What is Ingrown hair?
An ingrown hair cyst mentions to an ingrown hair that goes into a cyst – a large lump that extends between the surface of the skin and deep beneath it. The appearance is a cross between normal ingrown hair and an acne cyst, although this is a different condition.
These types of cysts are common among people who shave, wax or use other methods of waxing. Although you may be anxious to get rid of these cysts simply because of their appearance, it is also important to watch out for signs of an infection.
Symptoms of Ingrown hair
An ingrown hair irritates your skin. You may notice:
- A raised red bump (or group of bumps) that is like a small pimple
- A boil-like sore
You may have pus inside the bumps. Or you can see the hair under the skin that is causing the problem. Common areas for ingrown hair.
Ingrown hairs often appear in areas where you shave, including:
- Face and neck
- Pubic area
Causes of Ingrown hair
Cysts can appear for several reasons, but when they come from an ingrown hair, the following occurs.
All hairs grow from a hair follicle, occasionally called a pore. It is a small opening in the skin, with a complex underlying structure that nourishes the hair.
Sometimes a hair gets caught under the skin before it exits the follicle, resulting in ingrown hair. At other times, a hair grows out of the follicle but curls back on himself and re-enters the skin.
When hair gets caught under the skin, it can irritate it. It also blocks the hair follicle, trapping various substances in the pore. A cyst may develop.
Skin cysts often contain keratin, a protein that keeps the skin strong and supple. But sometimes, cysts arise from trapped bacteria or an inflammatory response to an infection.
Although an ingrown hair can settle on its own and shed spontaneously, in some cases it can be hard to get rid of. Available treatments include
- Chemical depilatories
- Improved shaving techniques
- Topical antibiotics if they are infected
- Medical ingrown hair removal through a small incision and plucking the hair, and
- Hair removal laser
The best consequences can be attained with combination therapy. It may be necessary to consult a physician who specializes in dermatology for optimal treatment of the most severe cases.
Chemical depilatories like Neet or Nair can loosen the hair structure, resulting in dull ends of the shaved hair at the follicular opening. Chemical depilatories can be used every two to three days instead of every day to avoid chemical irritation of the skin. Hydrocortisone cream can be applied to relieve irritation caused by chemical depilatories.
Tretinoin cream (Retin A) can help decrease skin plugging or hyperkeratosis. Tretinoin topical cream can thin the epidermis, reduce the accumulation of dead skin cells, and decrease the encrustation of hair in the follicles. Topical corticosteroid creams are applied to reduce inflammation of the swollen ingrown hairs.
Topical and oral antibiotics may be required for severe cases that form pustules and abscesses, indicating a secondary infection. Topical antibiotics, including erythromycin (E-Mycin, Ilosone) and clindamycin (Cleocin), topical antibacterial agents, such as benzoyl peroxide (Persa-Gel), and combinations of topical antibiotics and antibacterial agents, can help reduce the growth of skin bacteria. and treat a secondary infection. Oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline (Sumycin) or cephalexin (Keflex, Keftab), are used to switch the formation of boils or infected pustules.
Antibacterial washes, such as benzoyl peroxide (Clearasil, Proactiv) or chlorhexidine (Hibiclens), can be used once or twice a day to control the infection. Eflornithine HCl 13.9% Topical Cream (Vaniqa) is a prescription that can reduce the rate of hair growth when applied to the skin twice a day for one to two months. Therefore, it can be useful as long-term therapy in people with excessive facial hair or patients with pseudofolliculitis of the beard.
For skin discoloration, prescription bleaching creams such as 4% hydroquinone (Eldoquin), kojic acid, 15-20% azelaic acid, or over-the-counter 2% hydroquinone bleaching creams can help improve any residual discolouration or persistent.
Laser hair removal can be an option to prevent ingrown hairs. Laser treatments practical to an area help to permanently reduce the number of hairs. Currently, laser hair removal works mainly only on dark hair. Laser hair removal is usually very fast, effective, and safe. The risks of laser treatment include discolouration of the skin.
Electrolysis can be used to permanently remove hair. This procedure targets individual hair follicles and can be done on any skin color and any hair size and colour. The destruction of the hair follicles is permanent. Electrolysis is often slow, tedious, and requires multiple treatments.
Ingrown hairs are easily diagnosed by a simple physical exam. In addition to looking at your appearance and symptoms, your doctor may ask you about your skincare routine.
The best way to prevent ingrowing hairs is to use proper hair elimination techniques:
- Before shaving any area of the body, thoroughly moisten your skin and hair with warm water.
- Put on a shaving gel or cream to your skin.
- Use a single blade razor.
- Shave in the direction your hair grows naturally. Rinse the blade after each pass.
- Alteration the blade (or replace a disposable razor) often to help prevent skin irritation and cuts.
- Other options for hair removal include laser hair removal, shaving chemicals, or electrolysis.
Having frizzy hair is the main risk factor for ingrown hairs.
Chronic ingrown hairs can cause:
- Bacterial infection (from scratching)
- Darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation)
- Permanent scars (keloids)
- Pseudofolliculitis of the beard, also known as razor bumps
When to see a doctor
In most cases, ingrown hairs are preserved at home and do not require medical attention. There are some occasions when it may be necessary to involve a doctor.
If the ingrown hair develops infected, the bumps may continue to grow and seal with more pus. They can be more painful, red, and irritated than ever. People who experience ingrown hair in large areas may also require medical treatment.
If an ingrown hair develops infected, the person may need to visit the physician for treatment. A doctor may prescribe antibiotic ointments, steroid creams, or medicated rinses to use in the area. In severe cases, a doctor can refer a person to a skin specialist.
Use topical treatments only on the affected area, as they can cause dry skin and other side effects. For serious infections, a doctor can prescribe oral antibiotics.
Occasionally an ingrown hair is not ill, but it is very persistent. In cases like these, doctors may prescribe retinoids. Retinoids can help remove dead skin cells faster than just washing and exfoliating. Retinoids are not for everyone. Each medical treatment option should be discussed with a physician or dermatologist before use.