There are not many ways to get rid of an ingrown hair on the penis, or on any other area of the body. Most ingrown hairs will eventually work their way out on their own, but some may need to be removed. You can do this using a waxing kit or needle-nosed tweezers. In some very severe cases the hair may become infected and you may need to see a doctor for further treatment or instructions.
An ingrown hair is a hair which grows sideways instead of straight up and down. This causes it to become trapped beneath the skin. Many times this can lead to inflammation and severe pain, as well as an unsightly bump where the hair is embedded within the skin. Those with curly or coarse hair are most at risk for ingrown hairs. Since most pubic hairs are coarse in nature, this area is also very prone to ingrown hairs.
To get rid of an ingrown hair on the penis, you should first make sure the area is clean and dry. Wash with soap and water and then pat with a clean, dry, towel. Use a waxing kit to remove the hair by the root. You can find waxing kits at many department stores and beauty supply stores. If the hair is very deeply embedded, you may need to use something aside from wax to remove it.
If you opt not to wax the hair, use tweezers to pluck the hair out individually. Make sure you can find the hair follicle where it originates and pull the hair gently. Before using the tweezers, make sure you clean them thoroughly with rubbing alcohol. Do not attempt to shave an ingrown hair since this can spread bacteria and it may make inflammation worse.
After you have removed an ingrown hair on the penis, you should wash the area again with a disinfectant soap or solution. Antiseptic is sold in most pharmacies and it kills any bacteria which may be lingering around the afflicted spot. This will help prevent an infection in the hair follicle from developing.
To prevent a recurrent ingrown hair on the penis, you should exfoliate the area to remove dead skin. Sometimes shaving can make this condition worse, so if you do not want hair on or around the penis, wax them away or use a chemical hair remover designed for the genital region.
What To Avoid
Try to avoid scratching all areas of irritation, as ingrown hairs can cause itchy bumps to crop up. However, scratching the area could spread infection and worsen the irritation.
Try these also:
- Refrain from wearing clothes or underwear that is too restrictive or rubs the irritated area.
- Keep the site dry after bathing, swimming, or sweating.
- Refrain from squeezing or popping the bumps.
- Generally, ingrown hair will go away on its own without becoming infected.
Ingrown Hair Complications
Usually, ingrown hair will clear up without needing treatment and doesn't cause further complications.
On the other hand, popping or scratching an ingrown hair can allow bacteria to breach the skin, leading to infection.
This is called folliculitis, or when a bacterial infection develops inside the hair follicle.
The following is a list of risk factors for folliculitis:
- Regularly rubbing and touching your skin
- Wearing restrictive or tight-fitting clothes
- Shaving too closely to your hair follicles
- Shaving too much
- Shaving against the grain
An infected ingrown hair may become:
If treatment is neglected for an infected ingrown hair, it can fester and become a painful lump filled with fluid referred to as a boil or a furuncle. Scars often accompany infected ingrown hairs, patches, and hyperpigmentation, skin discoloration.
In case of milder folliculitis, a doctor may recommend a cleanser or a short course of oral antibiotics. If the infection happens to be worse, such as when a furuncle has developed, the drainage through an incision may be mandatory along with the antibiotics.
How To Prevent Ingrown Hairs on the Penis
Prevent ingrown hairs from forming on the penile shaft by:
- Using sharp and clean razors to shave
- Waxing and shaving less often
- Not shaving too close to the skin
- Putting on cream or gel before you shave to keep your skin moisturized
- Refrain from wearing restrictive or tight pants or underwear
- Instead of shaving, trim your hair
If you're bothered by the appearance of ingrown hair, consider getting a laser hair removal treatment. This process will destroy the hair follicle from the base, making it the most effective way that you can prevent ingrown hairs.
There are also over-the-counter products and straightforward methods that people can use to help prevent and soothe the area where you have ingrown hair:
Glycolic acid lotion: This lotion can prevent ingrown hairs from developing and exfoliate the skin. If you already have one present, it may not be as helpful.
Hydrocortisone cream: Hydrocortisone helps to ease the itching and inflammation associated with ingrown hair.
Benzoyl peroxide: Taking a shower or bath with benzoyl can help heal the ingrown hair and help to prevent an infection. Leave it on your skin for up to 20 seconds, and wash it off with warm water. You should t exceed this time because it can cause the skin in the groin area to become irritated.
Tea tree oil: You should mix a few drops of this oil with water and apply it to a cotton ball. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that are excellent for ingrown hairs. Use the cotton ball to saturate your penile shaft near the hair. Also, be careful that it doesn't irritate your skin because the oil is potent.
Use a Needle
Follow these steps to use a sterilized needle inserted beneath the hair loop to pull it from the skin gently:
- Sterilize the needle by boiling it in hot water, rubbing the tip with medical-grade alcohol, or by using a lighter to heat the tip.
- Wash your hands and clean the shaft of your penis.
- Use a warm compress to make the ingrown hair softer and the surrounding area. (This may make it easier to remove the hair)
- Attempt to slide the needle beneath the hair and gently pull until it lifts out of the skin. Don't put any substances on top of the area that can block or irritate the healing process.
- Once you pull the hair to its entire length, keep the area clean and dry for several days to prevent infecting the broken skin.