What causes infected ingrown hair? Get insights on symptoms, treatment and prevention of infected ingrown hair, cysts and follicle on legs, neck, and head among other areas.
Infected Ingrown Hair Causes
When the hair is curled under the skin surface instead of rising up or when the hair rises up and curls to grow back to the skin surface is a condition known as an ingrown hair. This condition results in sideways hair growth under the skin surface. It may cause swelling, itching and a burning sensation on the affected areas. In case of an infection it may be filled with pus.
This condition can affect anybody but it is common by individuals with curly and coarse hair. In most cases it happens after a hair removal procedure. Dead skin cell debris, excessive oil and dirty can also clog the hair follicles hence resulting to this condition.
Despite your best efforts to control and prevent an ingrown hair, it can also become infected. This may result to painful fluid filled bumps that takes longer time to heal. There are various causes that may result to an infection as follows:
- Bacterial infection
Bacteria is the major cause of infected ingrown hair. Folliculitis is a medical term given to a hair that becomes infected with a bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus is the germ that causes this condition. In most cases, it is found on the skin surface and it easily enters into the body through cuts and wounds.
Some days after an infection, it causes the hair follicles to swell up and become filled up with a smelly pus. This condition may cause redness, tenderness and inflammations of the affected areas. Cleaning the area with antibacterial soap or creams before shaving can help to reduce the chances of an infection.
- Un-sterilized equipment’s
Shaving equipment’s and machines are supposed to be sterilized thoroughly before using them. Sharing of shaving machines in a Berber shop may carry an infection from an infected person to un-infected individual. Clean the needle and tweezers using alcohol or a sterilizing machine before using them to remove ingrown hairs.
- Use of blunt razors
A shaving blade is supposed to be replaced after three shave. A dull blade increases the friction while shaving. This may result to small cuts on the skin that may allow the bacteria to pass into the body to cause an infection.
- Tight clothes
Wearing of tight clothes especially after hair removal procedure can result to an infection. They prevent free air circulation on the affected areas which provides an ample condition for bacterial multiplication. They also aids in causing an ingrown hair.
Infected Ingrown Hair Symptoms
Poor hair removal procedures and tight clothing can lead to an infection of ingrown hair. The bacteria found on your skin can also penetrate the hair follicles to cause an infection. The following are the symptoms you are likely to experience after an infection.
- Redness and inflammation of skin. After some time of infection, the affected hair follicles becomes red and inflamed. It may also cause a discomfort on the neighboring skin tissues.
- Cluster of small bumps. In case of a severe infection, a large area may develop a cluster of small bumps that may appear to be reddish, yellowish or whitish in color.
- Large swollen bump. A deep ingrown hair may cause a big mass of bump to appear on the affected areas. In most cases it appears in areas that experiences frequent shaving like on the face after shaving the beards or it may also appear in the groin.
- Itchy and a burning sensation of skin. You are likely to experience folliculitis itch resulting from the infected ingrown hair. It causes a burning sensation that causes an urge to scratch the area. However, you are not supposed to pick the area as you may spread the infection to other areas.
- Pain and tenderness of skin. Be ready to experience pain and tenderness of the affected area. The pain may even become extreme incase the infected bump develops into a cyst.
- Fluid filled blisters. The blisters become filled up with a yellow smelly pus. The blisters may ooze and form crusting.
There are various treatments and home remedies that you can use to treat this condition. You may take over-the-counter medicines that helps in alleviating the pain. However, this condition may be serious and it may require a doctor’s evaluation and treatment.
You may be given antibiotic or antifungal medicines that helps in treating this condition. Other topical antibiotic creams can also be applied directly on the affected areas.
Infected Ingrown Hair Cyst
When an ingrown hair is not removed on time, it will continue to grow as it twist under the skin surface. The fact that it is not coming out does not stop it from growing. Over some time, it will grow into a mass of hair under the skin surface.
It will therefore start to form a swelling on the skin surface known as a cyst. A bacteria may invade the cyst to cause an infection on the area. After some time, the affected area will become filled up with pus. It may also become swollen, red and cause a burning sensation.
This condition may be so painful especially when trying to get rid of cystic ingrown hair. You may be required to visit your dermatologist for treatment. He or she may be required to perform a surgery to remove the ingrown hair. You may also be given some antibiotics and topical antibiotic creams that helps in treating the cyst faster.
Removing ingrown hair once you notice it is very important as it saves you time and the pain before it develops into an infected cyst. Immediately you start feeling a bump after hair removal, take a needle and tweezers to remove the hair before it get to an ingrown hair cyst. According to daily knowledge tree.
Infected Ingrown Hair Follicle
This condition is also known as folliculitis, which means infection or inflammation of the hair follicles on the skin surface. Although it is a common condition but it is not usually very serious. It may disappear without treatment or you may use some of the over-the-counter antibiotic creams or tablets to fasten the healing process.
It causes small pus filled pustules to develop on the base of the hair. The tiny pimples normally appears like small yellow-red sports that causes a burning sensation of the skin. It is a condition that results from a bacterial infection. Staphylococcus aureus is the germ that causes ingrown hair follicle infection.
This is an infection that can occur on any part of the body after shaving. In most cases it results to infected ingrown hair follicles on scalp, legs, groin, face and armpits.
Folliculitis normally develops on the skin surface where a hair removal procedure is done especially through shaving. Other conditions like blockage of the hair follicles by dead skin cells, excessive oil produced by the glands, dirt and excessive sweating is among what causes ingrown hairs infection. It is characterized by the symptoms below. According to mayoclinic.
- Small red, yellow or white headed pustules that develops on the base of hair follicles.
- Pus-filled bumps that occurs after infection.
- Breaking and crusting of the blisters.
- Inflammation of the affected areas.
- Pain and tenderness of the hair follicles.
- A cluster or mass of swollen bumps.
There are various types of ingrown hair infections that you are likely to experience after shaving, tweezing, waxing or chemical hair removal procedures. They includes the following:
- Bacterial folliculitis. This is an infection that is caused by a bacteria known as staphylococcus aureus. It is experienced by many men on the beard areas after shaving. The bacteria normally enters your body through blade cuts and open wounds. It results to formation of itchy white headed pus-filled bumps.
- Berbers itch. This condition is caused by ingrown hairs especially on the face and neck after shaving. Other areas such as infected hair follicles in groin result to inflammation and development of dark raised scars after healing. Most of the African-Americans with curly and coarse hair experiences this problem most.
- Hot tub folliculitis. This infection is caused by pseudomonas bacteria that is found in many places like hot tubs and heated pools. In such areas, the pH of chorine is not well regulated. Rashes that become fluid-filled develops in areas that come in direct contact with contamination.
- Pytyrosporum folliculitis. This type results to infected hair follicles on the chest, back, shoulders, face, upper arms and neck.It causes formation of red, itchy bumps on the affected areas. This condition is common in teens and adult men.
Infected Ingrown Hair Treatment
An infection occurs when the hair follicles becomes contaminated with a bacteria. Using un-sterilized equipment’s while removing the hair can cause an infection. It may result to formation of inflamed red bumps that are filled with pus. Its discomfort causes an urge for treatment. Therefore, you can use the following treatments to get rid of it without leaving a big ingrown hair scars.
- Keep the area clean. Wash the infected areas twice a day using anti-bacterial soap such as Dettol. It helps to kill the bacteria as well as guarding it against other types of secondary infections. Apply some alcohol on the area. It helps to speed up the healing process.
- Remove the ingrown hair. The use of needle and tweezers is best on how to remove ingrown hair. Ensure they are sterilized. Boil them in hot water or you may clean then using alcohol to kill the bacteria and other germs. If the hair is curled under the skin surface, use the needle to pierce through the bump to pull it out. Use the tweezers to hold the hair by the root and pull it out.
- Warm compress. A warm compress helps in reducing the swelling and inflammations of the infected ingrown hair areas. You simply place a washcloth in warm water, wring it to get rid of excess water and place it over the ingrown hair until it cools. Repeat the procedure for 5 times twice a day until it start to heal.
- Avoid picking at it. Picking at an infected especially with dirty hands may make the situation worse. You are only supposed to touch the area with clean hands during cleaning time only. According to Vogue.
- Use of over-the-counter medicines. Aspirin is effective in treating ingrown hair follicles that is infected. You simply dissolve it in water and use a cotton ball to dab on the infected area twice a day.
- Home remedy treatment. The use of tea tree oil, aloe Vera gel and hydrogen peroxide contains anti-bacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that are effective in treating different types of infection.
- Prescribed medicines. In case of a deep skin ingrown hair cyst infection, visit your doctor for treatment. You may be given some antiseptic lotions and other medicines that helps in exfoliating the skin.
How to Prevent Ingrown Hair Infection
- Use sterilized hair removal equipment. Clean the needle and the tweezers using alcohol to kill the bacteria that may cause an infection. Alternatively, boil them in hot water for some time before using.
- Avoid picking on an ingrown hair especially with dirty hands. Instead, use a cotton ball to clean the ingrown hair daily using salicylic acid. It helps to prevent infected ingrown hair.
- Apply a moisturizing gel before shaving to reduce the friction between the skin and the blade.
- Change the shaving blade after every three shaves.
- Store the razors and other shaving machines in a dry place away from the shower.
Ingrown Hair on Neck
Men are most likely to experience this condition on the neck after shaving beards. It results to eruption of little bumps on the neck that contain pus and ingrown hair. It may cause itching and an urge to scratch.
Taking a steam bath helps to open blocked hair follicles that prevents the hair from growing outwards. Alternatively, the use of warm water to compress your neck after shaving also helps in minimizing this condition.
Ingrown Hair on Head
Ingrown hair on the head results from shaving too close to the scalp. After shaving, the hair tips becomes too sharp and they can easily pierce the scalp when they curve towards it. The body responds to it as a foreign object. It will therefore react back by causing redness and itching of the affected parts.
Leaving your hair to grow out is a natural way to avoid ingrown hair on the scalp. If it is a must to keep your hair short, you may use scissors or barber clippers to trim it short instead of shaving the whole of it. Research done by the University of Mississippi Health Care recommends to keeps your hair at a length of 1/8 and above after shaving to avoid this condition.
Washing your scalp daily using a shampoo can help to remove the dead skin cells that may clog hair follicles. Use a rough object to gently scrub your scalp such as a rough wash cloth. It helps to prevent the hair from growing inwards and also prevention of trapping bacteria that may causes infected ingrown hair.
Longest Ingrown Hair
Jose Gross had a big bump on one side of the cheek. After visiting a medical clinic, doctors thought that it was a troublesome pimple that needed a surgery to be cut. Jose say that he had this giant bump for the past one year that would ooze every couple of month.
One day he went in front of a bathroom mirror with a pair of tweezers and a camera and filmed removing what might be the longest ingrown hair on face that doctors thought to be a cyst. He dragged out a black hair that seemed to be endless that was covered in white pus. He describes it as literally a pound of hair that had curled inside his cheek.
Deep Ingrown Hair
Deep ingrown hair causes a lot of discomfort and itchy. Wrong hair removal procedures is what causes ingrown hairs deeper into the skin. It requires a professional to be removed. They result mostly from waxing. Visit a professional beauty salon for waxing again. There are various creams that can be used to remove deep ingrown hair.
Other creams that contain lactic acid can help in breaking and softening hard skin over the hair to allow the hair to penetrate out of the skin surface. Such creams are also effective in healing scarring. Regular skin exfoliation is an effective remedy for deep ingrown hair removal. It exfoliates the dead skin cells that prevents the hair from coming out.
Proper hygiene is required as a way of keeping you off the infected ingrown hair. Do not touch on ingrown hair bumps with dirty hands since it can get bacterial infections. Seek medical advice from your doctor if you suspect of a severe ingrown hair infection.
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- Ingrown Hair: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ingrown-hair/basics/definition/con-20034717
- Ingrown Hair Causes: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/ingrown-hair-causes-symptoms-treatment#1
- Symptoms of Infected Ingrown Hair: http://www.livestrong.com/article/259336-symptoms-of-an-infected-ingrown-hair/
- Tips to Prevent Ingrown Hairs: http://multiculturalbeauty.about.com/od/SkinProblems/a/Leg-Shaving-Tips-To-Prevent-Ingrown-Hairs.htm