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Ingrown Hairs

What is an ingrown hair?

An ingrown hair is a hair that curls and penetrates the skin with its tip, causing inflammation. Ingrown hairs are more common among people with very curly hair. Most ingrown hairs occur in the beard area on men and the bikini or groin area on women.

What are the symptoms of an ingrown hair?

The most common symptom of an ingrown hair is redness and inflammation of the skin, followed by pus formation. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. The symptoms of an ingrown hair may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

How is an ingrown hair diagnosed?

Diagnosis of an ingrown hair can be confirmed with a medical history and a physical examination.

Treatment for an ingrown hair

An ingrown hair often heals on its own. However, in the case of chronic ingrown hairs, treatment may include:

  • Allowing the hair to grow longer prior to shaving it 

  • Removing the hair permanently through electrolysis, laser, or depilatory methods (liquids or creams)

Online Medical Reviewer: Jones, Niya, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ziegler, Olivia Walton, MS, PA-C
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2013
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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