Ingrown Hairs: More Than An Annoyance

Michelle Hopkins

You probably had your first ingrown hair when you were a child, but chances are you didn't have many until you began to shave. Men and women both know how easy it is for hairs to grow inward and cause irritation or even infection. Usually, they are not a serious issue, but on occasion,they can become a real problem. As a result, you need to learn how to prevent and treat ingrown hairs.

Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs are often confused with pimples. Sometimes when you shave, the hair become trapped beneath the skin and grows downward. These areas can become irritated and surrounded by pus. Sometimes squeezing them can release the pus, but if you do not pull out the hair, the infection is likely to recur. Before trying to remove the hair, try exfoliating the area with a scrub or even with a loofah. Then put a hot compress on the area. Gently squeeze the bump to reveal the tip of the hair. You can then use disinfected tweezers to pull the hair out. Then use an antiseptic cream on it to prevent infection.

Hair Cysts

Sometimes an ingrown hair or blocked hair follicle can lead to a "hair cyst." A variety of cysts fall under this category and can appear on your face, your chest, your genital area, or your head. They can be filled with dead skin cells as well as hair and can grow to surprisingly large sizes. When you have such a growth, you need to seek help from a dermatologist. They may need to remove it using an out-patient surgery done under local anesthesia. Some people are prone to developing these cysts, so you may need to have several removed. The procedure is relatively painless and should leave you with no more than a small scar


Reducing hair follicle irritation is key to eliminating ingrown hairs. Cutting the number of times you shave per week is helpful, and you should always use a sharp blade when you do. Exfoliating regularly can also keep your follicles from becoming blocked. Avoid tight clothing as well.

Ingrown hairs can sometimes turn into large cysts. Even small ingrown hairs can easily become infected and cause you pain and embarrassment. A good skincare regimen can certainly help, but if things get out of control, seek help from a dermatologist like Henry D. McKinney M.D. They can treat these bumps and teach you to prevent them.