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What You Need To Know About Ingrown Pubic Hair

Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD

Written by China Logarta · Updated Aug 04, 2022

    What You Need To Know About Ingrown Pubic Hair

    Why do people shave? They can shave facial hair, armpit, and even pubic hair. Some people do so for hygienic purposes, while for others, it’s a personal preference. Others still do so out of habit, since people have been removing body hair using different methods for centuries. For whatever reason, shaving can result in certain conditions such as ingrown pubic hair. We will be discussing what causes ingrown hairs, how to spot them, what it can lead to, and how to avoid developing them.

    What are ingrown hairs?

    These are hairs that grow back under the skin as a result of shaving or tweezing. They can present as raised, red and itchy bumps, which sometimes show hair trapped underneath. It can also arise if you remove hair through waxing.

    The chances of getting ingrown hairs are higher if you remove hair in the following areas:

    • Face or neck
    • Legs
    • Armpits
    • Chest
    • Back
    • Pubic hair

    Ingrown pubic hair – and other types of ingrown hairs – often go away if left alone, but sometimes they might get infected.

    What causes it?

    The hair structure and the direction of growth are factors in the development of ingrown hairs. A curved hair follicle may result in a tightly curled hair, which is more likely to enter the skin when you cut or shave the hair. Shaving causes sharp edges, particularly if the hair is dry when shaved. In an effort to get as much hair, you might pull your skin taut – but that’s not a good idea. Doing so would encourage cut hair to go back inside the skin before it has a chance to grow out.

    What are the complications?

    Infection of ingrown pubic hair happens when it does grow back beneath the skin, making the body think that it’s a foreign object that needs to be attacked. In some cases, infection could lead to certain complications:

    • Bacterial infection due to scratching
    • Darkening of skin, or hyperpigmentation
    • Permanent scarring
    • Razor bumps (also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae)

    How can I safely get rid of pubic hair?

    Many people, especially teenagers, want to know how to safely remove pubic hair. Experts suggest using depilatories or agents that chemically remove hair. Hair strands are made up of keratin, or fibrous proteins which are linked by disulfide bonds and hydrogen bonds. These substances focus on breaking these bonds. Using depilatories are painless, but sometimes they may contain components that can cause allergies in the users.

    If you’re planning to remove pubic hair, find a depilatory that says it is safe to use on the pubic area.

    Waxing is also another option; done properly, you can avoid ingrown pubic hair. Though it might sting for a while, waxing pulls off the hair root, resulting in a longer wait for the hair to grow back.

    What should I do to avoid ingrown hair?

    The easiest way to prevent them is by not shaving. However, if that is your preferred hair removal method, there are ways to avoid ingrown hairs.

    • Wet skin with warm water
    • Use a shaving gel
    • Shave in the direction of hairs
    • Use fewer strokes of the razor
    • Rinse razor after each stroke
    • Cool skin with cold wet cloth to lessen irritation
    • Use exfoliating scrub to get rid of trapped hairs
    • Consider other hair removal techniques (hair removal cream, laser treatment)

    Also avoid the following:

    • Shaving too close: Leaving some stubble can prevent bacteria from entering.
    • Using a blunt blade: With every shave, use new single-blades.
    • Scratching, picking or squeezing ingrown hairs: Though tempting, it might damage skin and result in infection.

    Key Takeaway

    Shaving hair is a part of everyday life. When removing hair on your private parts, you should be careful to avoid ingrown pubic hair. Although these sometimes resolve on their own, there are ways you can minimize their occurrence. Trying depilatories is one way, but you can also use shaving creams, shaving in the direction of hair growth, and not pulling the skin taut.

    More about Skincare and Cleansing here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Written by China Logarta · Updated Aug 04, 2022

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