Ingrown Hair - Treatments

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What types of treatment have you received for an ingrown hair?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black square:

What is the treatment for an ingrown hair?

Although an ingrown hair can heal on its own and spontaneously dislodge, in some cases, it may be tough to get rid of it. Available treatments include

  • chemical depilatories,


  • topical creams,


  • topical antibiotics,


  • medical removal of the ingrown hair by small incision and pulling out the hair,


  • hair-removal laser.

Best results may be achieved with combination therapy. Consulting a medical doctor who specializes in dermatology may be necessary for the optimal treatment of more severe cases.

Chemical depilatories like Neet or Nair can loosen the structure of hair, resulting in blunt tips of shaved hairs at the follicular opening. Chemical depilatories may be used every second or third day rather than every day due to the possible chemical irritation on the skin. Hydrocortisone cream can be applied to alleviate the irritation caused by chemical depilatories.

Tretinoin (Retin A) cream can help decrease skin plugging or hyperkeratosis. Topical tretinoin cream may thin out the epidermis, reduce the buildup of dead skin cells, and decrease hair embedding into the follicles. Topical corticosteroid creams with a mild strength can be applied to reduce inflammation of inflamed ingrown hairs.

Topical and oral antibiotics may be required for severe cases that form pustules and abscesses, which indicate secondary infection. Topical antibiotics, including erythromycin (E-Mycin, Ilosone) and clindamycin (Cleocin), topical antibacterial agents, such as benzoyl peroxide (Persa-Gel), and the combinations of topical antibiotics and antibacterial agent, can help reduce the growth of skin bacteria and treat secondary infection. Oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline (Sumycin) or cephalexin (Keflex, Keftabs), are used to control infected pustules or abscess formation. Antibacterial washes, such as benzoyl peroxide (Clearasil, Proactiv) or chlorhexidine (Hibiclens), can be used once or twice a day to control the infection. Topical eflornithine HCl 13.9% cream (Vaniqa) is a prescription that can reduce the rate of hair growth when applied to the skin twice a day over one to two months. Hence, it can be useful as long-term therapy in individuals with excessive facial hair or patients who have pseudofolliculitis barbae.

Prescribed fading creams such as hydroquinone 4% (Eldoquin), kojic acid, azelaic acid 15%-20%, or over-the-counter fading creams with 2% hydroquinone can help improve any residual or persistent skin discoloration. Prescription of higher concentration of hydroquinone may also be formulated by compounding pharmacists to help particularly resistant skin discoloration.

Laser hair removal may be an option for preventing ingrown hairs. Laser treatments applied to an area help to permanently decrease the number of hairs. Currently, laser removal works primarily on dark hairs only. Laser hair removal is generally very fast, efficient, and safe. Laser treatment risks include skin discoloration.

Electrolysis may be used to permanently remove hairs. This procedure targets individual hair follicles and can be performed on any color of skin and any size and color of hair. The destruction of hair follicles is permanent. Electrolysis is often slow, tedious, and requires multiple treatments.

Return to Ingrown Hair

See what others are saying

Comment from: SJG, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: June 11

I suffered from serious ingrown hairs in my bikini area. What I do to prevent them around that area is I exfoliate, make sure it has salicylic acid. What I would then do is add pure glycerine or anything that has glycerine in, because this helps draw out the poison and the same with the salicylic acid.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: happygirl, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: May 08

I just read the article about ingrown hairs. I used to try to pluck the hair with tweezers, which was never successful. I read that you can try a needle to go under the curl in the hair and pull it out and it worked! It took me about a minute to get the whole thing out. After pulling the ingrown hair, there was a little hole, and a little blood came to the surface, but nothing big. I put Neosporin on the wound. This was so helpful for me.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Stay Informed!

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox FREE!