Q. Can an ingrown hair infection cause pain and swelling in the pubic area?

Answered by
Dr. Sandhya Narayanan Kutty
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 17, 2023

Hello doctor,

I have a red and hard swelling in the pubic area around the waistline. The swelling is painful and tender when touched, although I cannot see any pus in it. I think it can be due to an ingrown hair, I plucked the hair in the region, although this did not result in any reduction in the swelling, and no pus was released. I am prone to ingrown hair due to my hair type. The swelling is around 1x1 cm, there has been some mild irritation in the area for some time, but the swelling has grown in size in the last few days. I am attaching pictures of it for your reference. Kindly suggest.



Welcome to

I have reviewed the information and image provided (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity). The swelling appears to be an abscess from the pictures shared. Swelling at the end of the hair follicle in the pubic area suggests folliculitis, an infection of the hair root. The presence of hair in the area, sweat, and increased sebum secretion may have caused folliculitis. Plucking out the hair follicle in the infected area may have led to the further spread of infection, causing an abscess. Inflammation, redness, swelling, tenderness, warmth on touch, and pain are the most common symptoms which depict abscess formation. I would suggest the following-

1. Tablet Augmentin 625 mg ( Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid) may be consumed twice daily after breakfast and dinner for five days. Make sure to consume the tablet only if there is no prior history of allergy to any antibiotics or Amoxicillin

2. Tablet Pantoprazole 40 mg half an hour before breakfast and dinner for five days to prevent acidity to antibiotics

3. Mupirocin 2 % (2.15% w/w Mupirocin calcium) cream may be applied thrice daily on the affected area till the swelling clears.

4. Lukewarm salt water fomentation may be applied on the affected area once daily for 10 minutes for two weeks.

5. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with them and take medications with their consent. I suggest you consult a surgeon for an in-person examination of the swelling. In case of an abscess, incision, drainage, or pus examination can be done by a doctor for faster recovery. For the same, an in-person examination for confirmation of diagnosis may be needed.

6. Avoid oily and fried food, sweets, red meat, milk, and dairy products to avoid the trigger of more oil secretion.

I hope the details provided above were informative and provided clarity.

Thank you.

Hello doctor,

Regarding the tablet Augmentin, I am not allergic to this antibiotic. However, I have had an issue with the drug in the past. I have been prescribed Augmentin three times in my life. The first two times, the antibiotic worked without issue. However, the last time I took the drug two years back, I had severe diarrhea with blood (red or liquid blood) in the stool, which had to be treated in the emergency room via intravenous fluids due to the fluid loss from diarrhea. I do not know what caused the issue. A stool sample was tested for malignant bacteria, which came back negative, although I was prescribed the tablet Flagyl as a precaution after the emergency room visit. I am not sure whether this reaction is specific to Augmentin in my case or whether it is also common to other penicillin-based antibiotics. Since the doctor's offices are closed in my country on the weekend, I am treating the area with Iso-Betadine compresses. I also have Fucidin cream at home if this would be helpful.



Welcome back to

Since you have had a reaction in the past, kindly refrain from using the medications. I suggest you take an alternative medication as follows:

1. Tablet Cefixime 200 mg (dibasic Calcium phosphate, Hypromellose, Lactose monohydrate, Magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose) twice daily after meals for seven days.

2. Tablet Pantoprazole 40 mg twice daily before food for seven days.

Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with them and take medications with their consent. Yes, you may use Iso-betadine compresses. You may use Fucidin (Butyl hydroxy anisole, Cetyl alcohol and Potassium sorbate) cream instead of Mupirocin (20 mg Mupirocin) cream as well. Luke warm compresses may also done once daily. Make sure to seek in person consultation as well during the week days from a surgeon for examination, confirmative diagnosis and drainage if needed.

Thank you.

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