ZocdocAnswersCan ingrown hairs occur in the pubic region if it remains unshaved?

Question

Can ingrown hairs occur in the pubic region if it remains unshaved?

I was getting what I thought was a rash of ingrown hairs in my pubic area last month, so I quit shaving my pubic hair to wait for them to go away. Now my pubic hair has grown in completely, and yet the problem area is still there. Does that mean these aren't ingrown hairs after all? Should I get tested for STDs?

Answer

Red bumps, as ingrown hairs frequently appear, should be evaluated by a primary care physician (such as a family doctor) or in some cases a dermatologist. In this case, it will not be possible for me to tell you what you have in that area without looking. Certainly in won't hurt to be tested. Ingrown hairs are also known as folliculitis. They are infections of bacteria within a hair follicle that become small abscesses. It is true that shaving in the area can exacerbated them. Cutting a hair down gives the bacteria a place to grow, and small areas of trauma to the skin seed bacteria to the area. Some folliculitis can certainly last for a month, but I would expect you to see some resolution. It is true that folliculitis can happen without shaving in the area and you may be experiencing new ingrown hairs. STDs in that area are possible, though unlikely, but deserving of an evaluation. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor who can examine your pubic area and determine if what you have is a folliculitis or something else. If the bumps look like a rash that he or she cannot identify, you may need to see a dermatologist. Goo luck.

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