How to Get Rid of Ingrown Hair Cyst and Treatment

Many people have ingrown or in growing hairs and are not sure why they got them and what to do with them. This article should not replace medical advice. In this article, you can find the answers to what an ingrown hair is, how to treat it, and how to prevent it.

What is an Ingrown hair

  • Happens when someone shaves or picks out hair with tweezers.
  • This hair then grows back into the skin.
    • Causes inflammation, bumps, and pain.
  • Very common with hair removal.
  • May or may not need treatment.
  • Can be avoided by not manipulating hair. (5,9)
  • Most common in men in the cheeks, chin, and neck. Can also appear on the scalp.
  • For females, the most common area is the pubic area and the legs.

Common signs and symptoms could include but are not limited to:

  • Solid small round bumps
  • Puss-filed lesions that look like small blisters.
  • Darkened skin
  • Painfulness in the area
  • Itching in the area
  • Embedded hairs

IF you notice any of these symptoms it would be a good idea to see a doctor.

  • If ingrown hairs happen frequently and are chronic.
  • If you have excessive unwanted hair and for this reason, you are manipulating your hair.

If you visit your doctor go prepared with the following information:

  • Any other symptoms you may have.
  • Personal information such as any other diagnosis or life stressors.
  • A list of all medication you are currently taking.
  • A list of any vitamins or herbal supplements you are taking.
  • A list of any questions you may want to make for your doctor.

Your doctor may ask you various questions when you visit. Be ready to answer the following questions for example.

  • All symptoms and if they have been constant or only sometimes.
  • The severity of your symptoms, they may ask on a scale of 1-10.
  • What helps make your symptoms worse or better?
  • What are your shaving practices? (9)

What causes Ingrown hairs

  • Hair removal processes (3,7)
  • Shaving practices such as
    • Pulling on the skin
    • Using double edged razors (2,7)
  • Genetics of having curly hair (1,7)
  • Structure and growth of each person’s hair are different and may cause ingrown hairs.
  • Use of tweezers. (7)

Where do ingrown hairs appear on the body?

Beard – other names can be pseudofolliculitis of the beard or shaving bumps.

  • Usually affecting those with curly hair who shave.
  • Pseudofolliculitis pubis is the same issue but in the pubic area.
  • Two reasons this occurs are:
    • When the hair reenters the skin
    • When sharp pieces of hair pierce through the follicle wall.
      • This happens due to shaving methods which cut hair below the surface. These methods may include
        • Pulling skin tight when shaving.
        • Use of double or triple bladed razor.
  • More likely seen of black men due to the tightly curly hair.
  • Symptoms may include and are not limited to:
    • Painful acneiform eruptions
    • Eruptions occurring after shaving
    • Use of methods mentioned above.

Below you can see a picture of the primary lesions. (1)

primary lesions image

                    Image –

Cutaneous pili migrants

  • This is a condition which represents as hair fragments or even hair shafts moving inside the epidermis or dermis.
    • This will cause an eruption which may look like larva migrants.
  • Can happen in any part of the body which has hair.
  • Is different from an “ingrown” hair and may be considered “in growing hair”.

Causes may include the following:

  • Pulling on a beard
    • Due to localized inflammation and/or edema in or around the follicle.
  • Changing the direction of beard hair.
  • Usually found on the neck, cheek or chin.


  • Itching
  • Inflammation
  • Seen as a black line under the skin (2)
lesions picture

Image –

How can I get rid of an ingrown hair?

There are many ways to treat ingrown hairs. Some of which are listed below. This is list does not cover all possible treatments. The best solution is to review all decisions with your medical professional.

  • Chemical depilatories – These break the disulfide bonds in hair. This causes hair to break off at the follicular opening. These solutions include and are not limited to:
    • Barium sulfide powder 2% – mixed with water to create a paste which is applied to the affected area and removed in 3-5 min.
    • Calcium thioglycolate – May is presented as powder, lotions, creams and pastes.
      • Often has a fragrance added which may cause allergic reactions.
      • Must be applied and left on the face for 10-15 min.
      • Do not leave on too long because chemical burns may arise.
    • In general, these preparations should not be used daily. They may cause skin irritation, chemical burns, or dry out the skin. If you note any of these symptoms be sure to seek medical advice.
  • Topical Medications – These are medications that can be used frequently.
    • Tretinoin (Retin.A) –
      • Used every night.
      • Alleviates hyperkeratosis
      • Could remove thin layers of the epidermis.
    • Tretinoin 0.05%, fluocinolone acetonide 0.01%, and hydroquinone 4% (Triluma)
      • Targets hyperkeratosis, inflammation and postinflammatory
    • Eflornithine HCL 13-9% cream (Vaniqa)
      • Can be used in combination with laser
      • Decreases hair growth rate.
      • Also, helps make the hair lighter or finer.
    • Antibiotics
      • If abscess forms then antibiotics will be necessary
      • Include and are not limited to:
        • Erythromycin
        • Clindamycin
        • Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide
        • Erythromycin/benzoyl peroxide
      • These are applied once or twice each day.
      • At times oral antibiotics may be necessary also. In this cause tetracycline is a commonly used oral antibiotic. The dose being 500 mg twice a day. For 1-3 months. (1,9)
    • These medications help do various things such as:
      • Remove dead skin cells.
      • Reduce inflammation.
      • Control infection. (9)

How can I prevent Ingrown hairs

  • Proper shaving habits.
    • Use of a lubricating shaving cream or gel
    • Always use a new sharp and single bladed razor.
    • Do not shave against the hair growth.
    • Do not pull the skin
  • Other ideas of how to prevent ingrown or ingrowing hairs.
    • Do not manipulate hair if at all possible.
    • Always wash with warm water and don’t use harsh cleansers before or after shaving.
    • Do not try close shave methods.
    • Try shaving in different directions to see if the rash may improve.
    • Clean off razor blades after each stroke.
    • Always clean the skin well after shaving, dry and apply lotion.
    • Electric razors avoid the close shave that causes rash or ingrown hairs.
    • Some chemical hair removers can help to avoid ingrown hairs from occurring.
    • There are creams that may decrease hair growth.



Published on by under Skin and Hair.
Article was last reviewed on September 26th, 2017.

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