Ingrown Hair: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 12/15/2020

An ingrown hair occurs when the sharp tip of the hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin of the hair follicle. Ingrown hairs are a very common, benign skin problem. Ingrown hairs are most common in areas of the body with coarse hair, such as the pubic area in women and the face and neck of men. People with thick and tightly curled hair are at greater risk for having ingrown hairs.

Signs and symptoms of an ingrown hair include a

  • small bump or pimple at the site of the hair,
  • redness, and
  • skin darkening due to inflammation.

If the area becomes infected, there may be swelling and drainage of pus from the site.

Cause of an ingrown hair

Improper hair removal techniques or shaving too aggressively and closely may cause ingrown hairs.

Other ingrown hair symptoms and signs

  • Skin Darkening Due to Inflammation
  • Skin Redness
  • Small Bump or Pimple at the Site of the Hair


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.