Pube Probs: The 411 on Itchy Genitals

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Does your crotch itch refuse to quit? It might be your pubes. Whether you rock a bald eagle or slay a glorious bush, pubic hair can get super itchy.

Here’s why your “hair down there” might be bothering you, plus the best ways to ditch the itch.

12 reasons for itchy pubic hair

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Lots of things can lead to discomfort down under. Here are 12 possible causes of your pubic itch.

1. Razor burn

Feel the (razor) burn? In addition to those annoying red or discolored bumps, a bad pubic shave can up the itch factor.

You increase your risk of razor burn if you:

  • shave too fast
  • use a dull razor
  • shave too often
  • don’t use enough soap or shaving cream

Shaving your pubes isn’t always the safest choice for dodging irritation.

2. Crabs
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Pubic lice (aka crabs ) are tiny insects that like to set up camp in your groin area. As well as being creepy AF, pubic lice can turn your crotch into a total itch-fest.

The most common way to contract crabs is through sex. But you can also contract them if you share towels, bedding, or clothes.

3. Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis develops when your skin reacts to an irritant and becomes dry, scaly, or bumpy. This can lead to a threat level midnight scratch attack.

In addition to itching, skin irritation can trigger:

  • redness or discoloration
  • burning
  • inflammation
4. Allergic dermatitis
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As much as we may like sweet-smelling soaps, fragrant soaps can cause allergic contact dermatitis, according to DermNet NZ.

Symptoms can also include:

    pain
  • itching
  • blisters
  • burning
  • redness or discoloration

It’s not just skin or hair products — you can contract allergic dermatitis from poison ivy, poison oak, or latex, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

The latex in condoms might also have led to your current itching. You can purchase latex-free condoms online.

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Or if, y’know, you rubbed poison ivy on your crotch (it takes all sorts).

5. Scabies

Lice aren’t the only critters you have to watch out for — scabies can also do your coochie or d*ck dirty.

Microscopic mites burrow into your skin and cause this rash (yikes). They usually like to set up shop on or near your butt, breasts, knees, and genitals (seriously, you guys are super weird).

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, you might contract scabies from close contact or sharing towels, sheets, or clothes with a person who contracted it.

6. Psoriasis
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This chronic autoimmune condition causes thick, scaly patches on your skin. Its effects can develop anywhere on your body. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, inverse psoriasis is a severe type that usually hits your genitals the hardest.

There’s no cure for psoriasis at the moment. But you can soothe and manage its effects by using meds and ointments or undergoing light therapy.

FYI: Psoriasis is not contagious.

7. Jock itch

Jock itch is the fungus among us. Or at least the fungus among our genitals (sorry, “Incubus,” this album title is taken).

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It can cause an itchy rash that might be painful. It’s more common in #TeamPeen, as moisture can get trapped between your thighs and scrotum.

You may have at a higher risk for jock itch if you:

  • have obesity
  • wear wet or tight clothing
  • live in a wet or warm environment
  • don’t dry your private parts after bathing
  • contract athlete’s foot or a fungal infection of your nails
8. Eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition that can cause scaly red or discolored rashes to pop up anywhere on your body. Sorry, that does also include your peen or hoo- ha.

Eczema can be hereditary, but the following may make it flare up:

  • stress
  • dry skin
  • chemicals
  • hella hot weather
  • cold environments
9. Yeast infection
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According to DermNet NZ, yeast infections are yucky to say the least. In addition to itching, you might experience:

  • a red or discolored rash
  • painful pee
  • abnormal or smelly vaginal discharge

Candida — the yeast that causes the infection — thrives in moist, warm environments. Sub-par hygiene and wet or tight clothing can lead to a yeast infection.

We also looked at the risks of having sex when you’ve contracted a yeast infection.

10. Folliculitis

Infected hair follicles are common in your pubic area due to shaving, chafing, and friction, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. You can also contract it in pools or hot tubs that don’t have enough chlorine.

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Folliculitis can cause tiny red or discolored bumps that itch like cray. The bumps can form whiteheads, so people often confuse it with acne.

11. Intertrigo

Jock itch is one type of intertrigo — but there are others.

This rash tends to affect places of your body where skin traps moisture or rubs together. Sadly, your nether regions are a prime locale for the bacteria or fungus that cause it.

Intertrigo is more common in folks who have obesity or diabetes, according to a 2014 research review. But anyone can contract it.

12. Extramammary Paget disease
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This rare form of cancer can develop on your genitals or anus.

According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, it’s most common in people who’ve already experienced menopause. But it can develop in anyone.

A trademark symptom of extramammary Paget disease is skin lesions that burn or itch, according to Stanford Healthcare.

8 home remedies for itchy pubic hair

There are lots of ways you can cure your itchy trouser perm at home. Here’s the lowdown on how to soothe itching on your P or V.

1. Wear clean undies
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Underwear can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

According to a 2010 study, unclean undies can lead to bacterial vaginosis (BV) and other itchy infections.

So, be sure you wash your tighty-whities on the reg and replace them once a year.

2. Avoid scratching

Scratching can tear your skin and delay healing. In severe cases, it can also cause an infection.

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So, as tempting as it is, don’t scratch.

3. Stay away from irritant chemicals

Steer clear from harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin. Stick to high quality body washes, shampoos, and lotions that don’t have added fragrances or parabens.

P.S. Always avoid using hair removal products down there. It’s a one-way ticket to fire crotch. (Trust us.)

4. Shave safely

Poor shaving technique can cause a rough case of razor burn.

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Following these tips may prevent your skin around your groin from misbe-shaving (not sorry):

  • Never dry shave. It increases your risk of nicks and irritation.
  • Exfoliate before you shave. It sloughs off dead skin cells and makes your razor work better.
  • Choose high quality shaving cream. Soap doesn’t always lubricate the area well enough.
  • Use cooler water. When your water is , it softens your skin. This increases your risk of cuts.
  • Go with the grain. This might not give you the closest shave ever. But it’s easier on your skin.

You can try other methods of pubic hair removal that irritate your skin less — learn more here.

5. Keep it dry

Fungus and bacteria love warm, wet environments.

Ditch the polyester undies and choose cotton — it breathes better. You can also sleep commando, so your bits have time to air out (boy, is the Sand Man in for a treat).

6. Hydrocortisone cream
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Anti-itch creams can soothe scratchy skin.

Try to find a brand that has at least 1 percent hydrocortisone which helps inhibit inflammatory response. You can purchase one-percent hydrocortisone products online.

7. Over-the-counter (OTC) lice medication

Lice meds can kill those pesky pests. But they can also make your skin flaky and dry. Be sure to get a genital-specific OTC medication if lice have invaded your pubes. (You suckers don’t pay rent! Get out!)

Pro tip: If you have head lice, rinse your hair out in the sink. This means that the medication won’t get all over the rest of your body.

8. Antihistamines
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Antihistamines combat allergic reactions. They’re great for reducing inflammation, itchiness, and redness. You can purchase antihistamines online as topical creams or in oral form.

When to call a doctor

Talk with a doctor if your itchy vajayjay or willy doesn’t get better in a few days.

You should also give them a call if you are showing symptoms of infection, including:

  • fever
  • aches
  • shakiness

tl;dr

Your pubes may itch for a bunch of different reasons. These include unsafe shaving techniques, infections, and chronic conditions like psoriasis or eczema.

Sometimes, a home remedy, OTC cream, or simple lifestyle change can help you manage the itching.

But you should talk with your doctor if the itching doesn’t let up, or you suspect an underlying condition might be behind your symptoms.

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