Ingrown hairs tend to occur when a hair that’s been removed through methods such as shaving, tweezing, or waxing grows back into your skin.
People with curly hair tend to get ingrown hairs more often because the hair naturally tends to curl back towards the skin.
Although most common on the face and neck of men and the legs and pubic area of women, ingrown hairs can also occur on other areas of the body such as the nose.
What are the symptoms of an ingrown nose hair? What should you do if you get one? Read on to learn more.
Removing nose hairs by methods such as tweezing can leave fragments of the hair remaining under your skin. These hair fragments may begin to grow off to the side and into your skin, leading to an ingrown hair.
An ingrown nose hair may be similar in appearance to a red bump or pimple on or inside your nose. Additional symptoms that you may experience can include:
- irritated skin at and around the ingrown hair
- pain or tenderness
Many times, an ingrown nose hair will resolve on its own, and you won’t need a visit to the doctor. However, if ingrown nose hairs become a chronic problem, you should make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns.
If you have an ingrown nose hair, it’s important that you don’t pick, scratch, or try to pop it.
Your nose naturally contains some potentially pathogenic bacteria, such as Staphylococcus species. Picking, scratching, or popping your ingrown nose hair could lead to an infection.
If you can see that the ingrown hair is lying close to the surface of your skin, you may use a sterile pair of tweezers or a needle to gently coax it out.
Avoid digging into your skin deeply to remove the hair, as this can lead to infection and scarring.
It’s also important to remember that nose hairs are vital for trapping and isolating irritants like dust and pollen as well as many pathogens. Because of this, nose hair should never be removed completely.
If you have nose hair that you believe is unsightly, use a pair of cosmetic scissors with rounded tips or a mechanical trimmer to trim it back instead of plucking it out. This can help to prevent ingrown nose hairs.
There are a few things that you can try at home for relief from your ingrown nose hair.
- Avoid tweezing or plucking other nose hairs while you have an ingrown nose hair. Doing so can further irritate the affected area and possibly lead to more ingrown hairs.
- Use a warm compress to reduce swelling and inflammation at the site of the ingrown hair.
- Apply a small amount of natural antiseptic such as tea tree oil to the ingrown hair. Tea tree oil has been shown to be in helping to treat acne lesions and may be helpful for your ingrown hair.
The best way to avoid getting an infected ingrown hair is to refrain from picking, scratching, or trying to pop it. These types of actions can allow bacteria to enter the area and cause an infection or even the formation of an abscess.
Ingrown nose hairs may occasionally form pus-filled lesions, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s an infection present. If they don’t begin to get better, if they get worse, or if they bother you, you should see your doctor.
If you choose to visit a doctor for your ingrown nose hair, they may prescribe a variety of things to help relieve your symptoms.
- Retinoids. These drugs are applied directly onto your skin. They promote turnover of dead skin cells as well as exfoliation.
- Steroid creams. These medicated creams can help reduce inflammation caused by your ingrown hair.
- Antibiotics. If your ingrown hair is infected, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat the infection.
If your ingrown hair has become infected and formed an abscess, your doctor may choose to drain it by making a small incision over the affected skin.
If you have recurring ingrown nose hairs, it may be recommended that you alter your grooming routine.
This can include trimming the hair with cosmetic scissors or a mechanical trimmer as opposed to plucking or tweezing. You can also choose to stop removing nasal hair altogether.
If you notice a red bump on or in your nose you may be unsure whether it’s an ingrown nose hair or something else. Below are some possibilities for what it could be as well as some signs and symptoms to look out for.
A pimple occurs when your pores become clogged with oil and dead skill cells. They can take many forms, including whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, and cysts. Pustules and cysts may be red and tender or painful.
Development of a pimple in or on your nose is probably not related to your grooming habits, but is instead more likely to be due to factors such as bacteria, hormones, medications, or your diet.
Like ingrown nose hairs, you should avoid picking at or trying to pop a pimple. Doing so can lead to scarring or infection.
A variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications are available to treat pimples on your nose or elsewhere.
Folliculitis occurs when a hair follicle becomes inflamed, typically due to a bacterial infection. Symptoms can be similar to those of an ingrown nose hair and can include:
- an itchy or burning sensation in the affected area
- clusters of red bumps or pimples that may open or form a crust
- pain or tenderness
Similar to ingrown nasal hairs, the condition can be caused by damage to hair follicles via grooming methods such as tweezing.
Other factors that can lead to folliculitis on or in your nose can include excessive nose blowing or picking, having acne, or taking steroid medications.
Nasal furuncles are a type of abscess that occurs deep in a hair follicle in or on the nose. Abscesses commonly appear as a fluctuant and swollen, red lump.
They’re an infected pocket of pus that’s located under the skin and are usually caused by a bacterial infection.
Symptoms can include:
- feeling sick or unwell
- pain in the area of the abscess
You should always see your doctor if you think you have a nasal abscess. The infection can possibly spread and develop into cellulitis, or more seriously, a rare condition called cavernous sinus thrombosis.
An ingrown nose hair develops when a hair grows back into your skin following a removal method such as tweezing or plucking. Although they can be irritating, most ingrown nose hairs will resolve on their own over time.
Unless you can see the hair close to the surface of the skin, you should avoid picking at or irritating the site of the ingrown hair until it heals. When the skin around the ingrown hair is broken, a bacterial infection may occur.
The best way to avoid getting ingrown nose hairs is to refrain from removing nose hairs. If you must remove nasal hair, choose to use a pair of cosmetic scissors or a mechanical trimmer to trim the hair back.