home Shaving Problems

Ingrown Hair Cyst: Symptoms, Causes, Pictures, Removal, Treatment and Remedies

We find ingrown hair cyst under the skin, and by the time the uncomfortable feeling caused by the infection starts to become severe.

People also feel embarrassed with a big painful bump on their body especially in private and exposed areas such as the neck, armpit, and groin.

In the article below you will be able to find detailed information about ingrown hair cyst, how they look like ? and how can they be treated?

What is an Ingrown Hair Cyst?


An ingrown hair cyst is a swollen lump under the skin filled with pus.

This lump appears due to the fact that the hair follicle under the skin is stuck and cannot grow out of the skin surface.

Thus, the follicle curls deeper under the skin rather than above it causing the area to swell in a rather painful manner [1].

Symptoms of Ingrown Hair Cysts

Ingrown hair cysts are often mistaken for other skin infection. In order to recognize that what you have is actually an ingrown hair cyst, you have to check your infected area for certain symptoms which are associated with this type of skin infection.

  • Welling/ Bumps

    The first thing you notice is the appearance of a soft bump which gets bigger over time. This is due to the growing of the hair out of the follicle under the skin.

  • Itchiness

    This symptom usually happens due to the bacterial infestation which can be followed by pus. Or sometimes it is because of the condition of your skin, for instance, your clothes rub on the wound which leads to irritation.

  • Pus

    A liquid with a yellowish color, that forms due to the spread of infection.

    Do not try to pop up your cyst in order to take out the pus it is not recommended.

Causes of ingrown hair cysts (how it develops)What-is-Ingrown-Hair

The process of developing an ingrown hair cyst escalates after getting an ingrown hair after shaving.

The main reason behind such infection is post-shaving irritation, after a hair curl into the skin it causes the area to react and results in an ingrown hair.

Ingrown hair cyst is when that hair follicle goes deeper into the skin and starts growing under the skin rather than out of it. Such situation irritates the skin and symptoms such as swollen bumps start to appear.

  • Curly hair

    Curly hair is possibly the biggest cause of ingrown hair cysts. This mainly happens because of the way curly hair reacts to razors when shaving Also, curly hair has the tendency of growing back into the skin due to the often curling back rather than straightening out [2].

  • Shaving

    Skin reacts in various ways of shaving razors. That is why sometimes when a razor faces a bump or curly hair while shaving it causes cuts or sometimes razor bumps, such skin irritation can develop into ingrown hair cysts if not treated properly or if the curled hair continues growing deeper into the skin.

  • Tweezers

    Since ingrown hair means the hair is curled back into the skin, this means you have to try taking it out again.

    Doing so will have to include unclogging the blocked skin and make the hair straighten in order to grow out the skin. This way all you need to do is take clean tweezers and extract that hair once and for all. Of course, do not forget to clean the area and moisturize it afterward.

  • Acne

    People with skin problems such as acne may highly develop into cystic acne. The cause of such skin inflammation is the hair follicle which gets stuck under the skin due to closed pores.

    When pores are clogged this hinders the growth of the hair and leads to the appearance of hard bumps with pus.

Ingrown Hair or a Cyst? What Is the Difference?

Skin irritations can be alike and not easy to differentiate between them. A nonprofessional will get confused while trying to recognize the type of infection his skin suffers from.

In fact, there are some signs which can help identify the difference between ingrown hair and a cyst.

A normal ingrown hair can be easily tweezed out, while a hair of a cyst is much deeper in the skin which makes it harder to extract.

There is the nature of the infection itself, ingrown hair is always caused by shaving either by accident or using the wrong shaving techniques. While cysts can happen due to other reasons such as acne, inflammation, irritation, and bacteria.

READ  Ingrown hairs: Causes, Infection,Deep, Removal, Treatment and Prevention

Areas of ingrown hair cyst

Ingrown hair cystPrivate area

Ingrown hair cysts tend to develop in sensitive areas, which are often shaved most of the body parts affected by ingrown hair cysts are:

  • On armpits

    armpits are prone to ingrown hair due to the fact they are considered as a sensitive area.

    sweat and constant coverage of the area increase the sensitivity so when you shave you need to be extra careful in order not to develop an irritation. replacing shaving with waxing is a good idea to avoid ingrown hair in such area.

  • On thighs

    Private parts are highly sensitive to any irritation especially when it is subjected to razors. women are the most affected by such a problem since they shave such area more often.

    You are advised to wax private areas and areas surrounding it instead of getting shaving in order to avoid ingrown hair, razor bumps, discoloration, and irritation.

Public area

Such places have a big amount of hair which can easily cause problems such as cuts or razor bumps while shaving, and those cuts inflame and eventually lead to the appearance of cysts if not treated properly

  • On face

    Is usually faced by men especially around the chin and beard area since it is the often shaved area. men should be careful while shaving, for example, exfoliates, use correct shaving techniques and avoid constant shaving in order to give the skin a room for rest.

  • On Scalp

    Ingrown hair in such an area is probably due to shaving, or violent hair brushes. usually, men are risked to have them more than women since women do not shave their heads, but sometimes it appears out of nowhere so avoid brushing your hair violently or straightening your hair with the hair iron and such stuff until you consult a doctor.

  • On legs:

    If you are using a wrong shaving technique you are risking to get an ingrown hair. ingrown hair on legs is caused by shaving in the opposite of the hair grown so your razor will have difficulty to remove all hair in a smooth way.

    Use a shaving cream and shave in the same direction as the hair grown in order to minimize the risk of getting ingrown hair on your legs.

Is it ok to touch an ingrown hair cyst?

An ingrown hair can be touched since the hair can be taken out from under the skin easily. However, touching a cyst is not recommended since your hair follicle is deeper into the skin and you may not be able to take it out.

So touching it would cause more inflammation as well as pain and swelling not to mention bleeding sometimes. So rather than touching your cyst, you are advised to consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Tweezing it out using exfoliation is a better solution that popping it.

READ  Ingrown Hair on Stomach: Pictures, Treatment, Removal, and More

Infected ingrown hair cysts

Infected cysts are a serious matter which should not be neglected. Your infected area can spread not only to other parts of your body but also to other organs under the skin.

That is why your need to seek professional treatment in order to prevent your infection from spreading.

An infected ingrown hair cyst means that the hair did not only go back into the skin, but it also sunk deeper and grow inwards causing a swelling and pus.

Deep ingrown hair cyst

Deep ingrown hair is when the hair follicle curls deeper in the skin and start growing deeper inwards instead of out the skin. Growing deeper in the skin causes redness as well as pain.

It is not easy to take out the hair since it is deep in the skin but you can use exfoliation in order to make the hair grow up the skin and you can tweeze it out

Ingrown hair cyst removal & treatment

Treatment for ingrown hair cysts usually differs depending on the degree of the infection which can range from simple to infected ones. Below is a list of solution you may choose according to the degree of your infection.

READ  7 Ways to prevent razor bumps on face and neck (That'll Actually Work)

Home Remedies for Ingrown hair cyst

Home remedies are one of the solutions that can be used to treat ingrown hair cyst, however, for diabetics, they should avoid using any treatment without consulting the doctor

  • Sugar:

    Sugar is a great ingredient if that urges the skin into a rapid healing process. it is also a natural defoliator that prompts the skin to open up in a gentle way.

    1. Take a tablespoon of sugar with 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water.
    2. Mix the ingredients well and apply them on the infected area
    3. Start rubbing the area very gently with your fingers in order to exfoliate the area and its surroundings.
    4. Rinse it off with lukewarm and repeat the process until you start noticing results
  • Honey:

    It is important to keep the wound hydrated as well as help your wound heal thanks to its anti-bacterial properties. Honey can be used several times during the day without any negative outcomes.

    • Take a tablespoon of honey and apply it directly on the wound
    • Rub it for few seconds until the whole area is covered with honey
    • Leave it for at least 10 minutes and rinse it off with lukewarm water
    • You can repeat the process as much as you want until it is healed.
    When you apply honey on sensitive areas such as the groin, make sure to wear loose underwear so the honey won’t get swiped by the clothes.
  • Baking soda:

    This ingredient is essentially used for relieving the symptoms of the cyst such as itching, redness, and swelling. Baking soda contains anti-bacterial elements which help to prevent the spread of inflammation to other areas of the body.

    1. Take a tablespoon of baking soda and mix with a teacup of water
    2. Take a small piece of cotton bandage and soak it in the mixture
    3. Rub the area very gently with the small cotton bandage for a minutes or less
    4. Repeat the process until you are able to tweeze out the ingrown hair.
  • Warm compress:

    Using a compress is not only to reduce pain and swelling as the majority of people might think. Hot compress is used for the purpose of unclogging the pores and allowing the curled hair to reach the surface which makes it easier to eliminate.

    1. Take a clean cloth or any piece of clothes you do not need as long as it is clean
    2. Dip it in hot water for few seconds and squeeze the extra water
    3. Place it on the affected area for at least 1O minutes
    4. Repeat the process until you can reach the ingrown hair and tweeze it out.
    Make sure to be very careful if the cloth is too hot the infection will further inflame

Cream and antibiotics

This type of solutions may help you relieve some side effects of inflammation such as irritation, itchiness, ingrown hair cyst cream removalredness, and swelling, however, Antibiotics and creams do not heal the infection entirely but help stop the spread of ingrown hair symptoms.

Other types of antibiotics help attack the bacterial aspects in your infection which come in the shape of a pus.

The area would dry and finally, peel off. So if you want to use creams or antibiotics you have to first consult with your doctor because creams can have a strong density on your skin.

The doctor will tell you which cream you need based on the intensity of your infection. Either anti-inflammatory or peeling creams.


Exfoliators help you have a smooth shaving process, they also help you open up your pores and extract the curled hair for good. They also work for the purpose of tendering the wound and making the ingrown hair visible so you can tweeze it out.

Medical antibiotics

Help you restrict the spread of the inflammation to other areas and reduce the amount of pus caused by it. You are advised to use the ones which prevent inflammation such as steroids and things similar to it in order to relieve the inflammation and help the wound to fade off. You might receive antibiotic injections in order to prevent the spread of the infection.


Help the skin to stay hydrated instead of getting crusty which can lead to other health complications. Moisturizers do not have to be creams or medical products just something natural that can keep the skin hydrated.

Surgical options

ingrown hair cyst surgical removalClearing out an infection surgically always involves making an incision. In order empty out the cyst from the fluid pus and contaminated blood, the doctor takes a surgical knife and makes an incision suiting the size of the cyst itself. After that, the doctor squeezes out any pus and blood or fluid inside making the swelling go away. Sometimes a laser is a better option if you do not feel comfortable to go under the knife or have a cut on your body [3].

Anti-acne medicines

Anti-acne medicines may help the skin to reduce acne cells to grow. There are different types, some are creams and antibiotic. There also pills which you can take in order to moderate your hormonal activities that are causing your skin infection. The doctor will advise you which treatment is suitable and sometimes even give you a mix of the two types [4].

How to prevent ingrown hair cyst?

  • Avoid frequent shaving especially if your ingrown hair is inflamed. It will only add to your infection.
  • Try to shave during the shower
  • Exfoliate before you shave in order to unclog your pores and the razor can move smoothly on your skin.
  • Use new razor every time you want to shave in order to avoid infection
  • Try to shave in the direction of the hair growth in order to prevent curling the hair into the skin.
  • Avoid taking random treatments if you have allergies, sensitive skin, or you are pregnant


The process of treating an ingrown hair cyst differs depending on the level of intensity. If you want to treat your infection properly you have to consult a doctor to properly choose the suitable treatment.

Your cyst is maybe caused by other factors other than shaving so you have to pay a visit to the doctor to receive a professional diagnosis.


  1. None of this information relates to my symptoms – I am female lots of women have on there chin (st any age small white what look like moles they can be removed ) they have little hairs removed by plucking . I think mine is infected feels like a lump behind the mole? The skin is very tender to touch and I can see the area around is is getting wider and quite pinkish ….. What can I treat the symptoms with… Do I need to see a Dr?

  2. I think I have an ingrown hair on my arm. There is no white bump it’s just red and swollen around the area. It’s burns and hurts when I touch it. I tried moisturizer and antibiotic creams but that didn’t help. Any other ideas?


Post Comment