10 Sep 2017

Is your pubic hair white?

The pubic area is only a small part of the body but it is an important area nevertheless. The appearance of that part of the body often tells a lot about us and the way we seek to keep our body clean. The white or grey colour of the hair is not a new thing as such. Frequently, that appearance is put down to aging because as man ages, so does the ability to produce melanin diminish.
Consequently, the presence of such hair anywhere in the body may be a reflection of this reduced capacity. Sometimes though, that picture could be a function of an inherited metabolic error such as might occur in albinos. But here too, the hair may not even be white or grey; it may appear pepper coloured or look like rust. Whatever is the case therefore, the unusual colour of the hair may represent no changes in our health status or be representative of the presence of disease.

To find white pubic hair may be alarming to some but sometimes it is a wake-up call to remind whoever has it that medical attention may be needed.

Pubic hair may also turn grey as a result of premature aging, and this can be part of the process caused by a variety of occurrences that happen to us in our lifetime. Some of these processes are set off by excessive cigarette smoking which is one of the common factors that will help cause the body to age prematurely. This is seen as part of the other processes that make the deterioration of other bodily functions inevitable as might occur in peripheral vascular disease. Another common cause of such premature graying of the hair generally is stress.

Such stress may be emotional, physical or disease-related. Also people who belong to certain psychological types like the aggressive Type “A” personality are often prone to suffering from problems like these. They are such people that are described also as go-getters who set ambitious targets and do everything within their power to achieve such goals, realistic or not. The last factor as we saw above may be due to our genes, our inherited characteristics.

Another factor that may turn the pubic hair grey is a peculiar fungal infection known as white Piedra which is often found in young women who live in temperate and tropical climates. It can also affect other people regardless of their age or gender but it is most often found in women. It is caused by a fungus known as trichomycosis which coats the hair in a whitish kind of substance. This infection, to be sure, can affect hair anywhere else in the body such as the eyebrows, the eyelashes, the armpits, beards, mustaches and the pubic hair.

However, it even more rarely appears on the head. White piedra begins just underneath the hair shaft and then grows into nodules that stick to the hair and gives it a white appearance. These nodules often have a gritty feeling and therefore cause the hair to become weak and therefore, break easily.

When the affected area is shaved completely, that is usually a useful and effective remedy for this condition. This is often recommended to those people who have got it but as this may not be an attractive solution to some of those people, then they could use an antifungal cream instead. Those who have a rather severe or persistent form of this disease may then require an oral antifungal agent as well that they will take by mouth in addition to the use of the cream.

There are several such creams available in the Nigerian drug market today so that there is a variety to choose from. The average Nigerian woman perhaps has nothing to fear much from all this because she would routinely get rid of nearly all of her body hair almost like a religion; armpits are shaved as are the eyebrows and pubic hair. Some even remove the natural eyelashes and fix their own. That should all be helpful.

The other condition that causes the patchy loss of skin colour is Vitiligo whose specific cause remains uncertain but there is the belief in certain quarters that it may have a genetic component because relatives of those who have got it have an increased likelihood for developing the condition. It may also be due to an autoimmune condition in which certain cells within the body fail to recognise the cells in the areas attacked as being a part of the same individual and therefore attack those cells. It can thus affect the skin and hair anywhere in the body including the pubic area.

This condition is seen in the parts of the body where the production of melanin dies off or has stopped being produced or in those areas where there is a lot of exposure to sunlight. This is an often frustrating condition to treat and many of the people who have it simply ignore their lesions or use camouflage creams to hide its presence. They can often be seen on the lips, face, hands, the head and neck regions of the body and also in the pubic area.

The last of these causative factors is pubic lice, caused by lice which are parasitic insects that lay their eggs on the shaft of the hair. As their eggs have a cream shade of colour, they give the hair the appearance of being white. The eggs of these insects are sexually transmitted. They are parasites and they are associated with the development of sores in the pubic area as a result of the bites which may often draw attention to their presence. There may be itching associated with these bites and sometimes, one can see the tiny insects crawling through the pubic hair. Pubic lice is treatable and many doctors usually recommend treatment with a medication that contains permethrin.

Soaps containing monosulphiram are also useful. The hair can be completely shaved in addition as well as thoroughly washing and ironing all beddings and underwear. Sufferers should also be checked for the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases and there should be no sexual contact until the whole episode is cleared.



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