Ingrown Hair: What It Looks Like, Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment 2024


Ingrown hair Overview

Ingrown hair is the result of the hair that was tweezed or cut returning to the skin. It may cause pain, inflammation, and small bumps on the area where the hair was taken out.


Ingrown hair

Hair growth that is ingrown can be a typical problem that is caused by hair loss. It’s more prevalent among males of African descent who shave their facial hair. Ingrown hairs can also be a problem for anyone who cuts hair through shaving, tweezing, or even waxing.


In most cases, the ingrown hair gets better with no treatment. It is possible to avoid developing ingrown hair by not taking hair off. If this isn’t possible, it is possible to remove hair to reduce the development of hair ingrown.


  Symptoms of Ingrown hair

Ingrown hairs are most often seen on the face, such as the chin, cheeks, and neck. They may be found on the scalp of people who shave their hair. The most frequent areas for hair growth are the armpits, the pubic region, and the legs.

ingrownhair razor bump

The symptoms and signs include:

👉 The bumps are small but solid. round bumps (papules)

👉 Small, pus-filled, blister-like lesions (pustules)

👉 Skin darkening (hyperpigmentation)

👉 Pain

👉 Itching

👉 Hairs embedded in the hair

 Causes of Ingrown hair

Hair structure and growth direction influence the growth of growing hair that is ingrown. A hair follicle that is curled producing tightly curled hair is believed to stimulate hair to return to the skin after the hair has been cut and grows back.

Shaving can create sharp edges in this kind of hair, particularly when your hair has dried after being shaved.

You could also experience ingrown hair if:

👉 The skin should be pulled taut when shaving, letting the hair cut back into your skin and return to the skin without first growing out.

👉 Tweeze may leave hair fragments beneath the skin’s surface.

If a hair can penetrate your skin, the skin reacts in the same way as the presence of a foreign object and becomes inflamed.

Risk factors

A tightly curled head of hair is the main cause of ingrown hairs.


Ingrown hairs in the long term can cause:

✔️ Infections caused by bacteria (from scratching)

✔️ Skin darkening (hyperpigmentation)

✔️ Permanent scarring (keloids)

✔️ Pseudofolliculitis Barbae also referred to as razor bumps


To prevent hair growth, be sure to avoid shaving, tweezing, and waxing. If this isn’t an option, use these methods to reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs: likely to occur:

👉 Cleanse your skin using gentle water and a warm cleanser for your face before shaving.

👉 Apply the shaving cream or gel that lubricates just a few minutes before shaving to smooth the hair. Apply an icy compress.

👉 Make sure you use a razor that is sharp every time you cut. More research is required to determine if the single or multiple blade razor is the best to prevent ingrown hair. Check out what is most effective for you.

👉 Avoid close-shaves.

👉 Do not pull your skin taut when shaving.

👉 Make sure you cut to directions of hair growth.

👉 Clean the blade after every stroke.

👉 Wash your face, then apply lotion following shaving.

The following methods for removing hair can also help to prevent the growth of hairs:

✔️ Razor or clipper that is electric. With the razor, be sure to do not use the closest shaving setting and hold the razor clipper off your face.

✔️ Chemical hair removal. The chemicals in products to remove hair (depilatories) can irritate your skin. So, try testing in a small patch first.

✔️ A cream for reducing the growth of hair. A product called Eflornithine (Vaniqa) can be described as a prescribed cream that reduces hair growth when combined with other methods for removing hair, like laser therapy. It is necessary to conduct further research to establish the effectiveness of this technique.

What exactly is the definition of ingrown hair? What are the causes? If you’re considering these questions, you’re certainly not all on your own. The positive side is, you’re right spot. Find out what hair ingrown are and how to get them out of the way.

Have an Ingrown Hair?

Are you suffering from pain, red, or itchy lumps that appear on your face, and not sure which ones are they? If yes, then that you’ve got ingrown hair. Ingrown hairs can be experienced by many people, particularly those who frequently cut their hair.

If you suspect you’re suffering from hair ingrown, don’t worry, as in this post, we’ll discuss:

👉 What is ingrown hair is, and how it appears like

👉 The areas where you may be able to

👉 Preventing and treating ingrown hair

There’s plenty to learn about, and we’ll get right to it!

What Is an Ingrown Hair?

Ingrown hairs result from after you shave your face, and then the hair grows back incorrectly. As the hair follicle grows, it expands back to the skin. The hair that grows could be, for instance, growing outwards, then growing back to the skin.

It is easy to determine if you’re suffering from ingrown hairs as there will be itchy and red spots that can be slightly raised. Sometimes, they can get infected.

It’s easy to tell if your hair is affected because you may see pus on the areas. People who have hair ingrown might also suffer from hyperpigmentation.

The skin becomes darker in the region that hair has grown. Incredibly, those with curly or coarse hair tend to be more likely to suffer from hair ingrown than people with less delicate hair varieties.

Where You Might Have Ingrown Hair

Since we have hair in several places on our bodies, it’s the safe claim that any place you take hair out of through shaving, plucking, or threading, could be vulnerable to growing hair.

The most common areas are:

👉 Head

👉 Legs

👉 Arms

👉 Public area

👉 Face – which includes cheeks, eyebrows, and the chin

👉 Armpits

👉 Back

The positive side is that there is a way to manage and avoid ingrown hairs using just a few steps.

How to Prevent Ingrown Hair

It’s possible to decrease the risk of developing ingrown hairs by taking just a few steps.

Let’s look at:

✔️ Before shaving the face, apply a warm towel on your face to unblock your pores.

✔️ For hair removal, apply warm water to your skin. Use a proper shaving gel, not soap.

✔️ Let the shaving foam or gel in your body for a couple of minutes before shaving.

✔️ When you use blade shaving, wash it off every time you use it and make sure not to cut off your skin.

✔️ Make sure to cut in the direction in which your hair grows. Could you not push it against it?

✔️ If you’re experiencing hair that has become trapped and hairs are clogging your pores, you should try using an exfoliating cleanser that is gentle and antiseptic. This can help to remove any hairs that have grown.


✔️ Try to remove hair using hair removal creams or one alternative method that we’ve mentioned, like electrolysis or laser. The hair removal techniques mentioned above tend not to cause hair growth that is ingrown.

✔️ After you’ve removed any unwanted hairs, take an unclean, cool, and moist cloth and gently rub it against the skin that has been shaved. This will prevent discomfort to your skin.

✔️ Rinse your face to ensure it’s clear of gels or lotions, then apply a mild balm after shaving to ease any irritation.

There are some steps you should not take:

👉 Be careful not to cut close to your skin. Razors can be extremely rough and cause skin damage such as cuts and bumps.

👉 If you’ve got hairs ingrown, you should avoid scratching them or popping the areas if they’ve pus inside because you’ll increase the risk of them getting infected.

👉 Don’t use a sharp razor. If you don’t own an electric razor and instead use disposable razors, you should only utilize them for a single time before throwing them away in the bathroom trash bin. The ideal is for disposable razors to have single blades.

How to Treat Ingrown Hair

Although the most effective method to get rid of growing hair is to remove it by shaving, to pluck, or plucking it, it might not be the best alternative for you.

In the end, other hair removal methods like electrolysis, lasers, and waxing may be costly and, at times, painful.

In this regard, there are some methods to take care of your hair that is growing ingrown:

👉 Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using topical remedies for your skin, like a mild antiseptic. This will reduce the chance of infection or even keep the skin from getting infected.

They can also recommend creams and lotions that ease itching, for instance, hydrocortisone. It helps your immune system respond to swelling, itching, and pain that is that are caused by ingrown hairs.

👉 Buy over-the-counter remedies which contain retinoids or benzoyl peroxide. These ingredients can reduce the inflammation of the affected area and also reduce bumps and blemishes.

Also, Benzoyl peroxide is an extremely popular treatment for people suffering from acne. This treatment eliminates dead skin cells that could block your pores, allowing the skin’s air to circulate more easily.

👉 Do not cut the area. This gives the hair that has grown the chance to grow.

Can I Use Products to Reduce Hair Growth?

The web is brimming with ads and articles for merchandise that claims to slow down hair growth. Whichever one you choose is a good idea to test their effectiveness on a small amount of skin to confirm you don’t experience any allergic reactions.

The most frequently mentioned product is Vaniqa. Its official term is Eflornithine, and it can be purchased as ordered by your doctor. It helps to reduce hair growth when it is combined with other treatments like lasers.

Suppose you decide to go this method as a preventive. If you don’t, you could end up wasting your money and time with products that aren’t against examination.

In this case, it’s always worthwhile to conduct some investigation into customer reviews before spending your money.

When to Consult a Doctor

If your hair ingrown aren’t getting rid of and the pus-filled spots remain, it’s possible to consult a dermatologist who will remove the hairs. In addition, if you’re suffering from an infection that’s not getting rid of after you’ve tried the techniques that are listed.

This is especially the case for hairs that have grown ingrown. They may be making you feel pain, redness and the pus is beginning to leak out. In that instance, it’s best to consult an experienced medical professional. Don’t forget; it’s not over.

 Although most ingrown hairs don’t disappear overnight, you can limit the chance of being exposed to them.

For instance, if you’re willing to modify your current shaving/hair removal routine, implement the suggestions mentioned above. Best of luck!

About Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist specializing in all things life, with a passion for hair. Alongside You Probably Need a Haircut, she appears in Reader’s Digest, G2, and Judicious Inc.

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FAQ About Ingrown Hair

👉 How do you remove an ingrown hair?

To remove an ingrown hair safely:

  1. Wash the area with mild soap and warm water.
  2. Apply a warm, wet washcloth over the ingrown hair.
  3. Hold the washcloth in place for 1 minute, then remove it.
  4. Using a sterilized needle or tweezers, gently tease out the rest of the hair.

👉 Do ingrown hairs go away on their own?

Ingrown hairs usually disappear in their own time if you leave them alone. But, if they don’t or if you’ve got an amazing beach day in front of you, there is a guideline to accelerate the process. Step 1: Stop any hair removal attempts. You should not pull, pluck, wax, shave or cut hair in the area where ingrown hair is present.

👉 What will happen if an ingrown hair goes untreated?

Ingrown hairs aren’t usually harmful, but they can be extremely painful. If the infection goes untreated, it may worsen or spread into the bloodstream.

👉 What causes ingrown hair?

While ingrown hair can be mostly caused by an aggressive or ineffective removal of hair, it may also happen naturally because too much dead skin debris hinders the opening of the hair follicle and causes hair to expand sideways.

👉 How long does it take for a ingrown hair to go away?

While ingrown hairs may be uncomfortable at moments, they’re best left completely. Most cases heal by themselves without intervention. The milder cases of infection can be cured by themselves after some days, while serious cases may last for a few weeks.

👉 Can an ingrown hair feel like a lump?

What does it look like? An ingrown hair cyst appears as an ingrown hair cyst that appears as a lump under its skin. It does not be visible and can be white, red, or yellow. The cyst could be tender or painful to the sensation.

👉 What does an ingrown hair follicle look like?

They generally appear like tiny red bumps on your skin that are located on the hair follicle. The bumps may be filled with pus, which could occasionally indicate an infection doctors refer to as folliculitis.

👉 How do you treat an ingrown pubic hair boil?

Apply a moist, warm compress on the affected area several times per day. This will speed up healing and ease some of the discomfort and pressure caused by the boil.

Clean your hands before and after touching the area to limit the spread of the infection. After the boil has opened, make sure the area stays as dry and clean as you can.

👉 Does ingrown hair grow back?

The main reason for hair ingrown is a poor shaving method. Cut hair that is cut close to your skin causes an extremely sharp edge on the tip of each hair. A majority of the hairs can grow out with no issue.

👉 What are the symptoms of ingrown pubic hair?

Signs and symptoms include:
  • Small, solid, rounded bumps (papules)
  • Small, pus-filled, blister-like lesions (pustules)
  • Skin darkening (hyperpigmentation)
  • Pain.
  • Itching.
  • Embedded hairs.

👉 How do you get an ingrown hair out if you can’t see it?

Begin by applying a warm compress on the region as the warmth will soften the skin, as per Dr. Solomon. Then, with gentle pressure, cleanse the skin to trap hair. “Move either a clean washcloth or a soft-bristled toothbrush across your area with a circular movement for about 15 minutes,” she suggests.

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