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How Do I Get Rid of an Ingrown Hair on the Penis?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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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:

  • Tender
  • Itchy 
  • Painful
  • Pus filled
  • Swollen, red, or warm when touched 
  • Large like a cyst

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.

Additional Methods

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:

  1. 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. 
  2. Wash your hands and clean the shaft of your penis.
  3. Use a warm compress to make the ingrown hair softer and the surrounding area. (This may make it easier to remove the hair)
  4. 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.
  5. Once you pull the hair to its entire length, keep the area clean and dry for several days to prevent infecting the broken skin.
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Discussion Comments

By SeanH — On Apr 25, 2017

Once you get rid of the ingrown hair, definitely use an antibacterial penis health creme like Man1 Man Oil or you run the risk of getting an infection. Trust me.. this happened to me once and it is no picnic. But ever since I started using this creme, the recovery process is fast and easy. It is a great product. Hope this helps!

By anon924404 — On Jan 03, 2014

@anon319110: I have the same issue at the moment. Nice to have confirmation of what I thought it was. Glad you're feeling better.

By uthattee78 — On Dec 23, 2013

I suffered from this too. I had hair growing on my penis and it took me a while to get rid of it. Now my penis is completely smooth and I'm satisfied with the way it looks. I built a little website with some solid information about this disturbing problem in order to help people with the same issue.

By anon321539 — On Feb 23, 2013

This is my favorite thing on the Internet, kind anon319110 - glad you're feeling better!

By anon319110 — On Feb 11, 2013

I got a terrible ingrown hair on the left underside my penile shaft through shaving a few years ago. I will never shave my penis again after discovering that it caused the problem.

At first I didn't realize it was an ingrown hair. I tried squeezing the little lump and a tiny amount of firm pus came out. The lump remained but went down for a time. I could still feel it under the skin, but I had done the best I could. The lump grew a little and went slightly red. About a year later, I figured out it was an ingrown hair. I sterilized a pin and tried digging into it in an effort to cure the problem. I squeezed and hoped I could squeeze whatever was in the bump out, but it was a large bump and the pin hole I had created was small. I squeezed like hell but to no avail.

After all the swelling went down, the lump shrunk and was less noticeable again, but I could still feel it under the skin. I read up online about the problem and didn't know what else to do, so I pretty much gave up. Then just lately it started to feel quite prominent under the skin, swelling a bit. This morning, I took a look and there was a little hole which was oozing a little clear liquid. I squeezed it a little and nothing much happened; it wasn't very weepy. I took a bath and had a think. I was determined to fix the problem after all these years of grief.

I recently got new kitchen knives, some super sharp ones. I guessed that I could bear the pain and cut a little hole over the lump and try and squeeze the contents out if possible, and that was exactly what I did. I sterilized the knife and stuck the tip of the knife in the little hole which had oozed stuff, pulled it back towards me and felt it slicing. It wasn't too painful and I managed to open a hole a few millimetres across, then I squeezed! Some black stuff came out which I thought was just blood at first, but in the blood was something deep black and thick; it was multiple strands of hair, about five of them stuck together soaked in blood. I pulled them out and there was no resistance. They were a couple of centimetres long and growing almost as one. Oh, the relief! I squeezed and squeezed and that was all there was in there, and the lump halved in size straight away. I applied antiseptic cream and I think that after the swelling has gone down, the little that's left of the lump will disperse and my problem will be resigned to history. I came here just to tell my story. Hope it helps somebody!

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