Conditions & Treatments

Ingrown Hairs

An ingrown hair is a hair that curls and penetrates the skin with its tip, causing inflammation.

Ingrown Hairs

What is an ingrown hair?

An ingrown hair is a hair that curls and penetrates the skin with its tip, causing inflammation. Ingrown hairs are more common among people with very curly hair. Most ingrown hairs occur in the beard area on men and the bikini or groin area on women.

What are the symptoms of an ingrown hair?

The most common symptom of an ingrown hair is redness and inflammation of the skin, followed by pus formation. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. The symptoms of an ingrown hair may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

How is an ingrown hair diagnosed?

Diagnosis of an ingrown hair can be confirmed with a medical history and a physical examination.

Treatment for an ingrown hair

An ingrown hair often heals on its own. However, in the case of chronic ingrown hairs, treatment may include:

  • Allowing the hair to grow longer prior to shaving it 

  • Removing the hair permanently through electrolysis, laser, or depilatory methods (liquids or creams)

Treatment Programs


Massachusetts General Hospital understands that a variety of factors influence patients' health care decisions. That's just one reason why we're dedicated to ensuring patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options. Because a single option might not serve all patients, we offer a wide range of coordinated treatments and related services across the hospital. Patients should consult with their primary care doctor or other qualified health care provider for medical advice and diagnosis information.

Select a treatment program for more information:



Department of Dermatology

  • The Medical Dermatology Program
    The Medical Dermatology program at Massachusetts General Hospital is a full-service dermatology practice that provides care for all skin, hair and nail conditions.

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