How do you remove ingrown hairs from your penile shaft?

It is a little embarrassing to ask or even research online, but I think I got an ingrown hair from "manscaping." Is there any product that could help treat the spot? I have tried to squeeze out the ingrown hair but it is quite painful and I don't want to do any damage down there.


M, 37, South Dakota

Tags:man ingrown hair

It's actually quite common to experience ingrown hairs in the groin area. Ingrown hairs can present themselves as small red bumps which can sometimes look like pimples or cysts. In some cases, ingrown hairs can become infected and painful. In these cases, the ingrown hair may fill with clear liquid and change to a yellow or green color.

You should also keep in mind that there are many other conditions common to the pubic area that may also present themselves as penile bumps. Some of these conditions are harmless while others may require medical attention.

Some harmless conditions that may mimic the appearance of an ingrown hair are septic spots, sebaceous cysts, fordyce spots, allergic reactions, and "pearly penile papules" which appear as white-colored lumps on the shaft of the penis.

Some more harmful conditions which may mimic the presentation of an ingrown hair are STDs like molluscum contagiosum, HPV, genital herpes, and syphilis.

To answer your question about a product that can remove an ingrown hair; try washing the area with soap and water and exfoliating the area with benzoyl peroxide to unclog and open your pores. In most cases the only other product you'll need after that is a pair of tweezers or a sterilized pin.

You should wait until the area has completely healed before attempting to shave the area again. 
If you are uncertain as to whether or not your "spot" is in fact an ingrown hair, I advise you to consult with a doctor.

The most prevalent cause of ingrown hairs along the shaft results from shaving. Shaving can irritate the skin and the hair follicle itself.  Shaving against the direction of the hair growth causes razor bumps and encourages ingrown hairs by altering the direction in which the new hairs emerge.

Genetics often play a role as well. Some people, particularly those with coarse, curly pubic hair, are more prone to ingrown hairs than others.  People who have a lot of hair may also be predisposed to ingrown hairs after a close shave.

The hair follicles around the base of the penis can also become plugged by dead skin cells or oil, particularly in those who produce an excessive amount of sebum. On the other hand, dry skin may also contribute to clogged pores due to frequent flaking.

Plugged hair follicles often itch, which leads to scratching, and scratching irritates the skin, leading to bumps which can become pimples or ingrown hairs.

Finally, the genetic condition, keratosis pilaris (lichen pilaris or follicular pilaris), frequently results in ingrown hairs around the penile shaft. For people with this condition, the skin forms bumps similar to a chicken’s skin.

These bumps are due to excessive production of dead skin cells. Each one may contain a coiled hair, capped off by dead skin and unable to exit the hair follicle. The result is an angry red bump in the pubic area -- or wherever such chicken skin can be found on your body.

Don't be embarrassed to ask. An ingrown hair is a very common circumstance where a hair begins to curl backwards or grow sideways underneath the surface of the skin. Ingrown hairs often contribute to an infection of the hair follicle which can result in pain and inflammation.

It's common to experience ingrown hairs in areas where the hair has been shaved or waxed, but they can appear anywhere there are hair follicles. The symptoms of ingrown hairs can include swelling, itching, a rash of bumps (razor bumps), or a single red bump.

When shaving in the future you should be careful to use adequate lubrication and not to apply too much force. Poor shaving techniques like shaving against the grain or shaving with too much pressure can result in hairs being cropped shorter than the surrounding skin.

When treating ingrown hairs, it's important to both reduce the inflammation and to expose the hair follicle so that it can be easily removed. To reduce the swelling we apply a hydrocortisone cream. In cases of an infected ingrown hair, an over-the-counter antibacterial ointment can be applied to the affected area.

Once the redness and inflammation has been reduced, a warm compress can be applied to the area. You should be able to see the hair just beneath the surface of the skin. It will usually look like a small dark spot.

Most people are able to remove ingrown hairs by themselves using a pair of tweezers. But if your ingrown hair is in a sensitive or hard-to-reach spot or has become infected, you should consult with a dermatologist.

Always remember to consult with a board-certified dermatologist for best results.

An ingrown hair happens when a growing hair becomes trapped inside a hair follicle after curling back in on itself or growing sideways. They can occur anywhere on the body that has hair, even the upper portion of the penile shaft.


Treating ingrown hairs on the penis requires a bit of preparation both to combat inflammation and expose/locate the hair for removal.

To take down the inflammation, use a 1% hydrocortisone cream on the affected area. Once the redness has subsided, start applying warm compresses to the area until you can see the curving hair underneath the skin. It will look like a dark spot.

Use a sterilized pin to lance the bump, cyst, or pimple, and then, with sterilized tweezers, carefully pull the hair out. If it’s become infected, you may have to drain the accumulated pus or fluid.

Follow up by regularly applying antibacterial ointment to the area to prevent further infection.

If you can’t remove the hair or hairs yourself, or should the potential infection persist, you will need to visit your doctor.

Ingrown hairs can be quite painful. Often people find relief with tend skin which is over the counter. You can give it a shot.