A person gets an ingrown hair when the tip of the hair curls back or starts to grow sideways through the skin tissue surrounding the hair follicle. It is a pretty grotesque mental picture for you to visualize, but it is the reality that hundreds and thousands of people have to face on a daily basis. Ingrown hairs are quite common in teenagers once they hit the age of puberty. It is also known to affect young adults in large numbers. People who have to regularly shave their legs, necks, arms, pubic hair, facial hairs and armpits can develop ingrown hairs more frequently than those who opt not to do so.
Ingrown Hair Can Get Infected
Ingrown hair itself is a pretty annoying problem to deal with. The situation becomes a lot worse when the ingrown hair starts to get infected. People with ingrown hair do their best to ensure that they do not end up with an infection on the affected region of the skin. The infection can take place in any part of the body where an ingrown hair has developed. However, it is more common for the ingrown hair to get infected in parts of the body that are being regularly shaved or waxed. It becomes particularly embarrassing, when you develop an infected ingrown hair on your inner thighs, on the groin, along the bikini line or on your face.
The Causes of Infected Ingrown Hair
The best way to tackle the problem of an infected ingrown hair is by learning about the cause of this skin condition. Most experts agree that infected ingrown hairs stem from bacterial or fungal infections. This might include pseudofolliculitis barbae, which is basically a type of inflammation that develops on your skin due to excessive shaving. This particular kind infected ingrown hair is characterized by dark raised scars that are seen on the face, neck and groin region of your body.
You are strictly advised against picking, scratching or squeezing the pots that are formed by the infected ingrown hair. This is because any physical contact with your nails or your fingers can cause the skin in the affected region to break off. This creates a large enough entry for bacteria and fungus to infiltrate your bloodstream and the rest of your body.
The Symptoms of Infected Ingrown Hair
There are quite a few symptoms that you need to watch out for. The part of the skin where an ingrown hair has developed will often have raised red spots. Once the infection takes place, those same raised red spots will turn into painful pus filled sores. Under such circumstances, you are strongly recommended to not touch those pores in any manner. The slightest of contact can lead to the onset of severe pain that can trouble you for an extensive period of time. Other common symptoms of an infected ingrown hair include redness, the appearance of abscesses, cysts, pustules and general inflammation. When the infection becomes really bad, the cysts, pustules and abscesses start to appear. At this point, you are strongly encouraged to seek medical help.
Treating an Infected Ingrown Hair
It is quite important for you to learn how to treat an infected ingrown hair. This is because medical help may not always be available. Besides, you don’t really need to pay for a doctor to get your ingrown hair fixed. This is something that can be easily treated from the comfort of your own home as long you are well aware of what needs to be done to get the condition treated.
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you know how to stop the growth of the ingrown hair. You can’t let a simple problem turn into a big one. In more direct words, you need to avoid the formation of pustules, cysts and abscesses. An infected ingrown hair can be prevented by shaving your hair using techniques that will limit the damage caused to your skin. This includes using a sharp razor, applying gels and creams and treating your skin after shaving. You could also opt for alternative hair removal procedures that generally a lot safer.
As far as direct methods of treatment are concerned, you can be given oral or topical antibiotics to heal the infection on your ingrown hair. These antibiotics are usually found in the form of pills, gels, creams or ointments.
For those of you who are sceptical about the use of antibiotics, home remedies are a fantastic choice. Dabbing an antiseptic natural ingredient such as the tea tree oil on the affected region can produce positive results within a few days. Examples of other natural antiseptics you can use include Aloe Vera, benozyl peroxide, witch hazel and alcohol.
Alternative Treatment Methods
Anti-acne medications and steroid creams can also be used to reduce the ill effects of an infected ingrown hair.