Learn about the disease, illness and/or condition Ingrown Hair including: symptoms, causes, treatments, contraindications and conditions at ClusterMed.info.
Ingrown Hair Information
Ingrown hair facts
Are ingrown hairs the same as razor bumps or pseudofolliculitis?
One type of ingrown hair is pseudofolliculitis, also called "razor bumps," in which small red bumps appear on the beard area (lower face and neck) and may flare with repeat shaving. Razor bumps are commonly experienced by African-American men, especially those who shave frequently. Flesh-colored red bumps with a hair shaft in their center are seen in shaved areas adjacent to the hair follicle opening. Pustules and abscesses may occasionally form, especially if there are bacteria on the skin. In chronic or inadequately treated situations, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, scarring, and rare keloid formation may occur. This skin condition is mostly seen in darker skin or African skin with facial hair because of the curvature of these patients' hair follicles.
Are there any home remedies for an ingrown hair?
Although no cure exists, it is possible to decrease the occurrence of ingrown hairs. The easiest way to do this is through proper hair and skin hygiene.
Do ingrown hairs affect the entire body?
Ingrown hairs most characteristically involve areas that are shaved, like the beard, bikini area, and legs. Other common locations of ingrown hairs include the face, neck, thighs, and buttocks. Although possible, it is rare to have ingrown hairs all over the body. Ingrown hairs do not affect the mouth, palms, vagina, or soles of the feet, as there are no hair follicles in these locations.
Does diet have anything to do with ingrown hairs?
Overall, diet does not seem to affect ingrown hairs.
How do health-care professionals diagnose an ingrown hair?
The diagnosis of ingrown hair is typically very straightforward and based on the skin appearance. In some cases, a small skin biopsy may be used to help the doctor confirm the diagnosis. Other times, a skin bacterial culture may be taken by a cotton-tip applicator to assist in determining an infectious cause. A few other medical conditions may look just like ingrown hairs and need to be examined more closely by a physician specializing in conditions of the skin called a dermatologist.
Is it possible to prevent ingrown hairs?
The simplest way to prevent ingrown hairs is to allow hair to grow without cutting it too short. Shaving and waxing can cause or exacerbate ingrown hairs. The shaving techniques described above can be applied to prevent or decrease the occurrence of ingrown hairs. Topical hair-growth-inhibitor cream (Vaniqa), electrolysis, or hair-removal lasers can also effectively help decrease ingrown hairs.
What are symptoms and signs of an ingrown hair?
Symptoms include itch and tenderness. An ingrown hair can lead to a localized foreign-body inflammatory reaction, which causes the pinpoint red or pink bumps on the skin. Some of the bumps may be slightly red or have an accompanying light-red halo indicating inflammation. Sometimes, the curled hair can be barely visible at the center of the bump. Small pus bumps or dry red bumps are often scattered over an area that has been shaved recently. Often the bumps start a few days to weeks after hair removal and get worse as the hairs grow back.Individuals who have ingrown hairs may experience a painful papular eruption after shaving. The upper skin layers may have some dilation of the small superficial blood vessels, which gives the skin a red or flushed appearance. Pustules may form on the ingrown hair sites due to the infection with common skin bacteria, such as Staphylococcus.
What causes an ingrown hair?
Hair that is cut short and close to the skin creates a sharp tip that can more easily pierce the skin to cause an ingrown hair. Improper shaving techniques are the major cause of ingrown hairs. Other hair-removal methods, including waxing, as well as common friction from tight clothing, may worsen the situation. Although an ingrown hair is primarily caused by improper or aggressive hair removal, it sometimes occurs naturally as too much dead skin debris blocks the hair follicle opening, causing the hair to grow sideways.
What else could an ingrown hair look like?
Other medical conditions can mimic ingrown hairs. Some possible look-alike skin conditions include folliculitis, keratosis pilaris, acne, cyst, abscess (furuncle), milia (whiteheads), eczema, impetigo, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, heat rash (miliaria), or dry skin (xerosis).Less common mimickers include chickenpox, herpes, pustular psoriasis, molluscum contagiosum, viral warts, Fox-Fordyce disease, Graham-Little-Piccardi-Lasseur syndrome, pruritic papular eruption of HIV disease, and erythema toxicum neonatorum. Folliculitis of ingrown hairs may also resemble uncommon skin conditions like lichen spinulosus, pityriasis rubra pilaris, phrynoderma (vitamin A deficiency), ulerythema ophryogenes, ichthyosis vulgaris, eruptive vellus hair pseudofolliculitis barbae, erythromelanosis follicularis faciei et colli, keratosis follicularis (Darier disease), Kyrle disease, lichen nitidus, lichen spinulosus, perforating folliculitis, and trichostasis spinulosa.
What is an ingrown hair?
An ingrown hair happens when the sharp tip of the hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin of the hair follicle. It is a benign condition, which usually appears as a small tan or sometimes pink bump under the skin. Often, a small pinpoint (often dark) part of the underlying hair may be seen under the skin bump. In more extensive cases, multiple small red or pink little bumps around hair follicles may be seen on any skin area that has been frequently shaved, such as the face, neck, armpits, legs, and pubic region.An ingrown hair is a very common skin condition occurring primarily after puberty. Ingrown hairs tend to be more common in areas with coarse hairs, like the bikini area in women, and beard and neck in men. Individuals with thicker, curled hairs, such as African Americans, tend to have the highest rate of problems with ingrown hairs, particularly of the beard area. Rarely, an ingrown hair may also appear in other skin parts, such as the eyelid. Generally, an ingrown hair is medically harmless, yet it may become cosmetically disfiguring and lead to scarring, skin discoloration (referred to as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), skin infection, and rarely keloid scar formation.
What is the treatment for an ingrown hair?
Although an ingrown hair can heal on its own and spontaneously dislodge, in some cases, it may be tough to get rid of it. Available treatments include
Who develops ingrown hairs?
Nearly everyone will have an ingrown hair at some time. Overall, teenagers and adults are more prone to ingrown hairs. African-American individuals with thicker, coarser tightly curling hairs tend to have the highest rate of problems with ingrown hairs.
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