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An ingrown hair is a hair that has grown into the skin instead of coming out as it would naturally be.
This happens after shaving or waxing. The hair curls during regrowth and grows back into the skin. Ingrown hairs are more common in people with curly hair and men with beards.
Ingrown hairs are irritating to the skin, itchy, uncomfortable, and embarrassing. It forms a raised red bump that looks like a pimple.
Sometimes when it is infected, it can become a boiling ulcer that is pretty painful. Sometimes, if you look closely, you see the hair in the bump or pus.
Men get them after shaving their beards. They appear as small bumps on the beard, chin, and neck.
Women get them on their legs, public spaces, and armpits. Sometimes they appear on the buttocks.
Keep reading to learn what the symptoms are and how long does an ingrown hair last and how to correct hair growth, as well as tips to prevent future cases of ingrown hairs.
Table Of Contents
- What Is An Ingrown Pubic Hair Cyst?
- Causes Of Ingrown Hairs
- Ingrown Hair Cyst Vs Cystic Acne
- Which Treatment Are Ingrown Hair Options Available?
- How Long Does An Ingrown Hair Last?
- When Should You Consult Your Doctor?
- How To Prevent Ingrown Hairs In The Future?
What Is An Ingrown Pubic Hair Cyst?
Ingrown hairs are painful and itchy bumps, especially when they appear in your pubic area. But what are they exactly?
An ingrown hair cyst refers to an ingrown hair that turns into a cyst – a large bulge that extends between the skin surface and deep beneath it. The appearance is a cross between a regular ingrown hair and an acne cyst, although this is another condition.
An ingrown pubic hair cyst in the vaginal area occurs when the tip of a pubic hair folds back into the skin at the root. Instead of growing up to the surface, the hair grows back into the skin as a result of shaving, waxing, or plucking.
Ingrown pubic hair cysts like this are common in people who use shaving, waxing, or other methods to fix their hair. Remove. Although you may want to get rid of these cysts only because of their appearance, it is also important to watch for signs of an infection.
When an ingrown hair develops, you may notice painful pink bumps. You may also experience pain or itching in the area. Despite their unattractive appearance, they are harmless and usually disappear without treatment.
Keep reading to find out what causes these cysts, plus how to treat them and prevent them from returning.
Causes Of Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hairs are caused by irritation of the hair follicles. Wherever you injure hair or perform a hair removal process (shaving, waxing, or electrolysis), it can grow back in a different angle and get caught under the skin. Ingrown hairs can occur wherever hair is; it’s not just the bikini line; it can be the armpit, ear, nose, even eyelashes.
For example, when false eyelashes are removed, it sometimes removes an eyelash and grows into ingrown eyelashes.
Ingrown hairs are more common in people with thick, dense hair from an anatomical point of view; ingrown hairs occur when the hair is partially or completely trapped in the skin, leading to inflammation and sometimes localized infection.
Sometimes they can occur simply because of the physical anatomy of the hair or as a result of hair removal methods that completely remove the hair from the base.
Recommended Reading: How to Shave Your Pubic Area Correctly Without Irritation
Ingrown Hair Cyst Vs Cystic Acne
As the name implies, ingrown hair cysts begin as ingrown hairs. In the beginning, you may see a small pimple with hair on the surface. It can also be red in color. Over time – if the ingrown hair does not go away – the small bulge can become a much larger one. The resulting cyst can be red, white, or yellow in color. It can also feel painful.
Although ingrown hair cysts can occur anywhere on your body, they are more likely to develop in areas that are sensitive to ingrown hairs.
- Pubic area
An ingrown hair cyst is not the same as cystic acne, although the two conditions can be similar. An infected ingrown hair cyst starts as a regular ingrown hair, and acne cysts are caused by a combination of oil and dead skill cells that accumulate deep beneath the hair follicles.
Cystic acne can be widespread in one area, such as your back or face. Ingrown hair cysts, on the other hand, are smaller in number and contain – you can just have one. And unlike pimples, ingrown hair cysts have no head.
Recommended Reading: 10 Best Acne Treatments for Men to Get Clear Skin of 2023
Which Treatment Are Ingrown Hair Options Available?
Normal Ingrown Hair Removal
Ingrown hairs usually dissolve on their own without being removed.
Sometimes ingrown hairs can be removed with sterilized tweezers or needles – but only if the hair is near the skin surface. Digging for the ingrown hairs only increases the risk of infection.
Carefully scrub the area with warm water and soap; this can help relieve ingrown hairs from the skin itself.
Ingrown Hair Cyst Removal
The primary goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation in the environment and reduce your risk of infection.
Ingrown hair cyst medication may be needed if OTC methods do not work.
For example, your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream to help reduce redness and pain around the cyst.
You should never spray an ingrown hair cyst, as this can increase your risk of infection and scarring.
You should also not try to lift the hair out with tweezers like you would with normal ingrown hair. At this point, the hair is far too deeply embedded under the ingrown hair cyst to pull out.
Instead, encourage the cyst to go down and pull the hair straight up a few times through the cysts. Gently scrub daily with a warm cloth.
If you develop an infection, your healthcare provider will prescribe local or oral antibiotics. This helps to reduce inflammation and pain and at the same time, prevents the infection from spreading and getting worse.
Ingrown Pubic Hair Cyst Removal
ingrown pubic hair cyst often disappears automatically. If it doesn’t go away, it can get infected.
The signs of an infection are dark skin and painful bumps filled with pus. The chance of an infection increases with scratching the pubic hair.
If you notice that your ingrown pubic hair is infected, you should consult your doctor. They can prescribe an antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics.
- Do not pluck or continue to remove the hair from the area, as this may cause more cases and may increase healing time.
- Do not shave the area with ingrown hairs, as this can irritate the skin and itching from the hairdresser. This is when it gets an abacterial or fungal infection that delays recovery time and may require medical treatment.
- Consult a doctor if they continue to spread after a few weeks or are not cured.
- Seek medical help if the irritation and pain are too much. This can be caused by an infection.
How Long Does An Ingrown Hair Last?
Ingrown hair can disappear after the hair has grown naturally. However, they can take one day to 2 weeks, depending on how you treat them. The factors that determine how long can ingrown hairs last are:
The Skin Types
People with oily skin tend to care longer. This is because the excess oil clogs the pores, leading to a slow healing process. People with dry skin also suffer from irritations after shaving and waxing, and their skin may itch or stay red longer than people with oily skin.
The Location of ingrown hair
Where is your ingrown hair? Areas that are hidden, such as the bikini line and armpits, usually last longer because the skin is not sufficiently ventilated to remove the bumps.
However, one can air the areas more at night by sleeping naked. Those on the legs and arms need a few days to heal.
When Should You Consult Your Doctor?
Mild ingrown hair infections often disappear without treatment. However, consult your doctor if the infection worsens or does not improve within a few days.
Your doctor can identify an infected ingrown hair through a physical examination of the skin. Usually, no other tests are needed for the diagnosis.
Antibiotics can be prescribed in severe cases. These are used if you have large pus-filled or open sores. Your doctor can also provide tips for lifestyle changes that can reduce your chance of ingrown hairs.
How To Prevent Ingrown Hairs In The Future?
Preventing ingrown hairs can, in the first place, reduce the risk of related infections. When shaving or waxing, try the following tips:
- Wash the skin first to prevent bacteria from entering the skin.
- Change your razor regularly.
- Avoid blunt blades.
- Remove it in the direction of growth.
- Use shaving gel and warm water.
- Then apply lotion to the area.
If you continue to infect ingrown hairs in the same area, such as the face, consider stopping hair removal at home. Discuss with your doctor if you can benefit from laser treatments and other methods for long-term hair removal.