We have often seen men scratching their private area, not having a care in the world. If you thought it was just a men’s problem, think again. Women can also feel itchy down there. Some might be well aware of itchy public hair. The discomfort that comes with it can be very distracting. But then you also don’t want to scratch in full view. Medicines or home remedies will only work if you know the cause of itchy pubic hair. Let’s check out the reasons behind itchy pubic hair and what to do about it.
HealthShots connected with Dr Thejaswini J, Consultant – Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Electronic City, Bengaluru, to discuss about itchy pubic hair.
Pubic hair is that patch found on the vulva in women. Dr Thejaswini says that the purpose of pubic hair is to prevent dirt or pathogens from entering the genitals and to reduce friction while having sex. Occasionally, you can get an itch on any part of the body, including the pubic area. That does not mean you need to rush to a hospital, but if you experience persistent itching down then you should look into it.
Causes of itchy pubic hair
You can blame an infection for it, but there are more causes of itchy pubic hair. Here are some of them:
1. Razor burn
They appear as red rashes with tender tiny bumps which lead to an itchiness around your pubic region, says the expert. Shaving off pubic hair may result in a razor burn when –
• You do not use enough lubricant such as shaving cream or soap.
• You shave too quickly and too frequently.
• You use old or clogged razor while shaving.
2. Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is basically the medical term for skin inflammation that happens when the skin comes in contact with products like lubricants, sanitary napkins and soap causing irritation or an allergic reaction. Besides itchy pubic hair, dermatitis may result in symptoms such as redness, dry or flaky skin, and hives, which is a condition that exhibits itchy nettle rashes.
Candidiasis, also known as a yeast infection, occurs due to an overgrowth of candida fungi. It thrives in warmth and moisture, and your pubic area is exactly that. Candidiasis affects the skin folds or the genital region. You might have to deal with painful urination, red rashes with blisters and abnormal discharge.
It develops from dermatitis affecting the moist areas of the body, your skin folds, armpits, and pubic area. Dr Thejaswini says that this condition is caused due to an overgrowth of bacteria and fungi. It results in reddish-brown rashes with a foul odour, ultimately leading to an itchy pubic region.
Atopic dermatitis is a common form of eczema, and it gives you scaly red rashes forming bumps. Eczema can be triggered by certain factors such as extreme weather, chemicals, and fragrances in soap products, dry skin, and stress.
Tips to get rid of itchy pubic hair
The doctor may prescribe medical treatments depending on the cause and the intensity of your itching. Here are some ways to prevent itchiness around your private parts.
1. Oral antifungal medications
They can be prescribed to kill the fungus which causes fungal infections such as candidiasis, or intertrigo to prevent itching and other symptoms.
2. Over-the-counter creams
They can help control itching and allergic reactions in cases of dermatitis and eczema. There are also antibiotics that can even help to treat severe cases of skin infections.
3. Wear clean underwear
Many women make underwear mistakes. Just remember to always wear a clean underwear and change after periods or excessive sweating. It is important to prevent moisture which may breed bacteria that causes irritation and infection, says the expert. Wear good quality underwear to reduce friction and sweating, which damages the hair follicles.
4. Practice proper shaving techniques
Use sharp scissors to trim long pubic hair before shaving. A new razor should be used. You should rinse it at certain intervals to avoid clogging.
5. Keep the pubic area dry
Bacteria and fungus which cause infection and itching can only survive in moist conditions. Spending a long period in wet clothes, such as bathing suits or workout clothes is harmful. They prevent air circulation and increase the chance of bacteria build-up.
If you continue to experience itchy pubic hair or if you have symptoms of infection like fever, aches, and pain, consult a doctor.