Ingrown Pubic Hair
A pubic hair may, sometimes, get coiled as it grows, to enter back into the skin. The coiled hair gradually gets covered by cells, leading to the formation of a hard pimple like lesion or bump. This is termed as an ingrown hair, as the name suggests, the hair that has grown inwards, back into the skin.
It’s commoner in girls who shave off hair from this area. The newer hair are stiffer than the first time ones. These may coil up as they grow and turn inwards to enter back into the skin. A small bump is thus produced, which may harden up with time.
Chances of coiling back increase when you wear tight bottoms.
How Does It Look?
- A firm to hard rounded lump
- Looks darker in color than the surrounding skin.
- A small hair may sometimes be seen inside it.
- If infected, the lump may be painful and red in color. It may ooze out pus or blood.
Infected Ingrown Hair
This hard lump may remain as such or complicate with time. The commonest complication is infection, as this region is exposed to many germs. There are millions of bugs living over the skin here.
When we scratch the skin over the lesion, some of these bugs may find their way inside the lump to infect it.
Gradually, the lump gets filled with pus and infected material, and may then be called an infected ingrown pubic hair boil.
Other ways, besides scratching is excessive stretching of skin there, poor hygiene, lump getting pulled by some movement etc.
Cancers in this area are very rare. However, each lesion needs to be observed.
How Long Does a Ingrown Hair Last?
Most ingrown hair need no treatment. They may be left as such. They regress on their own in 15 to 20 days.
However, if you see them becoming painful or growing in size, medical intervention may be needed.
Care for the Hard Pimple
- Never squeeze or scratch the lesion. This way you may infect it with your hands. Let it stay as such. Most ingrown hair regress on their own with time.
- Keep the area dry and clean. Wear breathable cotton undergarments to avoid friction over it.
- Gentle ex foliation or warm compress methods may be tried over it to help it go early.
Steps That Help
You may ex foliate your skin gently while bathing. This would remove excess cells over the hard lump and gradually reduce it in size. At a point, you may even see the hair hidden inside, that can be taken out.
Any over the counter skin exfoliant may be used. Most of them contain salicylic acid. If you’ve seen a doctor for this problem, he may prescribe a retinoic acid containing exfoliant.
These chemicals help in regressing the bump by removing excess dead cells over it. The coiled hair gets exposed, which may be conveniently removed.
Warm compress is another way of getting rid of the ingrown hair fast. It is safe and requires no instrumentation.
Soak a wash cloth in warm water and put it over the ingrown hair for 1 to 2 minutes. This would soften the hardened skin over it . Repeat this again.
Do this exercise 3 to 4 times a day. Gradual softening of the skin there may help in expelling out the hidden hair. Take care to be gentle. Do not pull out the hair forcibly. This may create chances of infecting it.
Treating An Infected Ingrown Hair
If you note any blood/pus draining from it or if your lesion is painful, it’s likely to be infected. You need to start applying a topical antibiotic cream over it immediately.
Keep the area dry and clean. Wear breathable cotton undergarments to avoid friction over it.
If there’s visible pus inside, it needs to be drained.
Warm compress would be helpful in draining out infected material from inside it. Try it twice a day. You may note the pimple getting softer. This may slowly help in expelling out pus from inside it.
However, in some cases, drainage at home is difficult and painful. It’s advisable to see a doctor and get the lesion drained at his clinic.