Ingrown hairs are painful and itchy bumps, especially when they appear in your pubic region. But what exactly are they?
An ingrown hair in the vaginal area occurs when the tip of a pubic hair folds back into the skin at the root. Instead of growing up to the surface, the hair grows back into the skin due to shaving, waxing, or plucking.
When an ingrown hair develops, you may notice painful pink bumps. You may also experience pain or itching around the area. Despite their unattractive appearance, they are harmless and usually go away without treatment.
Hair structure and direction of growth are factors in developing ingrown hair bumps. Although anyone can develop ingrown hair in the vaginal area, they are more common in people with curly hair. This is because curly hair is more likely to curl around and grow back into your skin.
You might get an ingrown hair if you:
- Shave your hair: by shaving your hair, you’re creating sharp edges that can re-enter the skin and start to grow back.
- Tweeze your hair: by tweezing your pubic hair, you’re leaving a hair fragment under the skin surface.
- Wax your hair: each hair follicle has a bulb that it grows from, and that bulb has a tube. Inside the tube, there is a lining that guides the hair up to the surface. When we wax our hair, we pull the hair rapidly and by this, we disrupt the lining.
In most instances, ingrown pubic hair goes away on its own. The infected ingrown hair pubic area usually clears up on its own, without any treatment.
If the bump becomes too itchy or painful, there are many ingrown hair treatments that can help you heal.
Is the ingrown hair bump causing you severe irritation and pain? If so, you should stop waxing, shaving, and tweezing the hair in the vaginal area. Remember, these are the major causes for infected ingrown pubic hair. If you stop removing your pubic hair, you’ll also lower your chances of developing a skin infection.
Health experts recommend this vitamin-A-derived product as a cure for all skin problems. It can speed up the clearing of skin cells and help clear up dark skin patches.
To buy retinoids, you'll need a prescription from your doctor. The product is not recommended if you’re pregnant as it can be dangerous to the baby.
To lower the risk of infection, there is a wide range of creams that can help you soothe the itching area. Your doctor may prescribe one of the following creams:
- anti-itch cream
- witch hazel
- aloe vera
- benzoyl peroxide
Every day, gently rub around the ingrown hair bumps in a circular motion. Use a wet washcloth or an exfoliating glove to help the stubborn ingrown hair to return to the surface. This can remove any dead skin cells, dirt, and oils that might be trapping the ingrown hair under the surface.
You can try to pull out the ingrown hair in the vaginal area out of the skin using a sterile needle and tweezers. Use the needle to expose the tip of the hair and the tweezers to pull the end of the hair out of the skin.
Make sure that the tip is out of the skin without plucking the ingrown hair. Don’t dig into your skin as this might cause an infection.
Another great ingrown hair bump treatment is applying warm compresses on the area. Simply take a clean washcloth, run it under hot water, and press it against the ingrown hair for 3-4 minutes.
Once the washcloth cools down, run it under hot water again. The warm compresses will soften the area around the ingrown hair and will make it easier for you to pluck it out.
In many cases, an ingrown hair disappears on its own. If it doesn't go away, it can become infected.
The signs of an infection include a darkening of the skin and painful bumps filled with pus. The chances of an infection increase with scratching and picking the sensitive area.
If you notice that your ingrown hair is infected, you should visit your doctor. They might prescribe an antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics.
There are several ingrown hair home treatment options you can try. Many people scrub certain ingredients into the skin to reduce dead skin cells. These ingredients might include:
- Sugar: a natural exfoliator that can moisturize the skin and kill bacteria. Mix a half-cup of white or brown sugar with olive oil to make a paste and apply it in circular motion. Let it sit for 10 minutes and wash away with warm water.
- Coffee: it can help you remove the top layer of your skin without damaging the skin underneath.
- Salt: a wonderful choice when you want to remove the rough, dry patches of dead skin.
- Baking soda: use it to exfoliate and decrease inflammation in the skin. Mix in a teaspoon of baking soda with water, apply it on the irritated area, and rinse with cold water.
To prevent ingrown hair bumps, try these tips every time you shave:
Wash and rinse the pubic area with warm water before shaving. You can even shave while you’re in the shower. If you shave your pubic hair while the skin it’s dry, you can increase your chances of developing ingrown hairs. You simply need to:
- Rinse with warm water 2-3 minutes before shaving.
- Apply your shaving cream.
- Wait for 2-3 minutes.
- Begin shaving.
Using a single-blade razor can reduce your chances of developing ingrown pubic hair. When you use a multi-blade razor, the blades pass over your skin several times and can cut the hair beneath the skin.
The single-bladed razor moves across the skin at a gentler angle and cuts cleanly thought the hairs. This reduces the chances of ingrown hair and can lead to less irritation overall.
One option is laser hair removal. The treatment can be expensive and sometimes painful, but it’s a long-term solution to ingrown hair in the vaginal area. Make sure you choose a doctor or technician who is well-trained and experienced.
Another option are prescription creams that can reduce hair growth. These creams can be especially helpful if you apply them after a laser hair removal.
Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal solution. It’s done by a professional who places a tiny needle with an electric current in the hair follicle. You will need several electrolysis treatment sessions. Each treatment can last for 15 minutes or up to an hour.
Moreover, you can also use drugs that inhibit hair growth. One such drug is spironolactone, a pill that can slow or reduce your hair growth. Additional drugs include finasteride, flutamide, and cyproterone acetate.
If your ingrown hair bumps seem infected, you should see your doctor.
- bumps full of pus
- extremely painful bumps
Your doctor will provide an accurate diagnosis and prescribe a suitable treatment for the infection.