Here's a question you probably never want to ask yourself: Is it worse to have clogged pores on your face or in your privates? Whiteheads and blackheads around the genitals are often a result of ingrown hairs from shaving or waxing, but they could also be just plain-old acne. Either way, there are simple, effective ways to treat and prevent clogged pores around your genitals. Just be sure to use a gentle touch, as this skin tends to be more delicate and sensitive than the rest of your body.
Stop shaving, waxing or tweezing the area with clogged pores. Pubic hair tends to be coarser than other hair, which means that ingrown hairs in this area can be more painful and lead to more clogged pores. Shaving over clogged pores, especially raised whiteheads, can lead to painful irritation.
Wash the area with a warm washcloth and mild soap. Many people often take more care with washing and caring for their facial skin than they do with the skin on and around their genitals, which can lead to bacterial buildup. Finish with a mild, noncomedogenic moisturizer if you have dry skin.
Exfoliate the area lightly with a glycolic acid or salicylic acidic treatment designed for sensitive skin. These products help remove dead skin, which will help open up clogged pores. Start by exfoliating once a week, and increase or decrease the frequency of the exfoliation according to the treatment directions and the health of your skin. If the skin becomes dry or irritated, exfoliate less frequently.
Use an antibiotic cream on broken or irritated skin. This will prevent further bacterial clogging and heal your skin. Don't squeeze or pick at your clogged pores, which introduces more bacteria to the area and can cause skin damage.
Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing. Tight clothing and underwear that doesn't breathe can cause sweat and bacterial buildup, which make clogged pores worse. Friction from tight clothing can lead to skin inflammation, itching and ingrown hairs.
Wait to shave or wax until after the area has cleared. Shave with a sharp blade in the direction of hair growth to avoid clogged pores in the future.
Test any new creams or treatments on a small patch of skin near your pubic region. Wait 24 hours before applying them around the genital area.
Have your physician check any bumps, rashes or discolorations around your genital area. Consult your doctor before putting anything other than mild soap and water on the inner portion of the vulva.
Lindsey Robinson Sanchez, from Bessemer, Ala., has written for the "Troy Messenger," "The Alabama Baptist" and "The Gainesville Times," where her work was featured on the AP wire. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida. She writes style, beauty, fitness, travel and culture.