Possible Causes Of White Pubic Hair
If you find a white pubic hair, don’t panic! White pubic hair are most probably due to physiological aging and should not cause any worry. Nonetheless, it can also be a result of other underlying health issues that demands medical attention.
What Causes White Pubic Hair?
This article enlists and describes some common causes of white pubic hair.
Aging: Graying of hair is a common sign of physiological aging. Just like scalp, hair on other parts of your body are also subjected to graying. Scientists explain that aging affects the productivity and functioning of all tissues in the body. With advancing age, the melanin production (the pigment that is responsible for the color of our hair and skin) also decreases. It is noteworthy that melanin production mostly occurs in the tip of hair follicles. Since hair follicles die with advancing age, the graying of hair also follows.
Besides physiological aging, any factor that exposes your body to undue stress can also lead to graying of hair – both of scalp as well as pubic region. This include stressors like:
- Smoking: First-hand or second-hand smoking exposes your body to a variety of toxins and chemicals. Persistent exposure leads to cell damage or death. This also involve cells that are responsible for the production of melanin pigment
- Stress: Direct or indirect stress in the form of environmental toxins can cause graying of hair in the similar manner.
- Genetics: Premature graying of hair also runs in family. Affected individuals develop graying of hair at an early age due to defects of melanin production.
Besides these common causes, graying of hair can also occur due to certain medical issues:
- White Piedra:
Fungal infections like trichomycosis presents with white hair due to overgrowth of yeast on the hair shaft. This fungal infection can affect any hair of the body; such as beard, eye-brow, pubic hair, eye-lash or mustache hair. It is noteworthy that white Piedra almost never occurs on scalp hair. The infection is characterized by fungal growth just beneath the hair shaft in the form of nodule that eventually affect the entire hair; giving it a gritty look. It also leads to weakening and brittleness of hair; ultimately leading to hair fall/ breakage.
Infection is more common in young women who lives in tropical or temperate climates; but can occur in any individual regardless of age or gender.
White Piedra can be managed by shaving the affected area completely. You can also use anti-fungal ointments to control the fungal growth.
- Public Lice:
The sexually transmitted parasitic infection is also characterized by whiteappearance of pubic hair due to yellowish-white color of lice eggs. Besides public hair, this parasitic infection can also affect the eye-lashes and eye-brows.
Classic symptoms of public lice infestation are:
- Burning or itching sensation in the pubic region due to lice biting
- Visible crawling of lice in the pubic region
- Formation of sores due to lice bite and human scratches
Pubic lice infestation is curable with the application of drugs containing permethrin. It is also important to thoroughly wash the pubic area, undergarments, and bedding after treating the infection. Presence of pubic lice infestation is also a sign that you should get yourself evaluated for other sexually transmitted infections.
Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition that is characterized by patchy loss of hair and skin pigmentation due to loss or death of melanin producing cells. It is common at younger age and has genetic predisposition.
Your doctor will require physical examination, skin biopsy and tests to make the diagnosis of vitiligo. Although there is no cure, treatments can slow down the progression.
Although, white pubic hair is not a serious complaint, but if you are experiencing symptoms due to an underlying issue, it is very important to address the primary cause.
- Zhuang, K., Ran, X., Dai, Y., Tang, J., Yang, Q., Pradhan, S., & Ran, Y. (2016). An Unusual Case of White Piedra Due to Trichosporon inkin Mimicking Trichobacteriosis. Mycopathologia, 181(11-12), 909-914.