Ingrown Hairs

What is an ingrown hair?

An ingrown hair is a hair that curls and penetrates the skin with its tip, causing inflammation. Ingrown hairs are more common among people with very curly hair. Most ingrown hairs happen in the beard area on men and the bikini or groin area on women.

What are the symptoms of an ingrown hair?

The most common symptom of an ingrown hair is redness and inflammation of the skin. This is followed by pus formation. The symptoms of an ingrown hair may seem like other skin conditions. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is an ingrown hair diagnosed?

Diagnosis of an ingrown hair can be confirmed with a medical history and a physical exam.

Treatment for an ingrown hair

An ingrown hair often heals on its own. Warm compresses may help if you have pustules. But in the case of chronic ingrown hairs, prevention may include:

  • Letting the hair to grow longer before shaving it

  • Not shaving the area in the future. If you must trim the hair, use a clipper rather than a razor. Or try not to shave as closely. Special razors that don't shave as closely may be useful.

  • Removing the hair permanently through laser, electrolysis, or depilatory methods (liquids or creams)

Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Michael Lehrer MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Paula Goode RN BSN MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2021
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