This is a condition where the hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin. It might curl back into the same hair follicle and get trapped underneath the skin surface and is primarily seen among people having curly hairs. New hairs may also get caught under the skin surface without ever being cut.
This condition may or may not be accompanied by and infection of the hair follicle or “razor bumps” which vary in size. Most commonly ingrown hair appears in areas where the skin is shaved or waxed like beard, legs, pubic region but can also appear anywhere else like eyelashes.
Anything which causes the hair to be broken off short with a sharp tip can cause ingrown hair. Shaving is the leading cause, followed by waxing and tight clothing.
The embedded hair causes a localized inflammation like pain response in the skin with prostaniod involvement. Ingrown hair can also occurs when the pore is blocked for various reasons as in the case in keratosis plaris, and the hair is forced to grow sideways.
Symptoms of this skin problem include rash, itching skin, hair which remains in spite of shaving and infection and pus collection under the skin.
(MediSpa Tip: Put a warm washcloth over the ingrown hair, try shaving and tweezing in a different direction, exfoliating with facial scrubs, sponges or towels).
Treatments include creams containing acids and ibuprofen or other NSAIDs. Some people who chronically get ingrown hairs use laser treatments or electrolysis to completely prevent hair growth.