Ingrown Hair Cyst: Common Causes and Home Treatment

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Ingrown Hair CystWe’ve all had ingrown hairs. They are annoying and can be slightly painful to deal with, but at the end of the day, it’s not a huge deal to you or your health. But did you know that ingrown hairs can develop into an ingrown hair cyst? There’s a good chance you’ve already had one.

What is an ingrown hair cyst? What’s the difference between an ingrown hair and cyst? Is ingrown hair cyst removal painful? We’ll give you all the information that you need with respect to an ingrown hair cyst, from identification to removal.

Common Causes of Ingrown Hair Cyst

An ingrown hair cyst occurs when a hair curves and grows downwards, as opposed to up through the skin. This usually leads just to a standard ingrown hair. Occasionally, that ingrown hair can form a cyst, as opposed to just a simple ugly bump. This can be caused by a number of things.

1. Shaving

Shaving can lead to a hair being ingrown with the potential of becoming a cyst.

2. Cystic Acne

Ingrown hair cysts can often come hand in hand with cystic acne. Cystic acne is when a pimple forms, but along with the normal causes of the acne, bacteria also clogs the pore, and the skin becomes infected at a deep level. What can happen here is when the hair becomes ingrown, bacteria can enter the pore as well, causing a nasty cyst.

3. Clogged Pores

If the pore is blocked by skin debris over a hair follicle, this can lead to an ingrown hair cyst to form, as the debris in the pore can cause the hair not to grow normally. Instead, the hair curves and becomes ingrown, causing a cyst underneath the debris.

Now that we’ve identified the causes of an ingrown hair cyst, you may be wondering about what the difference is between an ingrown hair cyst and a regular cyst, as they do sound similar.

Ingrown Hair or Cyst? What Is the Difference?

If you read the physical descriptions of an ingrown hair cyst and a regular cyst, they do appear similar physically, but there are some differences. One of the major differences is the cause. As we discussed previously, an ingrown hair cyst is caused by a hair curving in its growth, and going into the skin. A regular cyst can be caused by a number of things like infections, tumors, and inflammatory ailments. Also, there are some genetic conditions that cause cysts.

Ingrown hair cysts, while they can grow large, tend to be smaller than a regular cyst, which can grow rather large in size. Regular cysts can also occur within the body, occasionally forming on internal organs. What may be surprising is the fact that when a regular cyst begins to form, you may not actually notice it because it may not hurt until it begins to press upon something that will cause pain. On the other hand, ingrown hair cysts can start to hurt right from the start.

Symptoms of Ingrown Hair Cysts

If you get an ingrown hair cyst, at first, you may not be sure that’s what it is, and not a regular cyst or any number of other things.

1. Redness

An ingrown hair cyst can cause redness of the skin in the area around the cyst.

2. Irritation

Skin irritation is also a symptom of an ingrown hair cyst. This is as a result of the body releasing chemicals in an attempt to heal the cyst.

3. Pus

It’s gross to think about, but pus and a pus discharge are signs of an ingrown hair cyst, especially if that cyst has become infected.

4. Inflammation

Like many infections and similar issues, the body feels that an ingrown hair is a foreign invader and attacks it. In order to combat this, the body will attack by having the blood vessels in the area of the cyst dilate. This releases enzymes, and leads to the pooling of blood under the skin. This can leave the skin in the area of ingrown hair cyst inflamed.

5. Pain

If the ingrown hair cyst becomes infected or inflamed, it can be painful and tender due to all of the skin stretching, or lack thereof, in combination with the inflammation.

Luckily, there are a number of natural home remedies that can help quell the symptoms and issues that come with an ingrown hair cyst.

Ingrown Hair Cyst Home Treatment

You’ve figured out that you have an ingrown hair cyst. It’s kind of ugly and a little painful. You would like to be rid of it and not to have to look at it again. Is there anything that can be done about it? Actually, yes, there are a few home treatment remedies for ingrown hair cysts.

1. Tea Tree Oil

Used for a number of skin issues, tea tree oil can help with ingrown hair cysts due to it’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Try adding a few drops to a little bit of water and then clean the area. Leave it for a few minutes and then clean off the solution.

2. Black Tea Bags

Black tea bags may help reduce the swelling and irritation that an ingrown hair cyst can cause. The easiest, quickest way to use them is to moisten the tea bags, and then rub them over the affected area for a few minutes. Try repeating this a couple times a day for a week and you may see a difference.

If the ingrown hair cyst becomes too much of an issue, you can see a doctor. They will more than likely prescribe a home treatment like a steroid cream, or possibly antibiotics if it has become infected. Anti-acne treatments may also be recommended as the acidity can help. If it becomes a major problem, a dermatologist may suggest minor surgery to remove it. But the best way to treat ingrown hair cysts is to try and prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Preventing Ingrown Hair Cyst

Preventing ingrown hair cysts may actually be fairly easy for some of us. The following tips should help prevent them on a regular basis, but one of two may get through.

1. Shave with Care

One of the easiest ways to prevent ingrown hair cysts is to shave with care. Use a sharp razor blade and one that’s been sterilized. When shaving, use warm water to moisturize your face as well as some kind of shave lubricant (like shaving cream). Shave with the grain of the hair as opposed to against.

2. Exfoliate

Clean and clear the skin of dead skin and debris to avoid it clogging your pores, and causing the right conditions for an ingrown hair cyst.

Ingrown Hair Cysts Are Easy to Deal With

The thing to remember about ingrown hair cysts is that the problem is relatively easy to deal with if they occur, but don’t forget, there are some pretty simple steps that can help to prevent them from happening in the first place. Like any other skin issue, if aren’t quite sure what to do, consult your physician.

Related Articles:

Ingrown Hair on the Head: Causes, Complications, and Treatment Remedies

Ingrown Hair: Symptoms and Prevention Methods

“Ingrown Hair Cyst, Removal & How to Get Rid of Hair Follicle Cysts on Face, Bikini, Thighs, Neck,” Treat, Cure Fast;
“How do I Tell the Difference Between an Ingrown Hair and a Cyst?” Wise Geek;
“How to deal with an ingrown hair cyst,” Medilicker, June 21, 2016;