Ingrown hair on penis shaft
Ingrown Hair on Penis Shaft: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

An ingrown hair on the penis shaft is a condition where hair grows back into the skin or into the hair follicle itself instead of growing out of the skin. This can result in a small red spot or a pimple filled with pus on the skin of the penis, which can be itchy, painful, or even become infected. This condition is also referred to as razor bumps, folliculitis, or pseudofolliculitis.

While ingrown hairs on the shaft of the penis are not a major health concern, they can be bothersome and uncomfortable. They can also impact one’s self-esteem and confidence in sexual situations. In some cases, ingrown hairs on the penis shaft can lead to complications, such as scarring, hyperpigmentation, abscesses, or cellulitis.

How does an ingrown hair on a penis shaft look like?

An ingrown hair on the penis shaft can look like a small red bump or a white-headed pimple on the penile skin. The bump may have a dark spot in the center, which is the tip of the ingrown hair. The bump may also be filled with clear, yellow, or green pus, which indicates an infection. The pus may leak out of the bump or form a crust on the surface.

An ingrown hair on the penis shaft can appear anywhere on the penile skin, but it is more common on the base or the shaft of the penis, where the hair is thicker and coarser. It is less likely to occur on the head or the foreskin of the penis, where the hair is finer and softer.

ingrown hair on penile shaft

What are the causes of ingrown hair on the penis shaft?

Several factors can cause ingrown hair on the penis shaft, such as:

Shaving or waxing

Shaving or waxing the penile hair can cause ingrown hair on the penis shaft, especially if the hair is cut too short or too close to the skin. This can make the hair curl back into the skin or the hair follicle, causing irritation and inflammation. Shaving or waxing can also damage the skin or the hair follicle, making it easier for bacteria to enter and cause infection1.

Curly or coarse hair

People with curly or coarse hair are more prone to ingrown hair on the penis shaft because their hair tends to grow in different directions and angles. This can make the hair more likely to bend and penetrate the skin or the hair follicle, causing ingrown hair. Curly or coarse hair can also be harder to remove with shaving or waxing, leaving behind stubble that can grow back into the skin.

Tight clothing or friction

Tight clothing or underwear can lead to ingrown hairs on the shaft of the penis. This happens because the constant rubbing and pressure against the skin can cause irritation and friction. This can force the hair to grow under the skin or push it back into the hair follicle, resulting in ingrown hair. Moreover, tight clothing or underwear can hinder airflow and prevent moisture from evaporating. This creates a warm and moist environment that can encourage bacterial growth and potentially lead to infection.

Clogged pores or follicles

Clogged pores or follicles can cause ingrown hair on the penis shaft because they can prevent the hair from growing out of the skin normally. Clogged pores or follicles can be caused by excess oil, dirt, dead skin cells, sweat, or cosmetic products, such as creams, lotions, or gels. These substances can accumulate on the penile skin or in the hair follicles, forming a plug that can trap the hair under the skin or inside the follicle.

What are the symptoms of ingrown hair on the penis shaft?

The symptoms of ingrown hair on penis shaft can vary depending on the severity and the location of the condition, but they can include:

Red bumps or pustules

The most noticeable sign of ingrown hair on the shaft of the penis is the presence of red spots or marks on the skin. These can vary in size, from as small as a pinhead to as large as a pea. These spots or pimples can appear alone or in groups, and they can be spread out or clustered together on the skin of the penis. These spots or marks can feel hard or soft to the touch, and their surface can be smooth or rough.

Itching or irritation

A common sign of an ingrown hair on the shaft of the penis is itchy or irritated skin. This discomfort can range from mild to severe. It may be a constant annoyance or come and go and can get worse when the area is touched, rubbed, or scratched. Sometimes, this itchiness or irritation can also feel like a burning or stinging sensation.

Pain or tenderness

Some may experience pain or tenderness of the penile skin, especially if the ingrown hair on the penis shaft is infected or inflamed. The pain or tenderness can be dull or sharp, and it can be localized or radiating. The pain or tenderness can also be aggravated by movement, pressure, or sexual activity.

Inflammation or infection

Sometimes, an ingrown hair can occur on the shaft of the penis. This can lead to inflammation or infection of the skin on the penis or the hair follicle itself. If not addressed, these conditions can escalate and result in more severe symptoms.

  • Swelling or redness of the penile skin or the surrounding area
  • Pus or blood oozing out of the bumps or pustules
  • Crusting or scabbing of the bumps or pustules
  • Fever or chills
  • Lymph node enlargement or tenderness
  • Abscess or cellulitis formation

How to treat ingrown hair on the penis shaft?

The treatment of ingrown hair on the penis shaft depends on the severity and the cause of the condition, but it can include:

Home remedies

Most ingrown hairs on the penis shaft can be treated at home with simple and natural remedies, such as:

  • Applying a warm compress to the affected area can help soften the skin and the hair and draw the ingrown hair to the surface.
  • Gently lift the ingrown hair out of the skin or the follicle with a sterile needle or tweezers and then trim or remove the hair.
  • Applying an antiseptic or antibacterial cream or lotion to the affected area, which can help prevent or treat infection
  • Applying an anti-inflammatory or soothing cream or lotion to the affected area can help reduce swelling, redness, itching, or irritation.
  • Applying aloe vera gel or coconut oil to the affected area can help moisturize and heal the skin.
  • Avoiding shaving or waxing the penile hair until the ingrown hair on the penis shaft heals, and then using proper shaving or waxing techniques to prevent recurrence.

Over-the-counter products

Some over-the-counter products can also help treat ingrown hair on the penis shaft, such as:

  • Hydrocortisone cream, which can help reduce inflammation and ease symptoms
  • Glycolic acid lotion, which can help exfoliate the skin and prevent ingrown hairs from forming
  • Benzoyl peroxide wash, which can help kill bacteria and reduce infection
  • Salicylic acid pads, which can help unclog pores and follicles and remove dead skin cells
  • Ingrown hair treatment products can help dissolve or release the ingrown hair and soothe the skin

Medical treatment

In some cases, ingrown hair on the penis shaft may require medical treatment, especially if the condition is severe, recurrent, or complicated by infection or other problems. Medical treatment can include:

  • Antibiotics, which can help treat bacterial infection
  • Steroids, which can help reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Laser therapy, which can help destroy the hair follicle and prevent hair growth
  • Electrolysis, which can help permanently remove the hair by passing an electric current through the hair follicle
  • Surgery, which can help drain an abscess or remove a cyst caused by ingrown hair
Ingrown hair on penis shaft

How to prevent ingrown hair on the penis shaft?

The most effective way to avoid ingrown hairs on the penis shaft is to refrain from shaving or waxing the hair in that area, as these practices can lead to hair growing back into the skin or follicle. However, if you prefer to remove hair from the penis for personal or aesthetic reasons, several strategies can help prevent ingrown hairs on the penis shaft. These include:

Avoid shaving or waxing.

If possible, one should avoid shaving or waxing the penile hair and opt for other hair removal methods, such as:

  • Trimming, which can help reduce the length of the hair without cutting it too short or too close to the skin
  • Depilatory creams can help dissolve the hair without damaging the skin or the follicle
  • Threading, which can help pluck the hair from the root without causing irritation or infection

Use proper shaving or waxing techniques.

If one chooses to shave or wax the penile hair, one should use proper shaving or waxing techniques, such as:

  • Shaving or waxing in the direction of the hair growth can help prevent the hair from curling back into the skin or the follicle.
  • Shaving or waxing with a sharp and clean blade or strip can help prevent skin damage or infection.
  • Shaving or waxing after a warm shower or bath can help soften the skin and the hair and open the pores and follicles.
  • Shaving or waxing with a shaving gel, cream, or oil can help lubricate the skin and the hair and reduce friction and irritation.
  • Shaving or waxing gently and slowly can help avoid pulling or tugging the skin or the hair.
  • Shaving or waxing sparingly and infrequently can give the skin and the hair enough time to heal and grow.

Exfoliate and moisturize the skin

Regularly exfoliating and moisturizing the skin on the penis can help prevent ingrown hairs. Here’s how:

  • Exfoliation with a gentle scrub or washcloth helps to remove dead skin cells, dirt, oil, and sweat. These substances can block pores and hair follicles, leading to hair becoming trapped under the skin or inside the follicle.
  • Using a hydrating lotion or oil to moisturize the skin nourishes and protects it. This helps to prevent dryness, cracking, or peeling, which can all contribute to the development of ingrown hairs.

Wear loose-fitting clothing

Wearing loose-fitting clothes or underwear can help prevent ingrown hair on the penis shaft. This is because:

  • Loose clothing allows the skin on the penis to breathe and sweat without restriction, promoting a healthy pH balance and microbiome on the skin, which in turn helps to prevent bacterial infections.
  • It also minimizes pressure and friction on the penile skin, reducing the chances of hair being forced back into the skin or follicle or becoming trapped under the clothing.

Conclusion

Ingrown hair on the shaft of the penis is a common condition that’s not usually serious. It causes red spots or marks to appear on the skin of the penis. These can be itchy, painful, or even get infected. This happens when the hair grows back into the skin or hair follicle instead of growing outwards. Things that can cause this include shaving or waxing, having curly or coarse hair, wearing tight clothes, friction, or having blocked pores or follicles. Depending on how severe the condition is and what caused it, treatment can range from home remedies and products you can buy in a store to medical treatment. To avoid getting ingrown hair on the shaft of the penis, you could stop shaving or waxing, use the right techniques when you do shave or wax, exfoliate and moisturize the skin, and wear loose clothing.

FAQs.

Is ingrown hair on the penis shaft a sign of an STD?

No, ingrown hair on the penis shaft is not a sign of an STD, but it can sometimes be confused with one. Some STDs, such as herpes, syphilis, or genital warts, can cause similar-looking bumps or sores on the penile skin, which can also be itchy, painful, or infected. However, some differences can help distinguish ingrown hair from STDs, such as:

  • Ingrown hair usually occurs after shaving or waxing, while STDs usually occur after sexual contact.
  • Ingrown hair usually has a dark spot in the center, which is the tip of the ingrown hair, while STDs usually do not.
  • Ingrown hairs typically improve with home treatments or over-the-counter products, while sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) usually need medical intervention.
  • Unlike STDs, ingrown hairs don’t usually cause additional symptoms like fever, discharge, or swollen lymph nodes.

If you’re uncertain whether the skin issues on the penis are due to ingrown hairs or STDs, it’s best to seek a doctor’s advice for diagnosis and treatment.

How long does it take for ingrown hair on the penis shaft to heal?

The time it takes for an ingrown hair on the penis shaft to heal can vary. It usually ranges from a few days to several weeks, depending on the severity of the condition and the treatment used. Mild cases that are treated with home remedies or over-the-counter products may heal within a week or less. However, severe or infected cases that require medical treatment may take several weeks or more to heal.

To speed up the healing process of ingrown hair on the penis shaft, one should:

  • Keep the affected area clean and dry, and avoid touching, rubbing, or scratching it.
  • Apply a warm compress to the affected area, followed by an antiseptic or antibacterial cream and a cream or lotion that reduces inflammation and soothes the skin.
  • Refrain from shaving or waxing the hair on the penis until the ingrown hair has healed. Once healed, ensure that the correct shaving or waxing methods are used to avoid the issue from happening again.
  • Seek medical attention if the ingrown hair on the penis shaft does not improve, worsens, or causes complications, such as fever, pus, or abscess.

How to remove ingrown hair on penis shaft at home?

One can remove ingrown hair on the penis shaft at home with the following steps:

  • Wash the hands and the affected area with warm water and soap, and pat dry with a clean towel.
  • Apply a warm compress to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes, which can help soften the skin and the hair and draw the ingrown hair to the surface.
  • Sterilize a needle or tweezers with alcohol or boiling water and let them cool down.
  • Gently lift the ingrown hair out of the skin or the follicle with a needle or tweezers, and then trim or remove the hair.
  • Apply an antiseptic or antibacterial cream or lotion to the affected area, which can help prevent or treat infection.
  • Apply a cream or lotion that soothes and reduces inflammation in the affected area. This can help lessen swelling, redness, itching, or irritation.

If you have a serious case of ingrown hair on the penis shaft, especially if it’s infected or accompanied by other symptoms like fever, pus, or an abscess, don’t attempt to remove it yourself at home. It’s better to seek medical help for appropriate treatment.

What are the best creams for ingrown hair on the penile shaft?

Many creams can help treat ingrown hair on the penile shaft, but some of the best ones are:

  • Tend Skin Care Solution: This product helps to lessen ingrown hair, razor bumps, and burns. It works by exfoliating the skin and preventing infections.
  • PFB Vanish + Chromabright: This solution helps to get rid of ingrown hair, razor bumps, and dark spots. It exfoliates the skin and brightens the complexion.
  • Bump Patrol Aftershave: This aftershave helps to prevent and heal ingrown hair, razor bumps, and burns. It soothes and moisturizes the skin while killing bacteria.
  • Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment: This treatment helps to remove and prevent ingrown hair and razor bumps. It exfoliates and hydrates the skin while reducing inflammation.
  • Jack Black Bump Fix Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Solution: This solution helps to clear and prevent ingrown hair and razor bumps. It exfoliates and cleanses the skin while fighting infection.

Remember to follow the instructions and precautions on the product labels before using them. If you experience any allergies or adverse reactions, consult a doctor.

How to prevent ingrown hair on the penis shaft naturally?

One can prevent ingrown hair on the penis shaft naturally by using some natural remedies, such as:

  • Aloe vera gel, which can help moisturize and heal the skin and prevent ingrown hair and razor bumps
  • Tea tree oil which can help kill bacteria and fungi and prevent infection and inflammation of the skin and the hair follicle
  • Witch hazel, which can help astringe and tone the skin and reduce swelling, redness, and irritation of the skin and the hair follicle
  • Apple cider vinegar which can help balance the skin’s pH and microbiome and prevent clogging and infection of the pores and the follicles
  • A sugar scrub is a skincare product that can help clean and smooth your skin. It works by removing dead skin cells, dirt, oil, and sweat. These substances can cause hair to become trapped under the skin or inside the hair follicle.

One can apply these natural remedies to the penile skin before or after shaving or waxing or as needed to prevent ingrown hair on the penis shaft. One should also test the natural remedies on a small area of the skin first and avoid using them if they cause any allergies or adverse reactions.