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Red bumps post shaving, infected hair follicles, ingrown hair, folliculitis

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
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Hi, I am a 26 year old female. I’m 5’8 and weigh 135 lbs. I workout on a regular and consider myself to be in pretty good health. I have no history of any type of medical conditions. I have been shaving my genital region for quite some time now, and here recently a few days to a week after shaving when the hair starts to grow out I have been getting red bumps. When I notice the red bumps I immediately shave thinking that the outgrown hair may be chaffing the skin a bit. Yesterday I had gone to the gym and wore my gym clothes around most of the day after that because I had some errands to run before I had to pick my son up from school. When I got home I changed and went shopping with friends. By the time I got home from shopping the red bumps are back (it has been about 4 to 5 days after shaving and the hair was starting to grow back) on the right side the red bump was a bit larger than normal and felt a little irritated. The bumps always appear right around the opening of the vagina where I shave. I immediately hopped in the shower and shaved because normally after I shave the bumps go away within a day or two. I googled on the internet and have myself freaked out. I have been picking at the bump trying to see if it looks anything like herpes and I think I have irritated it a bit because it is a little uncomfortable now. The bumps are not fluid filled and when I looked closely at the larger bump it appears to have some hair growing out of it. This has been going on for about 4 to 5 weeks now. The bumps will appear and disappear all within a couple of days and as soon as the hair starts to grow they are right back. I went to the doctor the first time that I saw the bumps and she said it looked like hair follicles. Is this normal?? Would an infected hair follicle or ingrown hair do this? I have been googling and have myself completely freaked out!
Sat, 19 May 2012 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. Sunil.N 30 minutes later

Thanks for your Query.

According to your history it appears like Folliculitis that is Infection of the hair follicle caused by the bacterias which usually resolve within 5-6 days.
The frequent shaving might have damaged the hair follicles and it got infected by the bacterias, nothing to worry about it, you can apply Topical antibiotic cream Neosporin on the affected parts.

Prevention efforts include good skin hygiene, avoiding unsanitary hot tubs and pools, not sharing razors, avoiding shaving too closely, changing out razors regularly, and keeping the skin moist and well hydrated.

Hope this helps you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Red bumps post shaving, infected hair follicles, ingrown hair, folliculitis 3 hours later
Thank you so much for your reply! I have shaved for many years and I don't recall this happening before (not saying it hasn't I may have just not noticed it), but is it normal for this to happen all of a sudden after many years of shaving? By the description that I provided you, do you think this sounds like herpes? I know I probably sound paranoid, but after looking all over the internet it can definitely freak one out a little. I looked at pictures of herpes on google and this rash does not look like the pictures, but I just wanted to get your professional opinion.

Thanks again!

Answered by Dr. Sunil.N 48 minutes later

Thanks for your follow up query.

Folliculitis after shaving indicates the spread of infection from the razor if it is not maintained in a good hygienic condition or the damaged hair follicules can be get infected by bacterias as the genitals are normally inhabited by some of the bacterias and not necessary that all shaving of the genital area should cause folliculitis.

The lesions doesn't resembles herpes as per your description.
Herpes lesions are fluid filled bumps called as vesicles which are of different sizes present in and around the genitals and it will have more excruciating pain.

Don't worry and follow the advice that i shared with you earlier, skin lesions will resolve within 5-6 days.

If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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