ingrown hair

Ingrown Hair Boil:
Description & Remedy

An ingrown hair boil starts in the hair follicle. It is a localized infection deep in the skin.

The signs of an ingrown hair boil developing are red skin in the area of the infection and then a tender lump which is sensitive to the touch.


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Later the ingrown hair boil becomes firm and hard. Pus starts collecting under the skin between four and seven days later and the tender lump begins to turn white.

The pus is actually a collection of white cells the body uses to fight the infection. After some time the ingrown hair boil forms a head and the pus drains out through the skin.

An ingrown hair boil is usually caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. A certain number of these bacteria may live harmlessly on the surface of the skin or in the nose.

If a person is carrier however, it may make them more susceptible to skin infections or ingrown hair boils.

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Treating An Ingrown Hair Boil

Treatment should start as soon as the infection is noticed to prevent greater problems later.

Apply hot soaks or hot packs to the area to increase circulation and allow the body to fight the infection.

Simply cover the boil for about 30 minutes with a flannel soaked in hot water and repeat 3 or 4 times daily.

Most small ingrown hair boils drain on their own with hot soaking.

If the ingrown hair boil becomes larger, it may need to be drained or lanced by a health practitioner.

The pain can ease greatly after lancing.

Do not attempt to lance the boil at home. This may result in a more serious infection.

Antibiotics may be prescribed if the area around the ingrown hair boil is infected to clear the Staphylococcus bacteria.

If a painful ingrown hair boil does not greatly improve within a reasonable time, medical assistance should be taken as soon as possible.

A particularly painful form of ingrown hair boil is know as Pilonidal Sinus.
Click here for an information page on Pilonidal Sinus

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