When a man sees bumps on his penis, it’s likely he might worry he has a communicable disease. However, one of the most common causes of these little annoyances are ingrown hairs on the penis. Thankfully, ingrown hairs aren’t serious. There are many reasons they pop up and even more ways to treat and prevent them. But they can be irritating and embarrassing. Let’s breakdown theses pesky bumps on the penis and how to banish them from the bush.
What are Ingrown Hairs?
Ingrown hairs are hairs that have somehow curled up and grown back into the skin rather than rising up from it. This then irritates the skin and produces a raised, often red bump on the penis that resembles a pimple. If it gets infected, it can evolve into a painful, angry, sometimes puss-filled sore.
Ingrown hairs can appear anywhere on the body where hair follicles reside. Ingrown hairs on the penis, however, are probably the most painful simply because of the compression of pants and constant rubbing the area often is subject to during the day.
How Do Ingrown Hairs on the Penis Happen?
Ingrown hairs on the penis often happen as the result of manscaping with a clipper, shaver, or razor. Often times, a cluster will show up in an area. Sometimes, dead skin can clog a hair follicle which then forces the hair to grow sideways and under the skin.
Any man can get an get an ingrown hair on his penis, but the problem is more common for people with curly and course hair types. Since the hair is already curly, it is more likely to curl back into the skin. People with high-levels of certain hormones can also have excessive hair growth which can also increase the likelihood of ingrown hairs on the penis. Men of African-American and Latino heritage are also more likely to have painful ingrown hairs.
Oftentimes, an ingrown hair will retreat on its own. However, if it doesn’t, it can get infected resulting in an angry, dark red or purple bump on the penis that may need intervention. The best way to treat an ingrown hair on the penis is to start by not picking or scratching at it which can cause infection. Sometimes a doctor will need to use a small needle or scalpel to release the hair or prescribe a retinoid to bring down the swelling and irritation. It works by removing the dead skin cells and release the hair.
There are several ways to prevent ingrown hairs. Here are a few:
– Exfoliate prior to shaving using a gentle scrub on the area around the penis (not on it). Exfoliate gently, but with purpose to “tease out” the more stubborn ingrown hairs.
– Shave with a single-bladed razor. The more blades, the higher instance of nicks and ingrown hairs.
– Wet this skin with warm water for two minutes prior to shaving, then apply a shaving oil or gel. Shave in the direction of hair growth using as few strokes as possible.
– When using an electric razor, hold it slight above the area being shaved.
– Apply a cool washcloth to the area to reduce irritation and close the pores after shaving.
Some people also opt to wax or depil hair. People with a high likelihood or low tolerance for ingrown hairs can have the hair permanently removed with a special laser. Other men choose to use a specially formulated male organ health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) that contains vitamins and amino acids which fortify and protect the skin. These crèmes provide protection from the elements and promote cellular regeneration, decreasing the buildup of dead cells which can cause ingrown hairs on the penis.