An ingrown hair infection is also known as folliculitis. Anyone is at risk for contracting folliculitis and the infection can be caused by bacteria or fungus. Ingrown hair infections range from mild to severe and may require medical treatment from a medical professional.
An ingrown hair infection starts off as a red bump, similar to a pimple, around the affected hair follicle. The bump may have pus inside and may feel itchy or tender to the touch.
Ingrown hair infections can be caused by wearing tight clothes, friction from shaving, using a swimming pool or hot tub that doesn't have the correct amount of chlorine in it, getting an infected cut, or handling substances that can block the hair follicles.
Ingrown hair infections are more likely to occur in people that are overweight, prone to acne and other skin conditions, living in a warm and humid climate, or taking antibiotics or corticosteroids.
Many ingrown hair infections will clear up on their own in just a few days. For more serious infections, your doctor may prescribe a topical antibiotic cream or antibiotic pills, depending on the severity of the infection. If the infection is fungal in nature, your doctor may prescribe antifungal pills.
Ingrown hair infections can be prevented by washing your body daily with a mild anti-bacterial soap, avoiding tight clothing, using a new razor blade every time you shave, and using a new towel every time you bathe or shower.