The vaginal area is one of the most common locations for a woman to get an ingrown hair, notes the Mayo Clinic. An ingrown vaginal hair can usually be treated at home. However, if the hair appears infected or if you get ingrown hairs often, visit your doctor.
An ingrown vaginal hair may cause a painful red bump that looks a lot like a pimple. There may be pus in the bump, but sometimes the bump may be hard instead of pus filled. It may itch. You may notice hyperpigmentation, which occurs when the affected area is slightly darker than the surrounding skin.
Most ingrown vaginal hairs are caused by shaving or waxing the hair in the area. However, they are sometimes caused by tight clothing irritating the area. An ingrown hair occurs when the hair grows out of the follicle and back around into the skin. In some cases, the hair can grow through the hair follicle wall instead of growing out of the skin.
Treating an ingrown vaginal hair at home starts with soaking in a bathtub of warm water three times per day. If this isn't an option, apply a warm compress to the area for 15 minutes. If you can see the hair extending above the skin, you can use a sterilized needle to gently pull the ingrown portion of the hair out of the skin, states the Mayo Clinic. Use a mirror to look for this if you can't see the area. As long as the ingrown hair or associated irritation is present, don't shave or wax the area. When you have an ingrown vaginal hair, you should keep the area dry. Use panty liners if needed to help accomplish this. Epigee states that wearing loose clothing can help the ingrown hair heal.
An ingrown vaginal hair can become infected. You can minimize the risk of this happening by using hydrocortisone cream or another over-the-counter anti-itch cream to help control itching. Scratching or digging at the ingrown hair can introduce bacteria into the area. If you do scratch at the area, apply an over-the-counter triple antibiotic ointment to the area to help minimize the risk of infection, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
If you haven't removed any hair from the affected vaginal area or if you don't think you should have an ingrown hair in the area, you should make an appointment with a doctor to determine the cause of the lesions. Some sexually transmitted diseases can cause lesions on the vaginal area.