When an ingrown hair forms a pimple filled with pus, it is a sign of infection. While most infections are mild, there are some important steps you can take to avoid making the infection worse. How to treat an infected ingrown hair? Find out in this article.
How to Treat an Ingrown Hair Infection?
Focus On Infected Ingrown Hairs.
An ingrown hair can appear as a simple red pimple, but some can be infected: this is called folliculitis. It is an infection of the hair follicles, generally due to the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, resulting in the presence of pus-filled pimples on the skin surface. Indeed, after shaving in certain areas such as the beard, underarms, bikini line or legs, the stiff hairs curl and become embedded under the skin causing inflammation and irritation.
Pseudofolliculitis of the beard is a common,
chronic and inflammatory skin condition
that occurs after shaving,
due to a structural defect of the hair shaft,
mainly in men of African origin.
It is usually characterized by small, painful
papules and pustules on the cheeks and neck,
but can progress to scarring
and keloids in some individuals.
Ingrown Hair: What to Do in Case of Infection?
When your ingrown hair turned into a hard lump under your skin, you are faced with an ingrown hair infection. The golden rule here is not to squeeze the pimple in order to get the pus out! Indeed, the bacteria present on your hands could aggravate the infection already present and lead to many complications: an ingrown hair cyst, furuncles, a bacterial infection of the pilosebaceous follicle, or malignant staphylococcal disease of the face, a serious and extensive staphylococcal infection, which can be fatal.
Thus, when faced with folliculitis, you must rely on impeccable hygiene. Clean the affected area morning and night with soap and water. You can also use bandages soaked in alcohol. It is also important to stop waxing or shaving in the affected area.
In general, ingrown hair infection is fairly mild and heals quickly. However, if the infection is too severe (painful abscesses form), do not hesitate to consult a dermatologist who will prescribe antibiotics. It could be Verneuil's disease, which is characterized by inflammatory nodules on the surface of the skin. In addition, if you have recurring infections, you may be a chronic carrier of Staphylococcus aureus. In this case, the doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic treatment to eradicate these bacteria.
Infected Ingrown Hairs: How to Avoid Them?
In order to avoid ingrown hairs from becoming infected, it is important to maintain impeccable hygiene. Rinse your razor with warm water to remove any remaining hair and change the blade regularly. In addition, you should not use another person's razor or lend your razor because this increases the risk of infection.
As previously mentioned, if you have ingrown hairs, you should not try to squeeze them as this can lead to an infection. Moreover, this could leave scars.
WONG S. Y. & al. Preparing the hair follicle canal for hair shaft emergence. Experimental Dermatology (2021).