Ingrown Hair Symptoms & Signs
Since the most common cause of ingrown hairs is cutting or removal of the hair below the level of the follicular orifice (commonly called a pore by patients), it typically tends to occur on your face, neck, armpits, groin, and legs. The usual sign of this condition are multiple red to flesh-colored bumps, which can be tender or itchy and can become pustular. Sometimes it is possible to see the imbedded coiled hair on magnification.
Ingrown hair facts
- Ingrown hairs are a benign skin disorder commonly seen in teenagers and adults.
- Ingrown hairs more frequently occur in adult men with darker skin.
- Ingrown hairs commonly occur on shaved areas, such as the face, neck, armpit, legs, and pubic region.
- Ingrown hairs look like scattered, pinpoint tan or red bumps.
- Ingrown hairs can be cosmetically disfiguring.
- Ingrown hairs are often caused by shaving too closely.
- Ingrown hairs may resolve on their own without treatment.
- Infection of skin can occur.
- Avoid close shaves to prevent ingrown hair.
- Ingrown hairs may require ongoing maintenance therapy.
- Many topical creams are available to help control ingrown hairs.
- A combination of treatments may be needed to achieve the best result.
- Laser hair removal can be a good option to prevent ingrown hairs.
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.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/23/2016