I shaved my private area for the fist time. Now I have white dots filled with fluid and they hurt. What should I do?
Answer by dermatologist Lauri Vargo, MD:
If you shave with a razor in your private areas, you've probably experienced it – little white or red bumps that may linger for a couple of weeks or more.
The development of small bumps after shaving is fairly common, and in most cases, is not a cause for concern. These bumps are usually ingrown hairs caused by irritation to the skin as the newly shaved hair exits the skin. They will typically go away on their own after several weeks as the skin releases the embedded hair.
However, there are skin conditions that may mimic razor burn that should be evaluated by your doctor or dermatologist. If you develop red bumps and pimples, you may have an infection of the hair follicle. Red, painful blisters may be a symptom of herpes. Herpes lesions usually start with a group of painful blisters that eventually crust over before healing.
Other forms of hair removal like waxing or the use of hair removal creams may work better than shaving for some people, but can still lead to ingrown hairs for some.
"If you are prone to ingrown hairs and it is bothersome to you, the best thing to do is avoid close shaving of the genital area," Dr. Vargo says.
If you still wish to shave, here are some things you can do to help prevent irritation:
- Use an electric razor or bikini trimmer which doesn't shave hairs as close to the skin
- Use a single-bladed razor
- Change out your razor blade frequently
- Shave in the direction of hair growth as opposed to against it
- Avoid stretching the skin as you shave
- Use a shaving gel or cream before you begin shaving
- Rinse the area after shaving
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