Ingrown Hair vs STD: How to Tell the Difference

Ingrown hairs are a minor, though common, annoyance. STDs, on the other hand, are potentially serious infections that can cause a myriad of health issues. Unfortunately, bumps caused by certain STDs can appear very similar to ingrown hairs, zits, or benign cysts that manifest on or around the genitals. As such, it can be difficult to tell the difference between an ingrown hair vs STD. Thankfully, this blog will help you take positive action to ensure your health if you’re experiencing bumps on the pubic region.

Which STDs Cause Bumps?

Contrary to popular belief, STDs rarely exhibit obvious symptoms. In fact, many individuals who have an STD don’t realize it until years after the fact –– if ever. However, some STDs do cause bumps to form on or around the pubic area. The main culprit in this regard is herpes. Additionally, syphilis causes a single chancre (or open sore) to form where the infection entered the body, and HIV may also cause lesions as it develops. The good news is that neither syphilis sores nor HIV lesions bear resemblance to ingrown hairs.

Herpes Bumps vs Ingrown Hairs

A small red bump on the pubic region could indicate a number of issues, including: genital acne, benign cysts, skin tags, ingrown hairs, or herpes. The issue is that at first glance all of these conditions may look similar –– especially herpes bumps and ingrown hairs. There are a few telltale signs that will help you identify the difference between the two, though.

First, ingrown hairs typically occur in isolation, while herpes bumps tend to manifest in small clusters. Second, ingrown hairs most often form after shaving or waxing. Ingrown hairs may be slightly itchy or painful, but herpes sores tend to hurt more –– especially when they puncture. Lastly, ingrown hairs may contain white pus when punctured, whereas herpes sores will typically ooze a yellow-ish liquid; herpes bumps may also crust over as well. Herpes bumps will go away after a time, but can sporadically reappear.

Dangers of Self-Diagnosis

It may be tempting to dismiss a few bumps on the pubic region as razor burn or acne. Yet, self-diagnosis is inadvisable. Many STDs can cause serious health issues if left untreated, and individuals with herpes are more prone to contracting other, more dangerous STDs. Plus, herpes is very uncomfortable, and without treatment, breakouts can happen with greater regularity. If you’re concerned about your sexual well-being it’s imperative to get tested for STDs as soon as possible. Waiting could put you or your partners at greater risk!

A Word from Same Day STD Testing

Getting tested for STDs for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. Thankfully, when you visit one of our facilities, you won’t have to deal with long lines, invasive questions, or confusing procedures. At Same Day, we strive to ensure the privacy of our patients, and we use only the most sophisticated tests on the market. You can contact one of our team members at 844-394-8520 if you have any questions, or –– if you’re ready to get tested today –– find a lab near you here.

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