Many things can cause bumpy pubic areas. Genital warts are one such condition. However, there are many other possible causes. This article will discuss one of these causes and how to distinguish them from warts.

Many people make mistakes when identifying genital warts as ingrown hairs or herpes rashes. Identifying them early is important so you can save a lot of time and money.


Warts can be found in the skin and mucous membranes. The Human Papillomavirus causes them. Many subtypes can cause warts to appear in different areas. There are two main categories: cutaneous and genital warts.

Genital Warts, also known as ano­gential warts, are found in the skin and mucous around the anus and genitals.

Cutaneous Warts are found all over the body and have different appearances depending upon the location of the virus responsible. We will discuss the possible causes and what they might look like if they occur in the genital region.

Genital Warts: Causes

HPV subtypes 6 & 11 are responsible for genital warts. They are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

This is not the only way to transmit the virus. Genital warts can also be transmitted via autoinoculation. In this case, an infected person reinfects another area on their body by handling the virus with their hands and transferring it to the target.

The presence of HPV DNA in the fingers of patients supports this theory.

Clinical Presentation of Genital Warts

Warts may not appear immediately after infection with the virus. They can remain dormant for weeks or even take up to 2 years for warts to appear.

Genital Warts are usually seen in a form called condyloma Acuminata. It is a soft, fleshy, pink swelling that grows on a stalk with a rough, granular surface. Multiple warts may occur in one patient. They can fuse to form one large mass if they are close together.

The flatwart is another form of genital warfare. These are small flat bumps that appear as a single, isolated entity. This form of genital wart is known as the em>flat wart/em>. It presents as small, flat, solitary bumps.

Other than the obvious appearance of the wart, there may not even be other symptoms. Warts can be embarrassing for many people and cause discomfort.

Genital warts can become itchy or inflamed. They may also exude fluids or have a foul odor. Warts can bleed from scratching or inflammation. The presence of warts close to the urethral opening can cause problems with urine flow or disrupt the stream.

Causes of Cutaneous Warts

Cutaneous warts, the main subtype of common warts’, may also occur in the genital region. These are usually caused by HPV subtype 2 but can also be caused by types 1, 4, 27, or 57.

The epithelium is the top layer of skin and must be breached for the virus to enter the skin. The virus may be able to access the skin by causing small tears in the epithelium when you shave your pubic hair.

As with genital warts and genital warts, the appearance of cutaneous writs can be delayed by infection. It may take up to 20 months for a wart to appear.

Patients with compromised immune systems (those whose immunity has been affected by HIV/meds) are more vulnerable to warts. They have a greater likelihood of developing warts and a lower chance of spontaneous resolution.

The Pubic Region: Signs and Symptoms of Cutaneous Warts

Common warts are found in the pubic area and on the genitals. They usually appear as small bumps with rough surfaces.

They can form single or multiple warts and fuse together to create large masses. Each wart measures approximately 1 cm in diameter and may become tender if cracked.

Common warts account for 1 to 2% of adult cases of warts around the pubic area or genitals. In children, they account for two-thirds.

Ingrown hairs

Ingrown hair (shaving rash, razor bumps, or pseudofolliculitis) is an inflammation resulting from a foreign body reaction to hair.

This happens when the hair’s edge penetrates the skin. It is often caused by shaving and disruption of hair growth after plucking or waxing. The most common areas that experience this are the lower legs of women and men’s beards and the pubic area.

Ingrown hairs can be described as a reddish or fleshy swelling around the hair follicle. It may also cause tenderness or itching. If they are not shaved, they will likely bleed.

Ingrown hairs: Causes

Ingrown hairs are usually caused by close shaving. Cut hairs are more likely to retract beneath the skin’s surface.

Curly hair is more at risk than straight hair because curly hairs are more likely to reenter the skin after being removed. Ingrown hairs can also happen in straight hair areas with scars or skin folds. This may increase the chance of the hairs reaching the skin.

Research has shown that pseudofolliculitis is a genetic condition. The reason was a nucleotide substitution in a gene responsible for transcribing hair protein keratin (a protein found in hair).

Ingrown hairs result from an adverse reaction to minoxidil, a vasodilator used to treat hair loss.

Ingrown Hair vs. Genital Warts: What the Differences?

We’ve now covered ingrown hairs as well as genital warts. Now we can discuss why they may be confused and – by highlighting their unique characteristics – how to distinguish them.

They might be confused.

An ingrown hair reaction may look like a simple common wart or a flat-genital wart. Both are small bumps that have an uneven surface and can be itchy. Ingrown hairs can be red and painful but flesh-colored and not as painful as warts.

A wart can also become reddish or painful due to irritation.

Acuminate genital warts can look like an ingrown hair complex with keloid formation.

There are differences in appearance.

Ingrown hairs can show redness if the skin around them is also red. Common Warts are either skin-colored or white. However, they could be greyish-yellow or pigmented. Genital warts are typically pink.

Ingrown hairs might have a yellow center, which could indicate the presence of pus. Some centers of warts can be black because of thrombosis in the blood vessels that run through them (in this case, they are called “seed warts”).

Ingrown hairs are unlikely to mimic the characteristic appearance of genital warts, which have a distinctive cauliflower appearance.

Different symptoms

Although ingrown hairs are usually painless, genital warts can be painful. Ingrown hairs can be more painful than others due to an inflammation reaction around the hair. The pain may radiate to the skin.

Ingrown hairs, especially the acuminate variety, can emit an offensive odor. Ingrown hairs should not be considered malodorous unless there is severe inflammation or the infection has become serious.

Different consequences

Ingrown hairs can lead to further problems such as scarring, permanent or temporary hair loss, darkening skin, scar formation, temporary hair loss, or permanent hair removal.

Common warts usually resolve themselves without the need for intervention or symptoms. Sometimes, there may be a blackening in the middle of the wart. It can take several months or years to resolve the problem.

Genital warts can also be resolved spontaneously after a while of between weeks and years. They can recur in 25 percent of cases. This happens between two and 23 years after the resolution.

An effective way to tell them apart

A drop of apple cider vinegar can be applied to the bumps to help with the confusion. A drop of apple cider vinegar can be applied to the bumps to help clear up confusion.

Here are some tips to avoid ingrown hairs in your genital area

Let the hair grow for 30 days before you attempt to treat pseudofolliculitis. If you wish to shave once more, follow these steps:

  • Before shaving, moisturize the skin. This will reduce the chance of inflaming your skin. Glycolic acid lotions may be beneficial.
  • Use a cleansing pad to clean the skin.
  • Avoid shaving too close. You can leave a little bristle on your skin and shave less often.
  • You can use a disposable razor with one blade or an electric razor.
  • Always shave in the direction of your hair. Do not stretch your skin when shaving.
  • Reusable metal shaving tools should be sterilized with boiling water. After that, soak the plastic ones in antiseptic.

You might also consider other options for shaving. You can also try topical products such as Eflornithine cream and barium sulfide powder. These may cause irritation.

You also have the option of Intense Pulsed light (IPL or flashlamp therapy), which uses high-intensity pulses of visible light that are composed of many wavelengths), as well as Nd-Yag, or diode-lasers. Lasers can cause the skin to change color.


Not all bumps in the genital region are genital warts. Common warts or ingrown hairs could be the cause. These are also known as pseudofolliculitis. It is important to understand the differences between lesions to make an informed decision about how to proceed with treatment.