It is common for some people to be affected with infected ingrown hair but when it occurs leaving it untreated can lead to infections and irking situations. Read to know what causes ingrown hair cysts and how to treat infected ingrown hair?
What Is Infected Ingrown Hair?
An ingrown hair is the one that grows back into the skin in place of stemming up from it.
At times, dead skin clogs a hair follicle and this forces hair to grow opposite or sideways under the skin rather than out and up. It can as well happen when you cut curly hair too short, this sharp end of the hair may pierce the skin leading to ingrown hair and infection along with it.
What Causes Infected Ingrown Hair?
Few ingrown hairs pop up when the dead skin cells on the skin’s surface are too many. These dead cells may unintentionally clog the hair follicles leading to the backward growth of the hair.
Ingrown hair is quite common in the regions where hair removal is common like legs, face, chest, scalp, armpits, and pubic area. They even happen in men who often shave beards. Waxing and shaving pave for sharper hairs which may get stuck in the skin.
One may even be at high risk for this growth of ingrown hairs and accumulated infections if the hair by birth is curly or coarse. Such types of hair are more prone to grow back into the skin when they grow out following hair removal.
Symptoms Of Infected Ingrown Hair
Quite often an ingrown hair symptom can begin as a red bump and as the infection augments one can see the forming of pus and increase in the size of the bump. The region around the infected ingrown hair could even;
- Look red with irritation
- A warm and puffy feeling when touched
- Discomfort in the region
What Does An Infected Ingrown Hair Look Like?
Often the first sign and identification of infected ingrown hair is a small red pimple resembling a bump with hair on the surface. It could even be red and is itchy in the region. Over time the bump and the area grow in size and the infection and itching may become more rigorous. One more blind identification is it is painful to touch.
Can Infected Ingrown Hair Spread?
Most often it goes on its own however, chances are it may even spread and if it happens you could be having;
- Darkened skin
If you continue having infected ingrown hairs in the same area, such as the infected ingrown hair of face then it could also be due to some type of creams that you may consider using or not using seeking your doctor’s advice.
How To Treat Infected Ingrown Hair?
If an ingrown hair reaches a stage of infection and itching a doctor could make a minute cut using a scalpel or a sterilized needle to release the infection or pus in it. Following this, medicines too may be prescribed based on the need as below.
- Steroid to rub on the infected area to lessen swelling, redness, and irritation.
- Retinoids to eliminate dead skin cells and lower skin pigment transformations.
- Antibiotics to be taken by mouth or to be rubbed on the infection especially for infected ingrown hair in armpit.
Home Remedies For Infected Ingrown Hair
As said above if the infection is infrequent it will go on its own. However, if it is persistent you may try home remedies such as;
- Thorough washing followed by gentle scrubbing on the region to make the hair get loosen from the follicle and fall off the skin.
- Application of tea tree oil to ease the pain and infection in addition to stopping it from getting severe.
- Making use of oatmeal-based creams and lotions to ease the irritated skin.
- Using over-the-counter creams like hydrocortisone to get relief from itching
- Sugar, as we know, is one of the best natural exfoliators. Use it in combination with honey or olive oil to kill the bacteria and moisturize the area. Apply the mixture on the infected area and wash it with warm water.
- Baking soda aids in exfoliation and lessening inflammation on the skin. Just mix it with water and apply it using a cotton ball. This treatment works better for infected ingrown hair boils.
On the whole, how to treat infected ingrown hair naturally and through prescription depends on many factors. If the ingrown hair is often and recurrent don’t rely on home remedies, seek your doctor’s intervention.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.