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How to Treat an Infected Ingrown Hair

by
author image Linda Ray
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."
How to Treat an Infected Ingrown Hair
Improper shaving techniques can cause ingrown hairs. Photo Credit shaving image by leafy from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

An ingrown hair occurs when a short hair curls and begins to grow back into the skin. The condition primarily affects black males between the ages of 14 and 25 according to the MayoClinic.com. Women who shave their pubic hair also are prone to ingrown hairs. Infection targets the follicles and is referred to a folliculitis. Tweezing, shaving and electrolysis can lead to ingrown hairs on tightly coiled hairs.

Step 1

Take oral antibiotics and apply antibiotic ointments prescribed by your dermatologist or family doctor.

Step 2

Utilize drying agents to reduce the inflammation and help to clear up the infection. Antiseptic lotions commonly used to treat folliculitis include aluminum chlorhydrate preparations.

Step 3

Place a hot moist washcloth over the infected area and allow it to stay there until the cloth cools. The heat eventually will promote drainage an loosening the hair, promoting healing. Removing the hair also prevents further complications and continued infections, according to MedlinePlus.

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Step 4

Wash the infected area with antibacterial soap twice a day using a clean cloth every time. Do not scrub. Use a fresh towel to pat dry the infected skin as well.

Step 5

Stop shaving for at least three months if you experience chronic or frequent infections from ingrown hairs. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, you need to allow the hair to gain sufficient length and strength naturally to stop the hairs from curling into the skin and causing infection. Antibiotics are ineffective when applied too often.

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