Ingrown hairs most commonly appear in males in the beard area, including the chin and cheeks and, especially, the neck. They can appear on the scalp in males who shave their heads. In females, the most common areas for ingrown hairs are the armpits, pubic area and legs. Signs and symptoms include:
- Small, solid, rounded bumps (papules)
- Small, pus-filled, blister-like lesions (pustules)
- Skin darkening (hyperpigmentation)
- Embedded hairs
When to see a doctor
An occasional ingrown hair isn't cause for alarm. See your doctor if:
Mar. 23, 2012
- Ingrown hairs are a chronic condition. Your doctor can help you manage the condition.
- You're a woman with ingrown hairs as a result of excessive unwanted hair growth (hirsutism). Your doctor can determine whether your excess hair is a result of treatable hormonal abnormalities, such as polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Pseudofolliculitis barbae. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec10/ch124/ch124d.html. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- Coley MK, et al. Managing common dermatoses in skin of color. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. 2009;28:63.
- Habif TP. Folliculitis. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- Perry PK, et al. Defining pseudofolliculitis barbae in 2001: A review of the literature and current trends. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2002;46(suppl):S113.