What is an Ingrown Pimple?

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  • Written By: J. Mendi
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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An ingrown pimple is a red, pus-filled bump that appears on the skin as a result of an ingrown hair. An ingrown hair occurs when a hair grows in a sideways or downward direction within a follicle, the tubular cavity holding the hair, instead of growing in a straight upward fashion through the skin surface. When a hair becomes trapped or ingrown, the follicle becomes infected and produces an ingrown pimple below the skin that eventually reaches the skin surface, appearing as a large inflamed blemish.

These pimples can be unsightly, but most importantly they can be quite painful. It is common for them to occur on areas of the skin where one removes hair regularly by means of shaving or waxing. The frequent cutting or temporary removal of the hair gives the new hair a chance to grow in a misguided direction, which can causes the pimple to form. Naturally curly hair is also more prone to become ingrown due to the hair curling downward into the follicle as it grows.


It is possible to treat an ingrown pimple by placing a warm, damp cloth over the area for several minutes. If the pimple appears hard, this step should be repeated two to four more times during the day. When the pimple softens and a white head is clearly noticeable, a warm clean cloth or gauze pad can be used to gently press the pimple and extract the pus. After the pus is released, the hair that had become ingrown should be visible and can be removed with a sterilized pair of tweezers. It is a good idea to disinfect the area of the pimple with hydrogen peroxide or astringent after removing the hair.

The ingrown hair can also be removed by using a sterilized needle to pull the hair and loosen it from the pimple. When the hair is freed, it can easily be removed by a pair of sterilized tweezers. This approach should only be practiced when the hair on the surface of the ingrown pimple is visible.

These types of pimples are frustrating and can recur as long as shaving or waxing is practiced; however, there is a preventative solution to this problem. Removing dead skin cells should help keep the follicles unclogged and can be achieved by simply exfoliating the susceptible area on a regular basis. This will assist the hair to grow in its intended manner through the skin surface and minimize the probability of an ingrown pimple.


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Post 4

I used to get ingrown pimples on my chin. I was always plucking out a few course hairs on my jawline and chin, and this often caused the pimples to pop up.

I didn't want to stop plucking out the stiff hairs, so I just covered up the bumps with makeup. They eventually got so bad that even makeup wouldn't cover them, so I had to go to a dermatologist. He did a chemical peel and gave me some topical ointment, and my jawline and chin cleared up in a month.

Post 3

@JackWhack – You probably did have an ingrown hair pimple. The only pimples I've ever gotten on my legs have been from shaving, and hairs were to blame.

These pimples were particularly painful along my bikini line. I used to shave there with a disposable razor, and I would always get red bumps. I put alcohol on them to treat them, and they eventually went away.

I finally stopped using that razor. I switched to an electric razor, and I haven't gotten any ingrown hair pimples since. This razor doesn't irritate my legs like the old one did.

For a short while, I experimented with hair removal cream. Strangely enough, it also caused the red ingrown pimples to form, so my only option now is the electric razor.

Post 2

I didn't know whether the red bump on my thigh was an ingrown hair or pimple. Either way, I knew I needed to squeeze it in order to get the pus out.

I never looked for a hair in it, but if it was ingrown, I suppose that removing the pus made it possible for the hair to grow in the right direction. It's more likely that I was just dealing with a pimple, though.

What causes pimples on the legs? Can you even get leg acne, or did I just have an ingrown hair without knowing it?

Post 1

I never knew how to get rid of an ingrown pimple. I just thought that they had to run their course.

It's good to know that I can speed up the recovery of my skin by soaking the pimple and getting the hair out. This is a useful tip that I will definitely use.

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