Having ingrown hair on penile shaft or base is probably an experience every man will shy away from discussing. Well, shyness aside! Read on to find out the possible causes, symptoms, pictures, and most importantly, how to remove this nasty hair.
The penile shaft is probably the last place you would be looking to take care of and prevent ingrown hairs.
To some men, it is shocking to learn that this condition could affect the shaft and even complicate further into a cyst.
Some may take it as a Sexually Transmitted Disease if they have not encountered ingrown hairs.
However, it is possible that an ingrown hair on the penile shaft if not taken care of, may be infected and in this area, you would be guessing STDs. Well, you are right.
An ingrown hair on the penile shaft occurs as a result of the hair follicle curving back or growing sideways into the skin of the host. It results in inflammation presenting as bumps or pimple-like pustules on the skin of the penile shaft.
So, what then causes ingrown penile hair?
Following are some of the common causes.
Waxing the pubic area
Waxing the pubic area might cause side effects of ingrown hair as it is a rather rapid removal of hair shafts from their roots. This disrupts the path of growth of hair along the penile shaft.
Waxing may also cause obstruction of the hair pores when the hairs are plucked making hair get trapped underneath the skin.
Individuals with curled hair such as African Americans tend to have the highest rate of problems when it comes to ingrown hairs. This is a predisposing factor to having thick hair in the pubic region apart from having it in other parts of the body.
Other predispositions include excessive sex hormones and pseudofolliculitis (WebMD).
Poor shaving technique of pubic hair
This may involve shaving your pubic hair with blunt razors or shaving too close to the skin, so close that you might even cause injury to the skin in the area.
The abrasions caused by razors again prepare points of entry of hair and when these areas heal, the hair finds itself tucked in the scar.
Shaving without properly preparing your skin
You should learn to prepare your kin for shaving by exfoliating and removing the debris.
Preparing for shaving also involves sterilizing the tools you will use so that you do not infect the skin and cause ingrown hair boils. Shaving against the grains is also a poor technique of shaving pubic hair.
Failure to exfoliate after shaving pubic hair
After shaving, some hair follicles are left on the skin. It takes personal effort to get aftershave and dilapidating creams to remove the residues.
It not only takes an ingrown hair bump a growing hair for it to form a lump but also a residue of hair follicle.
When you shave your pubic hair in their concentration above the penile shaft, the hair is most likely to fall on the shaft. These cut hair should be cleared.
When they are blocked, ingrown hairs form due to obstruction in the skin forcing them to curl back. This also occurs when you do not exfoliate your skin regularly. This may also be due to excessive oil in the skin pores caused by a condition such as hypothyroidism.
Failure to moisturize your skin
Dry skin has a lot of dead cells that mount up to embed short hair making them curl inwards.
Keratosis pilaris/lichen pilaris/follicular pilaris
In this condition your skin produces rough red bumps that form due to excessive dead skin. Most of this dead skin is due to production of keratin in excess that surrounds and entraps hair follicles in the pore. They may also cap hair follicle preventing their exit from the skin.
Signs and symptoms of ingrown hairs on the shaft and base include:
- Itch – the ingrowing hair in the skin of the penile shaft may result in itchiness. This symptom is also felt when the skin is trying to heal due to keratinization. During inflammation, the mobilization of inflammatory mediators results in the itch you get on the area.
- Irritation – the poke of hair on your dermis causes a lot of irritation and discomfort on the shaft.
- Bumps of inflammation – the bumps that form on the shaft are small and red similar to razor bumps you get from shaving your beard. Occurs after shaving balls or epilating hair.
- Dark spotted red bumps – at times the red bump may have a dark spot in the middle. This is a sign that you are seeing the ingrown hair. This is typical of an ingrown hair on the male reproductive organ.
- When infected, the ingrown hair forms a boil or cyst. The boil is an abscess around the hair follicle containing pus and therefore making it yellowish or whitish depending on the extent of infection. It may appear green in some people when the infection is at its brim.
- Ingrown hair scar – upon healing, you get a scar as a result of the broken skin.
- Pain and tenderness
How to get rid of Penile Ingrown Hair
If you have a few ingrown hairs, then consider removing them with DIY procedures at home.
Proper care and removal of the embedded hairs would be a good and easy solution if you have no recurring bumps. Here’s how to remove ingrown hair on the base and shaft.
- To rid the inflammation, get a 1% hydrocortisone and apply. Apply days before the procedure.
- While you prepare your tools, heat up some water with a washcloth in it. Remove it once hot then place it on the affected areas. Compress for a few seconds while letting it breathe. Do this three times.
- The warm compress should let you see the follicle if it was invisible under the skin.
- Wash the area or apply some disinfectant to its surroundings to clear bacteria and other pathogens.
- Prep your tweezers by sterilizing it. Do the same to the pin or needle.
- Prick open the already drained bump. Lance it if there is fluid. Use the tweezers to pull the hair follicle up from the skin.
- Make sure you do not uproot the hair follicle.
- Do the after-treatment by including antibacterial ointment and some disinfectant in your aftercare cart.
Treatment and Home Remedies
To treat the ingrown hair particularly to alleviate the pain and treat the infection, this is what should be taken or done.
- Hydrocortisone cream 1% – this is to reduce the inflammation and improve wound healing. Apply twice a day and as recommended as withdrawal from the medication should be a gradual process with reducing the doses in a tapering fashion. Consult your pharmacist.
- Retinoids – it can be administered to remove dead skin cells and reduce hyperpigmentation that occur with ingrown hairs. It also promotes replacement of dead skin cells.
- You will get antibiotics prescribed for you if you have an infection. Do not take antibiotics without a diagnosis and if so, make sure that you complete your full course. They will only be prescribed when the skin on the is in severe infection with pustules.
- Use salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells.
Infection-Ingrown Hair Follicles and cysts
Ingrown hairs can lead to cysts and other infections. Having an abscess with pus in the genital area is dangerous. It can lead to urinary tract infections by fungi and bacteria. This may lead to swelling of glands in the genitals.
This is how cysts can come about:
- Scratching, squeezing and picking at ingrown hairs can lead to cysts.
- Keratinization as a process of wound healing result in the formation of cyst walls
- When infected, the cysts will turn into pus-filled sores.
- If the infection becomes severe, the cysts will enlarge and can turn into genital boils.
How to remove ingrown hair on penile shaft scars
Scars can be removed by applying anti-oxidants. They are known to increase the rate of wound healing and at the same time, recovery of the skin around the scar. Vitamin E oil and lemon juice or lavender oil can be beneficial in such circumstances.
General Tips and Ideas to prevent
The best prevention tip would be not to shave but let the hair grow. If necessary, then do not shave frequently. Here are tips however to prevent this condition:
- Always shave in the direction of hair growth.
- Exfoliate the pubic region – removing dead cells is important in preventing ingrown hairs from taking root in the penile base, and the surrounding parts. It prevents blockage of the pores with dead cells.
- Make sure that you use a single-bladed razor and clean it after every stroke.
- Avoid shaving too close to the skin. You do not have to shave all of it.
- Use a shaving gel every time you shave. Also, apply a good moisturizer on your skin
- Wet your skin before shaving the penile base and shaft.
- Avoid wearing tight undergarments. Wear something that allows proper air circulation and exerts minimal pressure on hair follicles
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