the pubic area skin. This is known as hyperpigmentation. It may fade with time, but in some cases, it is permanent.
Home treatment of ingrown pubic hair is usually possible. Epigee recommends wearing loose clothing over the area to avoid irritating the ingrown hairs. It may help to soak in a tub of warm water or apply hot compresses to the area for at least 15 minutes at a time up to three times daily. Topical antibiotics or anti-itch creams that are available without a prescription may help the ingrown hair. If, however, none of these treatments work, prescription treatments, such as corticosteroids, antibiotics and retinoids may be necessary.
Shaving from the pubic bone at a downward angle toward the inner thighs, which is the direction the hair grows, can help to prevent ingrown pubic hairs. A new razor, preferably with one blade, should be used to shave the area. Used razors may contain bacteria that can cause ingrown hairs. Soaking in the tub for at least five minutes before shaving and using a shaving gel can also help to prevent ingrown hair.
While ingrown hairs are common along the bikini area, which includes that inner thighs, and on the mons pubis, which is the soft mound of skin just below the pubic bone, ingrown hairs aren’t common on the labia or lips. If any lesions similar to ingrown hairs are noticed anywhere other than the bikini area or mons pubis, the lesions should be evaluated by a doctor to ensure that there isn’t any type of genital infection or other problem.
Ingrown pubic hairs may become infected. This is usually the result of a fungus or a staph infection, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. If this happens, the ingrown hair area may be extremely red and painful. In some cases, the infection can be treated with an over-the-counter triple antibiotic ointment or bacitracin ointment. Severe infections must be treated with prescription products.