What Are the Symptoms of an Ingrown Hair?

Exfoliating with a wet sponge may help prevent ingrown hairs.
An ingrown hair.
Article Details
  • Written By: K. Gierok
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Some of the most common symptoms of an ingrown hair include skin inflammation, mild pain, itchiness, and redness. Ingrown hairs may also become infected and as a result develop blood and pus near the hair follicle. While an ingrown hair is typically not a serious condition, it can result in severe complications when left unaddressed.

The most common sign of an ingrown hair is a small bump on the skin. Often, a hair just under the surface of the skin will be visible. In more severe cases, inflammation will also be present. Unlike other conditions, like skin rashes, which often feature a group of small bumps, inflammation associated with an ingrown hair is usually isolated around a single hair follicle. Typically, inflammation associated with an ingrown hair is initially quite minor, but it can increase as the hair itself grows longer.

Symptoms of an ingrown hair also includes mild pain. This pain is usually quite localized and is treated by removing the ingrown hair. Ingrown hairs might also cause itchiness. This itchiness typically occurs due to the inflammation of the affected area. Individuals who suspect they may have an ingrown hair should avoid scratching the area, as doing so can spread infection.

Ad

Another common sign of an ingrown hair is redness of the affected area. As with itchiness, this redness is typically caused by inflammation of the area surrounding the affected hair follicle. Once the ingrown hair has been removed and the infection treated, the redness associated with this condition will dissipate. Icing the affected area after the hair has been removed is also a great way to reduce redness.

A number of precautions may be taken to reduce the chances of getting an ingrown hair. Shaving with a clean razor that is very sharp, and avoiding shaving over pimples or other small bumps will generally help. In addition, recognizing the symptoms of an ingrown hair at an early stage and treating it quickly will usually help avoid more serious ingrown hair problems. While an ingrown hair may seem like a relatively minor condition, when left untreated, the associated infection can have more serious effects.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Ruggercat68
Post 2

I don't like having a lot of body hair, so I will usually shave my chest, underarms and lower abdomen as often as possible. I'll even sign up for professional hair-removing waxings when I can afford it. But my problem has always been ingrown hairs. I'll notice some small bumps on my skin and assume they are bug bites or acne.

It's more likely to be ingrown hairs. I'm not someone who likes to pop blisters, but there are times when I will get out a pair of tweezers and try to pull out the hair from the bump. This isn't so bad if the hair is on my face or chest, but if it's in a more sensitive area, the itching and inflammation will drive me crazy. I'll use an antibiotic cream with a numbing agent in those situations.

mrwormy
Post 1

Because of my ethnicity, I have to be very careful about shaving my facial hair. My hair is naturally very curly, and if I shave with a standard razor, my beard hairs sometimes curl back on themselves and become ingrown. It can be very painful and embarrassing to have all of these small pustules on my face and neck. I have to use a chemical powder and a credit card to shave in the morning.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email