Can an ingrown hair turn into a cyst? Does a deep bumpy growth under the skin with an ingrown hair mean it is an infected cyst? What are the common symptoms you should expect? Learn more about ingrown hairs causes and how they become cysts, how to treat with medications and removal methods.
Prior to our discussion, find little but important information on hair follicle structure and what causes hair to curl and grow back (ingrown) in both men and women. A human hair follicle is a small “secretory cavity where hair grows.” [health.ccm.net].
Common causes of ingrowing hair include inappropriate shaving techniques, dry skin, hair follicle diseases and irritants (e.g. friction from clothing). Moreover, they can be triggered by bacterial or fungal infections and hormonal imbalance. Areas commonly affected by bad hair follicle problems include on the head (scalp), cheeks, chin, on neck, chest and under armpits.
Ingrown hair cysts causes, symptoms & pictures
Can a hair ingrown turn into a cyst or become a cyst? The probability that a cyst caused by ingrown hair develops depends on where and for how long it has lasted under the skin and if it gets infected. The more the time the more it becomes longer and twisted. What causes these infections?
To begin with, an extremely painful follicle cyst indicates there is an infection. An infected cyst can result from various reasons. One of the common ways of getting an infected cyst is through touching, picking, pricking or tweezing using dirty sharp objects which transfer germs to this area.
A cyst from ingrown hair can start and grow in areas covered with skin including the scalp, on the face, under armpits, pubic area and groin. Before developing into a typical cyst, an infected ingrown hair normally begins as a small or a big pimple.
If you get a bacterial or staph infection (staphylococcus) in the cysts, it will result in an accumulation of yellowish to greenish pus, tender bumps that may turn red and feel warm. Failure to get medications to control staph infections can result in abscess and boils characterized by a bad smell. You may also end up with severe ingrown hair scarring.
Pilonidal cyst or tailbone cyst
Sometimes you may wonder what may be causing pain at the bottom of the spine or painful butts! Pilonidal means a “nest of hair” and that is why doctors have thought it is due to ingrown hairs on the bottom skin covering the tailbone among other causes. More men are the affected victims of pilonidal cysts but women as well can develop them.
According to WebMD, a pilonidal cyst around anus and vagina is considered an abscess that is a “tender mass generally surrounded by a colored area from pink to deep red,” or boil. You need to go for testing if you experience a swelling above the anus just in between your butts’ surfaces. Other symptoms to check on include:
- Pain near tailbone,
- Swelling at the end of the tailbone,
- Draining pus that may throw a foul smell,
- Fever etc.
After your examination is done by a doctor, you will need surgical draining or marsupialization procedure to remove a pilonidal cyst together with coils of ingrown hair. (If it is revealed that antibiotics are less effective). The wound that results will require great attention, meaning that you must clean your body including itself. Pilonidal cysts have a tendency to recur. Go back to your doctor for further checkups.
Facial hair and on beard
Can facial ingrown hair’s follicle develop into painful infected cysts? Yes. If you do not shave or remove your facial hairs properly you may also end up with this problem. The hair can also fail to project out through its pore under the skin and thus curl back if the pore is clogged.
This usually happens when men shave their beards against the grain or against the direction of growth, too closely or by using tweezers. Women who do waxing to get rid of unwanted facial growths can too be victims of cysts if ingrown hair follicle with hair inside results.
Facial bumps with ingrown hairs are usually painful and can irritate your skin too particularly when you touch or try to pop them now and then. In addition, they may develop into a mass under the skin over time. After they have thickened, ingrown facial hair becomes or turn into cysts because touching them become infected.
It is a high time to see a physician to help you out before the infection gets underway which lead to severely infected cysts on face. Take caution and never try to pull out the hairs using a pair of tweezers. Otherwise, do regular exfoliation of your face especially areas with hair growths.
Hairs growing on the neck is curly in nature. To affirm the statement, “individuals with curly hair suffer from pseudo-folliculitis more often than those with straight hair.” [livestrong.com]. Apart from shaving, cysts from the ingrowing hair on the neck may be triggered by bacterial or simply staph infections.
If they not given medications to kill bacteria and treated, infections would become severe. Therefore, one may end getting deep cysts especially under the jawline and below the chin. Statistically, adult males are at higher risk of neck cysts than anyone else.
These cysts can develop around your pubic area – although this may not be common. One indisputable fact is that these areas are usually typical of pubic hair definite in adults (males and females equally). Now, the main cause of cyst-forming between your anus and vagina (for females) or on testicles is when they get infected. Trying to remove overgrown pubic hair is behind it.
Hair in these parts is culpable of curling inwards and lead to round bumps. Usual signs which accompany these bumps like redness, tenderness, inflammation, and itching cause a lot of discomforts and sometimes pain. These bumps mostly resolve on their own. However, after they seriously get infected they could turn into cysts and grow deep into the skin in the pubic area and cause collection of pus usually yellow or green (also referred to as papules or pustules).
On the leg, upper inner thighs or Groin
Another area susceptible to ingrown hair are the legs and inner thighs especially the upper inner thighs (not to forget your groin area). As mentioned in our introduction, any attempt to have a close or poor shaving can lead to irritation of the skin.
Besides removal of hair through shaving, this problem may arise from activities like cycling. During the actual activity, there occurs constant rubbing between your saddle and upper-most inner thighs. When the frictional force becomes too much, your skin becomes inflamed. In case you had your thighs shaved, what happens more likely is swelling. At this point, the skin forms small bumps thus allowing the sharp pointed hair tip to easily curl inwardly.
Inner thigh cysts are usually small and cause pain during movements like walking, thigh exercises and cycling.
A more or less similar instance may occur among women and ladies who are used to bikini line waxing. When the hairs begin to grow around along the bikini line, the hair follicles get squeezed. If the bumps are infected one can easily develop cysts on the inside of inner thighs and groin. This is a problem for both males and females.
Large, Deep cysts removal and cure
How does a deep ingrown hair cyst develop and look like? When you get a cyst from ingrown hairs, a deep cyst can develop. A deep cyst is one whose hair gets “attached intensely to the epithelial layer of the skin,” [durablehealth.net] in that it goes through the follicle.
Common areas for this kind of cysts include the scalp, underarms, on the neck and around the tailbone or buttocks. Take a look at these pictures depicting deep cysts.
A major treatment process for removal of deep cysts from ingrown hair requires a professional surgical incision procedure after a thorough examination. Physicians may also recommend that you get a prescribed medication by a doctor to help healing and fight infections.
Treatment and cyst removal
How do you get rid of ingrown hair cysts? Treatment is crucial considering the suffering brought about if they become infected One of the consequences of ignoring them will be growing into a thickened mass under your skin. Two, if infected they develop into an abscess which can be dangerous on a health concern. For anyone to remove or get proper cyst cure from ingrown hair, put into consideration certain issues. What part of the body? Is it in between thighs, armpits, on neck or groin?
Topical Treatments including creams and Pills
One of the effective treatments for these cysts is applying prescription creams. Examples of creams recommended by dermatologists are steroids. If you have symptoms such as itchy cysts accompanied by inflammation, irritation or swelling, see your doctor.
Your doctor will give you instructions on how to effectively use the creams and for how long you should expect the symptoms to disappear. However, if you could start to show side effects, you can also get antibiotic pills. Pills to treat infected ingrown hair cysts should be taken under a doctor’s scrutiny.
Some of the anti-inflammatory creams are available over the counter and are safe to apply even without doctors instructions. Your duty is, therefore, to follow all instructions and medical rules until the cysts have healed completely.
Secondly, we have an option to get medicines.
Injections are also good for infected cysts since they prevent you from getting further infections from secondary infections. Examples of injections are retinoid or antibacterial solutions administered by at clinics and healthcare providers at your nearest center.
ii. Anti-acne medicines
If you do not want to get scars even after healing, you may need treatment based on acne treatments. In particular, ingrown hair follicle cysts. How will these anti-acne medicines prevent the formation of scars? Most acne treatments contain ingredients such as salicylic acid. This ingredient has powerful action in helping exfoliate your skin and drying out the cysts.
What you must note that is that certain anti-acne medicines are made of hydrogen peroxide. It is important to consult your pharmacist or drug consultant to help you select medicines with right concentrations. Different areas of your body react in varied ways producing reactions. For instance, most areas on your face and chest have light skin hence need a relatively lower concentrated cream product.
Surgery is yet a method of removing cysts whether they are deep or infected. The surgical removal process involves making incisions. If the cysts require draining, your physician is the one who how and what techniques to drain an infected cyst.
Home treatment remedies
Besides the various medical treatments, some natural and home remedies are quite efficient to deal with ingrown hair cysts especially if they are bump-like. It is advisable to get rid of these hairs to reduce chances for them to grow into cysts. There are a few remedies to help you control these bumps.
Tea tree oil
Apply tea tree oil to reduce redness and prevent swelling in bumps that have resulted from ingrowing hairs. In fact, this is one of the natural remedies for ingrown hairs because it contains natural antibacterial property to keep harmful microbes at bay.
Both tea tree oil and aloe are good natural products whose qualities match. Consider adding a few drops of Aloe Vera to enhance fighting infections and boosting healing of ingrown hairs.
Another simple remedy is warm water that helps to relieve pain, redness, and swelling. If these symptoms are discovered early enough, you can possibly prevent going for surgery to remove pilonidal cysts. It is as simple as sitting in a warm tub for some time or as you feel necessary.
These are not the only natural remedies. The rest comprise application of garlic,
How to prevent them
You can prevent ingrown hair that can be infected to form cysts, razor bumps, and other pimple-like growths by learning to do the following.
- Always use a quality and sharp razors. Shave properly to prevent pulling during the shaving altogether.
- In case you have a natural soft skin make sure that you apply a skin conditioner, lotion, cream or gel to soften the hairs for easier removal. Alternatively, wash with warm water but creams and gels do a better job.
- Thirdly do not shave against the grain. Instead, keep your razor blades in the direction of hair growth.
- Remember to carefully sterilize and cleanse your razors if you are to use them again to avoid buildup of microorganisms and infection-causing germs.
- Use fewer strokes as possible while shaving.
- Exfoliate at least on a daily routine.