An ingrown hair cyst forms when hair grows sideways and pierces the wall of a follicle. They mostly occur after hair removal methods that get rid of the entire hair. Ingrown cysts are more painful, larger and harder to treat than normal ingrown hairs.
Given enough time, an ingrown hair cyst will resolve on its own. This can, however, take several months. It may also lead to complications such as hyperpigmentation and bacterial infection. This article discusses details on how to cure ingrown hair cysts.
Pictures, causes and symptoms of deep ingrown hair cyst
In pictures, a deep ingrown hair cyst appears as a small red bump under the skin. The bump is slightly larger than normal ingrown hair. If not treated, the bump may turn white or yellow.
Shaving often irritates the skin, especially when done on dry or rough skin. Shaved hair is usually left with sharp tips which can pierce the skin if the hair is to curl back. Continued irritation or gradually growing curled hair may develop into ingrown hair cysts.
Curly or thick hair
Normally, hair is supposed to exit skin pores and grow straight above the skin. Curly hair tends to grow back into skin. If not pulled from the skin, it may get deep into the skin to form ingrown hair cyst.
Waxing and tweezing
Waxing removes the entire hair from the follicle. As the hair grows back, it may be forced to grow sideways by clogged follicles. Waxing on short hair ends up breaking the hair halfway. This leads to irritation deep within the skin. Tweezing can also break the hair if done inappropriately.
Hair cannot exit clogged follicles. Instead, it is forced to grow into the walls of the clogged follicles. This leads to irritation and thus to a deep ingrown hair cyst. Common causes of clogged follicles include excess sebum, dry skin and accumulated dead skin cells.
Cystic acne is caused by clogging of skin pores. Tumors in follicles are likely to hinder normal growth of hair.
As the body attempts to get rid of the ingrown hair, irritation will occur which then results in a red bump. Unlike common ingrown hairs, the bump will persist and keep getting bigger.
Itchiness, tenderness and pain
Itchiness is caused by irritation under the skin. Pain can be caused by swelling as well as bacterial infection. Tenderness results from irritation and pus formation.
As pus continues to form in the cyst, you may notice color transformation from red to yellow or green. This mostly occurs in the middle of the bump.
How to get rid of ingrown hair cyst
Ingrown hair cysts are a bit harder to treat at home. This is primarily because they form much deeper in the skin. Below are tips on how to get rid of an ingrown hair cyst:
- Start by exfoliating the affected areas to get rid of dead skin. You can achieve this with a hair brush, body scrubs and home remedies such as baking soda.
- Warm compress several times every day until the ingrown hair becomes visible.
- Pull the ingrown hair out using a needle, tweezers or ingrown hair extraction tool. Ensure to sterilize the tool of choice with alcohol before use.
- Drain the fill-in fluid and apply an antibacterial ointment.
How to treat infected ingrown hair
Infected ingrown hair is a bit risky to treat at home. If done inappropriately, it can spread infection or cause permanent scarring. Here is how to treat such a cyst:
- Wash your hands and the affected area with a mild cleanser. Pat dry afterwards.
- Remove dead skin and other forms of dirt with hair brush.
- Cover the area with a warm piece of cloth that has been soaked in hot water and wrung out.
- Disinfected a sharp needle or tweezers with alcohol. Before pricking the cyst, make sure that you can spot the tip of the ingrown hair. Otherwise, keep warm compressing.
- Squeeze the skin around the ingrown hair. This should drain pus and bring the ingrown hair towards the surface. Keep wiping the pus and blood.
- Gently pull the ingrown hair out of the skin into which it has grown. It should come out without resistance.
- Apply antibacterial ointment to avoid spread of infection.
Medical ingrown hair cyst treatment
It is recommended that you get an infected cyst treated by a doctor. Much the same can be said about a painful pubic hair cyst and generally any deep ingrown hair cyst. Medical ingrown hair cyst treatment options include;
- Corticosteroids – these are anti-inflammation medications. They reduce swelling around an ingrown hair. This encourages the hair to break through the skin. These medications also ease irritation and itchiness.
- Antibiotics – antibiotics are medications used to fight bacterial infections. They may be prescribed in form of creams and ointments or oral tablets for severe infection.
- Anti-acne medications – a majority of these contain hydrogen peroxide and salicylic acid. They usually come in form of creams. These medications are commonly used to treat ingrown beard hair.
- Retinoids – retinoids are forms of vitamin A. they are very effective in removing dead skin cells and other forms of dirt that might clog skin pores.
Waxing gets rid of entire hair from follicle. This ensures that you will not have to deal with ingrown hairs for the next 3-6 weeks. It is a common preventive measure for ingrown hair on bikini line.
These are acids that weaken keratin. Keratin makes hair tough and strong. Use of chemical depilatories removes hair semi-permanently. It is very effective but quite expensive.
Laser hair removal
This method renders follicles unable to produce hair. This means that hair will no longer grow in the treated area. It is a good option when dealing with ingrown hair near vagina and body areas where hair is almost without function. While it is effective and gives quick results, it is quite expensive.
As the name suggests, this method uses an electric current to destroy hair follicles. It is another permanent hair removal method. The method is effective and works for all skin types. The problem is that it requires many appointments and is expensive.
This is the fastest treatment option when an ingrown hair turns into a cyst. A small incision is made through which pus drained and the ingrown hair is pulled out.
Ingrown hair cyst removal with home treatment
You can try the following home treatment options for ingrown hair removal:
Applying warm compress several times in a day will reduce swelling and bring pus closer to the surface where it can drain. To warm compress, cover the affected area with a piece of cloth soaked in hot water.
Scrub with sugar
Sugar will keep your skin free from dead skin cells. It allows the skin to breathe and recover faster. To use it, mix 1 cup of white sugar with half a cup of olive oil. Use the tips of your fingers to rub the affected area with some of the mixture. Rinse with warm water after 5 minutes.
Exfoliate with baking soda
Baking soda is readily available. It works by easing itchiness and reducing swelling. It is also an effective exfoliating remedy. Add the powder to water to make a paste. Apply the paste in a circular motion to the affected area and rinse after 10 minutes.
Use tea tree oil
When it comes to getting rid of ingrown hair cysts, tea tree oil works by fighting infection and reducing swelling. It is one of the most commonly used ingrown hair removal home remedies. Before use, dilute it with water and apply it directly with a cotton ball.
Unclog with castor oil
Clogged pores are common causes of deep ingrown hair cysts. To unclog the pores, apply a thick layer of castor oil to affected areas. Rinse with water after 15 minutes.
Moisturize with essential oils
To avoid moisturizers that contain grease or alcohol, use essential oils such as lavender oil or jojoba oil to keep your skin hydrated.
Always make sure that it is ingrown hair you are dealing with before treatment at home. A number of skin conditions can be confused with ingrown hairs. Take advantage of diagnostic tools such as genital herpes vs ingrown hair pictures.
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