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Definition of Ingrown Hair
Ingrown Hair is a new HAIR that curls as it grows, slicing into the side of the hair follicle instead of arising from it to extend above the surface of the SKIN. An ingrown hair forms a painful red bump.
The hair may grow its way through the wall of the follicle and above the skin, or may block the follicle, causing INFLAMMATION and INFECTION (FOLLICULITIS). People who have curly or kinky hair are more likely to develop ingrown hairs. Men may develop ingrown hairs in the beard area as a consequence of shaving, sometimes called shaving bumps or shaving rash.
ACNE and other inflammatory conditions of the skin that block the follicles can cause ingrown hairs. Moisturizing the skin helps open the follicles, allowing the hair to grow outward. Warm compresses can help release cells and sebum clogging the follicles, releasing the hair. Regular skin cleansing and mild exfoliants also help keep the follicles clear.