Seeing a white pubic hair underneath can be very frightening. However, it shouldn’t be a reason for concern. Most times, the natural aging process causes white pubic hair.
However, white pubic hair can sometimes arise from other underlying health conditions that require medical attention.
Possible causes of white pubic hair:
Most cases of white pubic hair have been reported to have come about from the natural process of aging while a few cases could arise from other severe conditions.
Pubic lice are small parasitic wingless insects that majorly affect the hair located at the pubic region. They may also affect other thick hair on the body, such as the eyelashes.
Pubic lice may cause the outlook of the hair at the pubic region to appear white. The eggs of these Pubic lice parasites have a yellowish-white appearance.
Adult pubic lice also known as crabs due to their outlook are grayish-white. The hair at the pubic region may appear white if the infestation is very high.
Other symptoms that could be indicators of a pubic lice infection include:
· Visible nits crawling through the hair
· Itching or burning from the bites
· Sores from the bites
White piedra is a fungal infection of the hair shaft caused by a yeast known as “Trichomycosis” that covers the hair in a white substance.
This type of infection is prone to any hair on the body including eyebrows, eyelashes, mustache, beards and pubic hair. It rarely happen in the hair on the head, however, it can be found on anywhere there is an hair growth.
White piedra starts underneath the hair shaft and then grows into nodules that cling onto the hair and turns it to white. The nodules may possess a gritty texture and cause the pubic hair to weaken and break.
White piedra is not so common and mostly affects young women who are residents of temperate and tropical climatic areas. However, this condition can affect anyone regardless of their age or gender.
The skin produces less melanin with time as people age and the follicles produced in the hair starts to die off. Melanin is the pigment responsible for giving the skin and hair its color produced by the melanocytes.
As the follicles die and melanin reduces, the color of the hair begins to fade to silver, gray or white. This is a natural process that happens with hair all around the body with no exception to the pubic hair.
In some cases, hair may turn gray due to premature aging which may affect the hair all around the body including the pubic hair.
Premature graying of the hair may be caused by:
Vitiligo is a skin disorder that causes the loss the skin to lose it’s color characterized majorly by the presence of white patches. It can affect anywhere on the body be it the skin or hair including pubic hair.
Vitiligo occurs when the melanocytes responsible for the production of melanin die or stop functioning. It usually starts from areas that are the most exposed to the sun, so it happening first at the pubic hair is really not common. This condition can begin at any age, but mostly appears at the age 20, and it can affect both genders.
The causes of vitiligo are yet unknown. However, vitiligo have been shown to arise as a result of the combination of both genetic and environmental factors.
Diagnosis of this condition will require a skin biopsy, blood tests and also a physical examination of the body. While there is no known cure yet, certain treatments can be done or taken to slow down the progression of vitiligo.
When to see a doctor
While it is not necessary to see a doctor for aging-related causes of white pubic hair, people that suddenly develop white pubic hair may need to consult a doctor for proper check-up.
Anyone having symptoms of pubic lice should see a doctor as soon as possible. While people with cases of white piedra or vitiligo should also consult a doctor too at when convenient.
Completely shaving the affected area is the most effective remedy and can be considered a treatment option for people with white piedra in their pubic region. Other treatment option include usage of topical antifungal cream. One who has a severe or persistent condition of this infection may also require an oral antifungal medications in addition to other treatment.
Pubic lice is a condition that can be cured. Most doctors recommend treating the affected area with a medication that has the composition of permethrin in it. Most infections only require just a treatment option.
When treating pubic lice infection, beddings, underwear and swimwear should be often washed thoroughly.
A person diagnosed of pubic lice should be also checked for other sexually transmitted infections. Engaging in sexual activity should be avoided until the infection has been successfully treated.
Treatment for white pubic hair depends on the cause of the condition. There is no prevention or treatment for white pubic hair caused by aging.
However, stopping smoking and reducing stress a bit may help slow down the aging process.
In conclusion, it is important to note that conditions that are responsible for the causes of white pubic hair are not life-threatening and as such not chronic.