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Ingrown Hair On Your Penis? Or Is It An STD?

It’s ok to love your penis. And your testicles. Most guys do. In that love, we sometimes have to worry about what’s going on between our legs. There’s bad stuff out there, and some of it can be absolutely devastating. Until you’ve had the chance to really learn, it can be easy to confuse something harmless, like an ingrown hair on your penis, with something truly dangerous to your health. We’re going to tackle this today. It won’t be entirely pleasant, but when you’re done, you’ll know how to identify the different things that can happen below the belt and how to deal with them.

What Is An Ingrown Hair?

Normally, hairs grow through an opening in your skin called the pore. On occasion, dead skin cells clog that opening causing the hair follicle to curl back on itself under the skin.

Do Ingrown Hairs Hurt?

If you do not remove the hair using tweezer or another method the hair will continue to grow causing additional irritation and inflammation. After a short period of time, the bump will fill with oil, which is painful.

What Does An Ingrown Hair On Your Penis Shaft Look Like?

Whether you have an ingrown hair on your penis, scrotum, taint or any other genital area, the symptoms of ingrown hairs are just typically little red bumps. Depending on the severity, the bumps may look like pimples, filled with a pus.

How Do You Get An Ingrown Hair?

Ingrown hair are super common, and cutting or shaving hair makes them all the more so. Ingrown hairs can appear in a number of ways. The most common is typically referred to as razor bumps. This is when you get a bunch of little red bumps on your skin after shaving. It happens to the best of us, but distinguishing razor bumps from other, potentially more serious, skin conditions is important.

Cluster Of Ingrown Hairs

The first rule of razor bumps is that they don't really cluster. You can certainly get plenty of them from a single shave, but they won’t be relegated to a single patch of skin. They show up pretty willy nilly. The second way to identify them is their size and shape. They are red and raised, but they don’t come very far past the surface of the skin. Compare a giant zit or blister to a razor bump, and it’s easy to spot the difference. Lastly, razor bumps can come with a mild burning or itching sensation.

Sometimes, ingrown hairs reach a more substantial state than your typical razor bump. When this happens, the affected area looks like a fully formed pimple. The red bump is more raised, very firm and often sore to the touch. If ruptured (we’ll talk more about this in a bit), ingrown hairs usually release white pus. Those are the key identifiers of ingrown hairs.


Diagram Showing An Ingrown Hair

STDs That Look Like Ingrown Hairs

Herpes or Ingrown Hair

Of all of the things you don’t want to get on your genitals, herpes is the most easily confused with ingrown hairs or pimples. Herpes lesions are usually red, raised, and sore. That sounds pretty common, but there are some distinguishing factors.

For starters, ruptured herpes blisters leak a yellow pus-like fluid. It’s gross, and you definitely don’t want to pop herpes blisters, but sometimes it happens. Herpes blisters tend to form in small clusters. This is because the virus that causes the lesions flares up in areas at a time. If you see a bit of a concentration of your red sores, there’s a better chance you’re dealing with herpes.

The biggest identifier is that herpes forms actual blisters. They fill with fluid, and this causes them to raise more noticeably above the base skin level. They’re much softer than ingrown hairs, and they often hurt more.

Lastly, herpes is an infection. When you first contract the disease, it’s common to experience flu-like symptoms. Headaches, achiness, swollen lymph nodes, fever and painful or tingling legs are common symptoms. After your first outbreak, these additional symptoms are usually softer (and sometimes go away completely), but that initial outbreak can help you identify if you have contracted herpes in the first place.

Genital Warts or Ingrown Hair

 Genital warts is a term that no one wants to hear. You might think that if you haven’t had them before you’re safe now. They’re genetic, right? Unfortunately, the majority of genital warts cases are not at all genetic. Instead, they come from an STD: Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV happens to be the most prolific STD of them all. You can catch it from skin-to-skin contact, and it is so common that if you are sexually active, you will likely be exposed to it. It’s pretty scary stuff.

 The good news is that HPV symptoms tend to be mild and many cases don’t involve any symptoms at all (you should still get tested because you can spread it even if you don’t have symptoms and serious cases are, in fact, deadly).

 When HPV has symptoms, one of the most common is warts. How do you know you have warts rather than ingrown hairs? There are a few key differences. First, the warts are almost always painless. You can poke them with your fingers and there is no soreness — a stark difference from ingrown hairs.

 Warts also tend to protrude much farther than ingrown hairs. Most importantly, warts can come in clusters (although they won’t always). Ingrown hairs only show up where there are hair follicles, so you can have a bunch of ingrown hairs but they won’t be on top of each other the way a wart cluster will.

Syphilis or Ingrown Hair

 You probably think of syphilis as something that infected prostitutes in an era where people traveled by horse-drawn carriages and bicycles had one really big wheel and one small wheel. This disease was conquered a long time ago and eradicated — like polio, right? Unfortunately, syphilis is still alive and well, and because people think it isn’t, it’s easy to misunderstand when you contract it.

Syphilis can become incredibly dangerous and outright deadly when left alone, so let’s take it seriously. The good news is that syphilis lesions come early in the disease cycle. If you see a syphilis spot, you can go to the doctor and get treatment well before things spiral.

Checking if your bumps are syphilis warts or ingrown hairs is pretty easy. Syphilis bumps tend to be hard, round and completely painless. They are similar to HPV warts, but syphilis warts do not cluster and HPV warts tend to have a less regular shape. Also, syphilis marks can come with a fever and other signs of infection — something that doesn’t happen with ingrown hairs. Lastly, you can get syphilis warts around the anus and mouth. If you have all of them at the same time, it’s less likely a shaving issue.


There’s a fourth condition that’s easily confused with these other three: pimples. Pimples are not the result of an STD, and they’re extremely similar to ingrown hairs in cause and exhibition. Technically, an ingrown hair is caused by hair that can’t break through the surface of the skin. Pimples are caused by clogged pores. That said, ingrown hairs can actually cause pimples. It’s weird.

You identify pimples the same way you do ingrown hairs. They’re not raised as far off the skin, they’re firm and they release white pus when ruptured (don’t pop your zits though). In some cases, it’s tough to tell if a bump is a pimple or an ingrown hair. Regardless, they’re both easily distinguished from herpes.

Other STDs

Doctor Talking To A Patient


Crabs don’t technically cause redness or bumps, but they do cause crazy itching. The irritation to the skin can lead to redness and scratch-induced rashes. If you know what a rash looks like, you shouldn’t confuse it with the raised lesions or warts of other conditions.


Scabies is one of the more disturbing skin conditions when you stop to understand it. We’ll keep this light. It’s a bug that gets in your skin and causes a bunch of itchy red spots. It’s like mosquito bites on steroids and en masse. They look like razor bumps or a bunch of pimples, but the fiery itching will tell you it’s something else.

Pictures Of STDs

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Before you click this link, be warned: this is not for the squeamish. The pictures make it easier to tell what you might have, but they’re also nightmare fuel. With the disclaimer out of the way, here’s a link to pictures of these STDs.

Preventing Ingrown Hairs On Your Genitals

That got a little intense. There are a lot of scary things that can happen to your junk. It’s enough to make you shiver. A proactive approach is always better, and when you’re informed and looking out for yourself, the risk of the worst-case scenarios drops pretty fast. So, let’s talk about preventing these problems. And remember, if it seems like ingrown hair on your penis but you are not sure, its better to head to your doctor for an examination.

Keep Your Private Parts Clean

Man Washing His Hair In The Shower

If you’re going to identify problems with your genitals, you need to be able to see what’s happening. Male grooming is a great way to do that. When you clear the brush, it’s easier to spot anything that doesn’t look right. A simple trim every other week or so is plenty to keep things in check so you can stay on top of your sexual health. A trimmed penis won't hide areas of concern that you might not have otherwise noticed.

Along that idea, hygiene is vital to protecting yourself. Things like crabs and scabies tend to strike when hygiene fails. If you’re regularly washing yourself and keeping your skin healthy, some of these problems go away. That’s especially true for pimples, of all things. If you exfoliate your groin in the shower every day, you eliminate most causes of genital pimples.

Have A Doctor Look At Your Pubic Bumps

If you’re not sure what’s going on downstairs, go see a doctor. There’s no sense in risking your manhood over embarrassment or uncertainty. They’ve seen worse.

If you are sure, then you want a treatment plan. Obviously, STDs should be treated by medical professionals. Syphilis is defeated by antibiotics. Scabies and crabs have specialized treatments that kill the organisms. Herpes and HPV aren’t curable, but antiviral medications can do a lot of good. There’s also a vaccine for the worst forms of HPV. You see how this works. Visit a doctor every now and then and you’ll have less to worry about.

Treating Ingrown Hairs

As for ingrown on your penis hairs, they’re a different matter. There’s no infection to worry about. Sure, shaving and penis waxing can increase their frequency, but sometimes they’ll appear for no reason. The best way to handle ingrown hairs is to take good care of yourself. While trimming makes it easy to see a problem, a full manscaping routine can promote healthy skin that is less prone to ingrown hairs, pimples and other skin problems you don’t need. If you want to know more, check out MANSCAPED. It has the tools and the tips to get you started. Get your body groomer kit today.


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