I shaved my private area for the first time. Now I have whiteheads filled with fluid and they hurt. What should I do?
Response from dermatologist Lauri Vargo, MD:
If you shave with a razor in your private parts, you’ve probably experienced them before – small white or red bumps that can linger for a few weeks or more.
The development of small bumps after shaving is quite common and in most cases not a cause for concern. These bumps are usually ingrown hairs caused by skin irritation when newly shaved hair comes out of the skin. They usually go away on their own after several weeks as the skin releases the embedded hairs.
However, some skin conditions that can mimic razor burn should be evaluated by your doctor or dermatologist. If you develop red bumps and pimples, you may have a hair follicle infection. Red, painful blisters can be a symptom of herpes. Herpes sores usually begin as a group of painful blisters that eventually form a crust before healing.
Other forms of hair removal such as waxing or using hair removal creams may be more effective than shaving for some people, but may still lead to ingrown hairs for some.
“If you’re prone to ingrown hairs and it bothers you, the best thing to do is to avoid shaving your genital area closely,” says Dr. Vargo.
If you still want to shave, here are some things you can do to help prevent irritation:
- Use an electric razor or bikini trimmer that doesn’t shave hair as close to the skin
- Use a single blade razor
- Change your razor blade frequently
- Shave in the direction of hair growth rather than against it
- Avoid stretching the skin while you shave
- Use shaving gel or cream before you start shaving
- Rinse the area after shaving
Need an evaluation by a dermatologist?
To make an appointment, call 800.922.0000.