What is an ingrown hair infection? How do infected ingrown hairs come about and how do they look like? Can the infection cause staph or boils? How treat, remove, get rid of and prevent ingrown hairs that are infected? Read on to find answers in addition to pictures.
What is an Ingrown Hair Infection-Pictures, Definition and causes
- What is an Ingrown Hair Infection-Pictures, Definition and causes
- Symptoms of Infected Ingrown Hair, Inflammation, pain etc
- Infected Ingrown Hair Pus & Inflammation
- Ingrown Hair Staph & MRSA Bacteria Infection
- Ingrown Hair Boil/Abscess Infection
- Infected Ingrown Hair Treatment/Removal
- Home Remedies for Infected Ingrown Hair
The unrestricted growth of hair follicles inside the skin can cause various skin ailments, which might get serious if left untreated. From severe bacterial effusions to lumps and lesion on the skin, ingrown hairs can cause several complications. However, the situation worsens with the growth of infection. Ingrown hairs are basically a benign dermatological condition on the skin in areas which are frequently shaved. By definition, an ingrown hair is a condition where hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin.
The main cause of ingrown hair is improper shaving. Other causes include waxing, tight clothing and other aggressive hair removal methods. Tight clothes cause sweat, which accumulates dirt and clog the pores. The skin bacteria affect right after this which then lead to the growth of pustules and abscesses. One of the most identifiable characteristic of ingrown hair is infection.
What is an ingrown hair infection and how does it come about?
Once your hair curls back or grows back into the skin, it makes the tissues around it vulnerable to disease-causing agents such as bacteria and virus. These agents invade the tissues around the ingrown hair then continue to multiply. The reaction between your tissues and the by-products (mostly toxins) of the disease-causing agents is what results to an ingrown hair infection. Physicians say that the ingrown hair infection can crop up any time and continues to grow, if not treated in time.
The ingrown hair and the infection is mostly caused in the inner thighs, face, armpit and groin, which remain closed most of the time, thus making these areas pretty conducive for the bacterial and virus infection.
What does ingrown hair infection it appear or look like? Pictures
They look like minuscule red bumps on the affected area. Sometimes, there is identifiable inflammation and pus formation, especially if the infection is in an advanced stage. They cause pain, itching when left untreated for a prolonged period of time. Usually these are benign dermatological condition, which have no fatal outcome. However, the infection due to the ingrown hair can leave ugly scars if adequate treatment is not given.
Symptoms of Infected Ingrown Hair, Inflammation, pain etc
When the affected area becomes infected, it develops following symptoms:
- Reddish bumps along with tenderness: The medical name of ingrown hair is folliculitis, which creates an inflammation in the affected area with tender feelings.
- Itchiness, Pain, Razor bumps etc: Infected follicles are painful and the raised part of the skin(bumps) often gets friction from the clothes you are wearing. This causes irritation.
- Rash and Pus: The raised bumps where the ingrown hairs develop, bacterial infection forms pus.
Infected Ingrown Hair Pus & Inflammation
Among the most noticeable features of the ingrown hair infection, mention must be made of the inflammation and the pus.
Inflammation-How does inflammation come about from ingrown Hairs
When you shave, the razor cuts off hair at a sharp angle. If you have curly hair, the tip of the already cut hair may curl and start growing back into the skin. As it grows back, your body perceives it as an unfamiliar intruder. As a result, your skin becomes inflamed.
Flow of red blood cells into the area causes the reddening effect with pain. In an effort to protect the infected area, your body sends white blood cells which form a layer around the ingrown hair. After some time, the white blood cells die.
The dead white blood cells form what is known as infected ingrown hair pus. Normally, pus is whitish-yellow, yellow, or yellow brown in color.
Is the pus from ingrown hair smelly?
When the pus-filled structures that form as a result of infected ingrown hair bump r, the pus is of course forced. The pus may be smelly or not smelly depending on the extent of the infection. The reason behind the smell is the infectious bacteria.
After the yellowish pus, some blood may follow along especially if the infected hair is forcefully popped out.
Ingrown Hair Staph & MRSA Bacteria Infection
What is a staph infection? Can ingrown hair cause staph infection or can it be turned to staph?
Staph infections are caused by a bacteria known as Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This type of bacteria is usually found on the skin, in the nose area and under the fingernails. Most of the time, staph bacteria are only associated with no or mild skin infections. In fact, they are found even on the skin of healthy individuals. It only becomes deadly when the bacteria invade deeper into your body, entering your bloodstream and other internal parts. According to Mayo Clinic, a growing number of otherwise healthy individuals are developing life-threatening staph infection.
MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is an infection caused by a type of Staphylococcus, or staph, bacteria that’s resistant to many different antibiotics (medication meant to treat bacterial infections). What this therefore means is that not all staph infections are the MRSA type.
How is staph bacteria associated with ingrown hair infection? Staph lives on your skin area, the same area where ingrown hairs occur. Staph/MRSA infections often begin with an injury to the skin When your skin is injured or broken, an opening is created through which staph bacteria can enter and cause infections. Ingrown hairs cause injuries on the skin thus leading to ingrown hair staph infection.
Therefore, sometimes ingrown hairs develop into staph infection. Staph infection can further accentuate other skin ailments including, boils, impetigo, food poisoning, cellulitis, and toxic shock syndrome.
However, it is important to note that more than often than not MRSA or staph infections are misdiagnosed as an ingrown hair. A staph infection isn’t always an ingrown hair infection. Signs of a staph infection include;
- Tenderness of the skin
- Boils or blisters
When identified earlier staph infection can be treated easily with topical, oral, or intravenous antibiotics. Sometimes, surgical drainage is also prescribed as a curative option
You can help prevent staph infections be ensuring high standards of cleanliness. Regular hand washing and daily bathing are basic preventive measures to get you started. In case of an injury, keep the injured skin clean and covered.
Ingrown Hair Boil/Abscess Infection
How are boils different from ingrown hair bumps?
Boils caused by Staph infection are usually formed with pus. From the very beginning, they appear like rash filled with pus. On the other hand, the ingrown hair develops inside the skin making the epithelial tissue swollen. While it pushes back the skin inside, it becomes tender and a boil like structure or a mass like lesion is formed. However, if they are not infected, the formation of pus is very unlikely.
How do ingrown hairs result to boil infection and what can you do about it?
Ingrown hairs are a skin abnormality and hence the area is already vulnerable to the staph infection. As they grow inside, it feels like a raised bump onto the skin. If left untreated for a long time, you can get infected by the Staph bacterium.
Infected Ingrown Hair Treatment/Removal
How can you treat, remove infected ingrown hair? Usually, the infected ingrown hairs heal on their own. However, a medical intervention may be necessary if the infection seems to worsen despite giving it the basic treatment. Though surgical remedies are often left out as the only option, the infected ingrown hairs can also be removed by the following methods…
Oral antibiotics and antibiotic ointments
Start with the oral antibiotics and apply antibiotic ointments prescribed by your dermatologist. Antibiotics will fight against the infection and prevent the infection from spreading.
Drying agents and Antiseptic lotions
When there’s an inflammation and it does not get healed in few days, try drying agents to reduce the inflammation and help to clear up the infection. Aluminum chlorhydrate preparations are some of the available antiseptic lotions commonly used to treat folliculitis.
Use an antibacterial Soap to clean the infected area
As aforementioned, cleanliness is one of the ways to ensure that spread of staph bacterium is limited. Clean the infected area with antibacterial soap twice a day using a clean cloth every time. Do not scrub as this will worsen the condition. Use a fresh towel to pat dry the infected skin as well.
There are a couple of home remedies for infected ingrown hair. Keep on reading to find out
Home Remedies for Infected Ingrown Hair
One of the best home remedy for ingrown hair infection is use of hot compress. The idea behind it is to apply heat to the infected for some time. The heat exposes the bacteria to unfavorable condition thereby making it weak. In addition, the heat softens the skin and opens up pores which in turn makes it easier for the hair to come out smoothly.
How do you use this home remedy? Run a washcloth under hot water and place it over the infected area and allow it to stay there until the cloth cools. The heat eventually will promote drainage an loosening the hair, promoting healing.
Other ingrown hair infection home remedies and tips
Among the other remedies, that is in addition to use of heat, a mention must be made of the following
- Stop shaving.
- Avoid using razor for a considerably prolonged period of time once you get infected ingrown hair.
- Exfoliate your skin softly, so that the dead skin cells get removed and do not clog the pores. It also helps in removing dirt, which is one of the main causes of forming infection from Staph aureus.
- Shave with a sharp, single-bladed razor in order to remove unwanted hair.
- Before shaving your skin, do not forget to wet it with warm water and apply a lubricating gel.
- Shave in the same direction your hair is growing.
- Do use as few strokes as possible. Using razor frequently makes your skin vulnerable to ingrown hair