What is ingrown hair cyst?
If the hair growth is embedded inside the skin rather it grows to outer surface of the skin, then it leads to cyst formation and cause pain which is called as Ingrown Hair Cyst. The discomfort is increased, if the cyst become infected.
The ingrown hair cyst often misguided pilonidal cyst and sebaceous cysts. The usual affected site for ingrown hair cyst are mostly occurs on the scalp, other possible sites are face, under the chin, armpit, groin, near the groin, inner thigh, bikini and on the penile shaft. (1,2)
Symptoms of ingrown hair cyst
- Itchy skin
- Contusion around the cyst
Onset of infection
- The cyst turns to fluid packed sac
- The coloration of the cyst is changed, the tip of the cyst becomes whitish or yellowish
- The fluid in the sac, if become greenish and more painful, then it need medical treatment, as the cyst become highly infected.
- In some cases, the cyst eject out yellowish pus
- Popping of the cyst can cause bleeding (2,3)
Causes of ingrown hair cyst
The following are the commonly observed causes which lead to ingrown hair cyst:
Improper technique of shavings or waxing
The direction of shaving or waxing the hair growth has an important impact on cyst formation. Shaving or waxing in opposite direction can cause ingrown hair cyst. Lacking of foaming, before commencing of shaving also cause ingrown hair cyst. Dry skin and close contact with hair can also lead to ingrown hair cyst. Rough blades and too much friction during shaving can cause ingrown hair cyst.
Individuals having a higher tendency to cystic acne are more susceptible to have ingrown hair cyst. In cystic acne, due to inflammation of the hair follicle causes blockage of the skin pores and thus often leads to hair growth inside the skin.
Clogged skin pores
The lack of hygiene and cleaning of the skin causes skin pores clogging due to accumulation of dirt and pollutants. The clogged skin, prevents hire growth at the outer surface of the skin and cause ingrown hair cyst. Even too much application of chemicals and cosmetic products also blocks the skin pores, if proper removal of makeup is not followed.
Typical hair structure and growth
The typical hair structure like too thick and curly hair and tightly enclosed inside the hair follicles cause ingrown hair cyst. Some people have an extra-follicular penetration of the hair growth pattern, where the hair is not straightforwardly come up, but twist back stabbing into the skin. Latter mass is developed inside the skin and form cyst.
The chance of getting infection is more common and that can be signified by developing redness and inflammation and pain, some cases oozing is also common.
Clothing and wearing of helmets
Tight clothing, specifically under garments can cause skin friction and leads to ingrown hair cyst. Helmet straps can cause friction in the chin may lead to ingrown hair cyst formation. (2,4,)
Infection in ingrown hair cyst
Staphylococcus aurous bacteria is a most common bacteria, which infect tin skin. Other bacterial strains and fungal infection also cause infection to ingrown hair cyst.
Genital herpes, abrasion and cold sores caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2 viruses are often infect the skin, so to pursue the treatment correctly, the underlying causative agent detection is important for effective treatment. (2, 5)
Some home remedies are available to treat the ingrown hair cyst, but in case of severe discomfort or cyst is not heal up within a specific period, then consult with dermatologist, as it may symptom of skin cancer.
- Avoid shaving
- Do not pop the area, which aggravate the infection.
- Wash the affected place with warm water and followed by antiseptic lotion including tea tree oil or manuka oil (these are natural antimicrobial action).
- Exfoliation of the skin is another way to treat ingrown hair cyst, as this helps to clear out all the debris from the site. But the rough exfoliation technique should not apply, as it causes bleeding.
- Take a warm, damp cloth or cotton piece and clean the area, which also helps to soften the skin. Then use a sterilize tweezers to extract the embedded hair, without cutting the skin. If successful extraction is possible, then hot compression helps to pass out the puss. Then wash again the affected site with lukewarm water.
- Apply some antibiotic lotion like aloe vera gel, benzoyl peroxide for quick healing and stopping of further infection.
After diagnosis the affected site, doctors are usually prescribed the following medications
- Steroidal cream: The topical application of the steroidal creams helps to reduce the symptoms and quick heal is also possible.
- Antibiotics: Depending upon the causative agents and dermatologist’s decision, topical application of antibiotic creams are able to treat the infection. For severe cases, oral and even injection is also need for treating the infection.
- Anti-acne creams: The individuals, who are having sensitive skin and acne vulnerable subject need to treat with anti-acne creams (2,4,5).
- Use sufficient foaming before shaving
- Use after shave lotions for prevention of dryness
- Sharpe sterile blade should be used
- The correct technique and direction of hair growth should be kept in mind during waxing or shaving.
- For hard skin, hot, damp compression helps to soften the skin.
- Cotton correct fitted undergarments should be used (5).
1. Ingrown Hair Cyst, Removal & How to Get Rid of Hair Follicle Cysts on Face, Bikini, Thighs, Neck; Retreve from: http://www.treatcurefast.com/cysts/ingrown-hair-cyst/ingrown-hair-cyst-removal-deep-infected-pictures-how-to-get-rid-follicle-cysts/
2. Ingrown Hairs Can Develop Into Painful Cysts; Retrieve from: http://dailyknowledgetree.com/5265/ingrown-hairs-can-develop-into-painful-cysts/
3. Mark Sjoberj; How to get rid of ingrown hair; Retrieve from: http://www.folliculitisclinic.com/how-to-get-rid-of-ingrown-hairs/
4. Infected Ingrown Hair Symptoms, Pictures Cysts, Staph & Treatment; Retrieve from http://www.stronghair.org/ingrown-hair/infected-ingrown-hair-symptoms-pictures-cysts-staph-treatment/
5. How to Get Rid Of Ingrown Hair Cyst, Treatment, and Removal on the Groin, Inner Thigh and Armpits (2016), Retrieve from: http://www.skintots.com/ingrown-hairs/ingrown-hair-cyst-treatment-removal-groin-inner-thigh/