Q:

What are the symptoms of an ingrown hair?

A:

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According to Mayo Clinic, ingrown hair symptoms include small papules or pus-filled lesions on areas of the body such as the face, pubic area, armpits and legs. The bumps may also cause pain, itching and darkening of the skin. The condition occurs when hairs curl around and grow back into the skin instead of protruding outward, which in turn leads to inflammation.

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WebMD explains that ingrown hairs can also develop into painful boils and cause permanent scarring of the affected skin. In many cases, the condition resolves on its own, but infected hairs or hairs that cause significant discomfort may require medical treatment. Treatments include needle incision and removal of the hair, topical steroid creams, antibiotic creams and oral antibiotics.

The National Health Service explains that ingrown hairs can also occur when the hair follicles become plugged with skin cells and cause the underlying hairs to grow to the side. It is important for individuals to avoid picking, squeezing or scratching at the bumps or lesions, as this can introduce bacteria into the system and lead to infection. Home remedies for ingrown hairs include applying tea tree oil to the affected areas and pulling the hairs out with tweezers or sterilized needles if they are close to the surface of the skin.

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