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What Is ingrown pubic hair?

An ingrown hair does not emerge from the follicle but remains embedded in the skin. It can also be a hair that emerges slightly and then repunctures the skin. An ingrown pubic hair is frequently unsightly and can become inflamed, painful, swollen and infected.

Causes

Ingrown pubic hairs can occur on their own or can be a result of shaving or other hair removal methods. To minimize the risk of this occurring, take a warm bath before shaving and shave only in the natural direction of hair growth.

Treatment

Treat an ingrown pubic hair with a warm compress, such as a warm, moderately wet washcloth, for 15 minutes, three times a day. If the hair protrudes from the skin, you can carefully remove it with tweezers that have been washed in alcohol. Cleanse the site with soap after hair removal.

Complications

An ingrown pubic hair can become infected, a condition known as folliculitis. See a doctor for the infection, but if you wish to treat it at home, apply an antibiotic ointment three times a day.

Prevention

To help prevent ingrown grown hairs, do not attempt hair removal. Alternatively, use a depilatory cream instead of shaving or waxing. Wear loose undergarments and do not apply lotions or other creams to your pubic area.

When to contact your doctor

Contact your doctor if the area remains painful for more than one week or becomes progressively more painful, red or swollen. Contact your doctor if you are uncertain if the problem is an ingrown pubic hair, because it could indicate a serious condition. If you have recurrent ingrown pubic hairs, your doctor may advise how to diminish their occurrence.

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About the Author

J. Lucy Boyd, RN, BSN has written several nonfiction books including "The Complete Guide to Healthy Cooking and Nutrition for College Students." She is frequently called upon to provide career guidance to medical professionals and advice to parents of children with challenges. She also loves teaching others to cook for their families.