Mens Health

Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources

What is an Ingrown Hair?

Ingrown hair is a problem for many people, mostly men.  It is a condition where the hair either grows sideways into the skin or curls back.  Ingrown hair is usually associated with people with curly hair. 


Ingrown hair can become problematic when it accompanied by an infection of the hair follicle.  Ingrown hair appears where the skin has been waxed or shaved.  Examples of areas include beard, legs and pubic region. 


Although these are the primary locations, ingrown hair can appear anywhere.  Many times, it is just uncomfortable “razor bumps” which can vary in size.

Ingrown hairs form on any area where hair is broken off short with a sharp tip.  Based on this, shaving is the leading cause of ingrown hair.  Other causes are waxing and tight clothing or belts.


Ingrown hairs are simply a chronic irritation to the hair shaft and follicle opening that causes the ingrown hair in the first place.  The implanted hair causes a local inflammation which can sometimes be painful.  There is one cause that is an exception to the rule. 


If there is too much dead skin or blocked pore, hair can grow sideways.  This also will result in ingrown hair.

The symptoms of ingrown hair are wide ranging.  They include: itching skin, redness, tenderness and swelling at site, rash, hair that is visible in spite of shaving, infection and pus under the skin.  If left untreated, these hairs will continue to grow into the follicle.


This is why you should always seek ingrown hair removal, if the infection gets really bad.


Infection and scarring are two possible consequences of ingrown hairs.  A dermatologist should be consulted if you feel you have an infection or suspect you have ingrown hairs.

The best line of defense against ingrown hair is to implement a prevention plan which reduces your likelihood of developing ingrown hairs.  Additionally, you should know how to treat ingrown hairs if they occur.

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