Ingrown Pimple

Ingrown pimples occur in areas of the body where the hair is cut frequently with the use of razors. The neck area is prone to ingrown pimples, primarily due to shaving. Treating the condition incorrectly can cause infection or scarring.

What is an Ingrown Pimple?

An ingrown pimple happens when the hair grows downward below the skin’s surface instead of upward. Shaving is one culprit of this skin disorder. According to studies, some razors cut the hair, leaving a sharp or uneven edge to the hair follicle. As the hair grows, it gets trapped under the skin and develops into what’s called a razor bump.

Occasionally, you can see the ingrown hair under the skin. Sometimes, breaking the skin helps to release the hair. In other cases, the hair irritates the skin, causing an infection around the opening of the hair follicle. Left untreated the infection can become a scabby sore.

It’s not a health or life-threatening situation, but it is bothersome, sometimes painful and embarrassing. Severe infection can cause permanent hair damage or loss. The ailment may need a prescription medicine to treat the infection. Mild cases clear up within a few days on their own.

What Causes Ingrown Pimples?

Ingrown pimples are caused by trapped hair in most cases. A fungal infection or hormones can cause excessive hair growth, contributing to blocked or trapped hair under the skin’s surface. Individuals with curly hair are more likely to experience ingrown pimples. This is because curly or coarse hair naturally curves back toward the skin after being shaved.

There are methods to prevent the incident and reduce infection. Besides shaving in the direction of the hair growth, always use a sharp razor to avoid breaking the hair.

  • Shave after a shower, allowing the skin and hair to soften.
  • Use shaving creams or some form of lather to soften the hair and the skin's surface
  • Apply a hot towel to the area before shaving to soften the area.
  • Rinse the blade after each stroke.
  • Don’t pull or stretch the skin for a closer shave – a little stubble is healthy.

Symptoms of an Ingrown Pimple

Symptoms include redness around the hair follicle – the redness could be simple irritation or an infection. The severity of the infection varies for most individuals. It’s the infection that leads to a white or yellowish pus to form.

Ingrown hairs aren’t always painful, but they may cause aesthetic discomfort. Although they may not be a serious medical issue, they are frustrating until they go away. While it’s healing, keep it clean and don’t shave it - leave it alone, even though you experience itching – it’s healing.

How to Treat Ingrown Pimples

Most of the time, ingrown pimples will heal themselves. We all have a natural instinct to pick at it but unintended scratching will cause inflammation. If the area becomes infected or the skin darkens there’s a problem. To avoid complications, consider seeing a doctor. They have a procedure to remove the ingrown hair and control the infection, allowing the skin to heal. Doctors or dermatologists make a small incision in the skin using a sterile instrument to release the hair.

  • Prescribed topical steroids or antibiotic medicines reduce the swelling and irritation.
  • Retin A can be applied to help remove the dead skin cells associated with ingrown hairs.
  • Antibiotics taken orally can help to treat and prevent further infection.

Home Remedies

It’s almost impossible to prevent ingrown pimples. Treating an ingrown pimple is easier before they get infected. Managing your personal hygiene will reduce the possibilities of ingrown pimples and infection. Start by washing the area with an antibacterial soap or noncomedogenic cleanser twice a day. Noncomedogenic cleansers allow the skin to maintain its moisture and the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

Over-the-counter topical creams containing hydrocortisone can be applied after cleaning. It helps to relieve the redness and prevent any itching or inflammation. Topical antibiotic creams applied to the area after the hydrocortisone allow the skin to heal without complications.

  • Avoid shaving around the area for a couple of days.
  • Avoid scrubbing the ingrown pimple – it could irritate the skin and trigger an infection.

Be sure to wash your hands after applying the topical medications. Keep the area germ free for a couple of days. If the condition persists or worsens, it’s time to see a doctor or dermatologist for help.

If you choose to pop it, be sure to sterilize everything before puncturing the skin. Gently push to release the contents. Wash the area with an antibacterial wash to prevent infection. If nothing comes out, stop – do not force or break the skin.

Storage and Handling

Medications are used to restore and sustain our health. Left unmonitored even the simplest form can cause harm.

  • Keep all medicines out of reach of children, elderly adults and animals.
  • Store medications in a cool, dry place away from direct heat or light.
  • Discard outdated or unused portions properly.

Frequently asked questions

1. What does an ingrown pimple look like?

It usually shows up in the form of a little red bump in recently shaved areas. If it stays there for a few days with no change, most likely an ingrown pimple is under development.

2. Do I need to see a doctor?

If you have regular occurrence, yes. Ingrown pimples need to be diagnosed and treated by a specialist. They understand the causes and by examining your own health, they can help with treating the disorder to prevent open sores, bacterial growth or infections.

3. When should I start treating an ingrown pimple?

If it’s not infected, the bump can last for weeks, slowly healing itself without scarring. If it’s infected, left untreated the condition could last for months. Don’t allow the infection to go untreated, it can get painful.

4. Are ingrown pimples dangerous?

Not always, but they can lead to serious infections, which can trigger other more serious health conditions. Generally, the condition can compromise the immune system if there’s another health issue.

5. How common in males or females are ingrown pimples?

Both genders are affected with this condition in different areas of the body. Because men shave every day – they are prone to the condition.

6. How can I prevent ingrown pimples from occurring?

Good hygiene habits are the first step in prevention. Learn to use the right skin products and how to identify the symptoms. In some cases, self-care or home remedies do work, but there are always some risks of complication.

7. How common are ingrown pimples?

According to the Mayo Clinic more than three million cases occur every year. Whether you are male or female, ingrown pimples can develop anywhere on the body. Anyone using a razor is susceptible to an ingrown pimple.