What is an ingrown hair on your penile skin?
Ingrown hairs are small growths (usually less than .5 cm) that grow from the skin surface into the underlying soft tissue. They may or may not cause pain, but they can lead to infection if left untreated. An ingrown hair usually appears as a raised bump with no obvious external signs of its presence. These bumps have been known to develop into full blown infections when left unaddressed.
The ingrown hair can be caused by many things, such as:
a cut or scrape on the skin surface causing irritation;
an injury to the skin;
a foreign object on the skin surface.
How to tell if you have an ingrown hair on your penile skin?
If you have a large ingrown hair, it will likely be painful and inflamed. If the ingrown hair is located in one area of the body, it may become infected very quickly due to the lack of circulation and blood flow around it. An ingrown hair on the penile skin may appear as a small lump, which may or may not be painful.
The first signs of an ingrown hair is that the area around it may start to become inflamed and red. This can sometimes be accompanied by a small amount of pus coming from the affected area. If the ingrown hair is ignored, it can lead to localized infection, such as cellulitis or folliculitis.
One of the reasons we wrote this post is because sometimes these conditions can be addressed at home. However, if you are experiencing any severe pain or have any redness and erythema around the area then see a medical professional immediately. This is especially true if you are taking an antibiotic or steroid course of treatment.
What causes ingrown hairs on your penile skin?
Men are often most concerned about the quality and quantity of their facial hair. The amount of hair on your face is determined by genetics, hormones, and age. Androgenic hormones, which are dihydrotestosterone and testosterone, control the growth and maintenance of your hair. If there is an increase in androgen levels, then there is a greater chance of developing an ingrown hair.
Realistically, anything that causes the skin to become extra red or tender can lead to the development of an ingrown hair. This includes things such as:
Excoriating from scratching, waxing, or tweezing.
Shaving, using a blade or an electric shaver.
Genetics, if your father had ingrown hairs, you will likely too.
Seborrheic dermatitis, a condition in which the skin produces more sebum than usual.
Friction; such as from tight clothing or bike seats.
Using a washcloth to clean the genital area.
Sources & references used in this article:
Dudes’ pubes: The virtues of completely hairless tackle by T De Zengotita – 2006 – Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Tom Eliot meets the hulk at Little Big Horn: the political economy of poetry by H Corinna – 2007 – Da Capo Press, Incorporated
‘My vagina makes funny noises’: analyzing online forums to assess the real sexual health concerns of young people by D Francis – 1980 – Pan Macmillan
What’s Up Down There?: Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She was Your Best Friend by S Biddulph – 2014 – Ten Speed Press