Treatments for Ingrown Hair on the Labia
An ingrown hair is an unsightly and sometimes painful bump occurring after hair removal. These bumps can affect any part of the body where hair has been removed due to shaving, waxing or plucking. Women who wax or shave the pubic area are at risk of developing ingrown hairs on the labia. A painful bump on such a sensitive area of the body can be uncomfortable, but an ingrown hair is a minor skin problem and usually does not require any medical treatment.
Identify the Ingrown Hair
Ingrown hairs often resemble small pimples. They consist of a red bump with a white head and often the trapped hair can be seen in the head of the bump upon close inspection. These bumps occur when hair begins to grow back after hair removal. The hair curls back toward the skin and pierces the skin, growing into the epidermis and causing irritation. Curly hair is more likely to become ingrown than straight hair. This is why the pubic area is often affected by ingrown hairs after hair removal. Pubic hair tends to grow in tight curls and is more apt to become ingrown and cause irritation.
The only way to heal an ingrown hair is to allow the hair to grow out naturally. To speed up the healing process, use a sterile needle or pin to gently release the trapped hair. While waiting for the bump to disappear, hair removal should be avoided as it can make the irritation worse or cause more ingrown hairs. During the healing process, there are ways to ease the discomfort of the ingrown hair. Warm compresses can be applied to the affected area several times a day. Those suffering from multiple or very painful ingrown hairs should take sitz baths frequently. A sitz bath consists of sitting in a shallow tub of water to soak the pelvic region. The water should be warm but not uncomfortably hot, and one should soak for roughly 15 minutes each time. The warm water will help to soothe the affected area, which may be further irritated throughout the day by one’s clothing rubbing against the ingrown hairs.
Ingrown hairs that have not healed after two weeks, or seem to become worse over time, should be examined by a doctor. There is a small risk of developing a staph infection or a fungal infection in an ingrown hair. These conditions will need to be treated by a medical professional.