When shaving, it is done to improve the appearance especially on exposed parts of the body. If an individual is prone to developing ingrown hair, shaving can cause embarrassment as well as discomfort. The ingrown hair can develop once the small-sized skin pouches that hold the hair end up irritated by blockage, friction or shaving along with the bacteria. The skin pouches called as follicles become inflamed and the hair is stuck within the pouch instead of growing outward. If you want to properly manage an infected ingrown hair, read here.
Warmth and redness
An ingrown hair is medically called as folliculitis which involves the inflammation of the follicle. The affected area becomes warm, tender and red in color. The inflammation typically lingers around the irritated follicle. Nevertheless, it has the tendency to spread if several follicles are involved. Take note that this is quite common in areas where shaving was done such as legs, face and genital area. The ingrown hairs are also common among those who have curly hair since the shaved hair tends to curl back into the follicle.
Rash and drainage of pus
The bacteria that are essentially present on the skin can multiply in areas that are irritated by the ingrown hairs. Once this happens, the indications of infection are usually present. It is important to note that the ingrown hairs can push against the skin, resulting to bumps. The hair pushes through the upper layer of the skin or there is an elevated texture. The elevated bumps can also be filled with pus as the body attempts to fight off the bacteria.
Pain and itchiness
If an individual has an infected ingrown hair, the itchiness can manifest before, during or after the distinctive indications of inflammation manifest. This can be quite evident in areas where the clothing produces friction such as the upper thighs and genitals. The ingrown hairs can also be painful particularly if the area is irritated by friction and the follicle is infected.
When to consult a doctor
If an individual has an infected ingrown hair, he/she must avoid picking or plucking on the area. You have to keep the skin properly moisturized to help reduce the discomfort but it will not prevent ingrown hairs from developing.
It is also recommended to wear loose clothing to prevent irritation of an ingrown hair while at the same time help prevent more from developing. You can utilize a clean washcloth and razor if shaving is required.
A doctor should be consulted if the individual develops fever or notices redness and warmth that spread from the affected area. It is best to consult a doctor if the symptoms worsen, recur often or last longer than 2-3 days. If removal is required, the doctor will remove the hair using sterile tools or prescribe the appropriate medications. Additionally, the individual should not shave for several months.