Ingrown Hair Scabs that Won't Go Away on Face, Legs, Belly



Ingrown hairs are common on the pubic area, face, legs and the beard. As such, any of these areas can have an ingrown hair scab. Scabbing is the skin’s way of protecting itself against infections. We look at the relationship between ingrown hair and scabbing, what to do if the condition won’t go away as well as how to treat and get rid of scabbing around ingrown hairs.

Ingrown Hair Scab

Do ingrown hairs scab over? Before we can answer this question, it is important to understand what ingrown hair as well as scabbing is. This will give a clear understanding on what ingrown hair scabs entail.

Ingrown Hairs

An ingrown hair occurs when the hair’s sharp tip curls back into the skin or grows to the side of the hair follicle as opposed to growing out of the skin. This is mostly experienced by persons with coarse curly hair. In addition to an ingrown hair, other additional symptoms may be the presence of razors bumps and infection of the hair follicles which is also known as folliculitis. 

Ingrown hairs may occur anywhere on the skin but are most common in area that are shaven such as the pubic region, beard and legs. An ingrown hair can be seen as a reddish itchy bump on the skin that occurs after hair removal procedures.  

Ingrown Hair Causes

Some of the causes of ingrown hair include:
  • Having naturally curly hair as well as coarse hair predisposes you to ingrown hairs.
  • Wearing clothes that are too tight such as skinny jeans regularly may inhibit the growth on hair.
  • Improper shaving technique could as well see ingrown hairs forming. Ensure you use a sharp razor and shave in the direction of the hair’s growth.
  • Another reason why ingrown hairs may form is a lack of exfoliation. This is important especially after hair removal as it opens up the pores and allows for the hair to grow out.

Scabs on Skin

When the skin gets hurt, blood platelets gather to block bleeding. To do this, the platelets get help from calcium, vitamin K and fibrinogen which is a protein. This way a clot forms. 

When exposed to the air, platelets start breaking apart and react to fibrinogen to form fibrin. This looks like tiny threads which then form a web like mesh that enables them to trap blood cells within it. As it dries on the skin, the mesh hardens forming a scab.

Ingrown Hair and Scabs on Face, Legs, Belly and Pubic Hair, Scalp

Now that we have some foresight on what ingrown hairs and skin scabs are independently, can an ingrown hair scab or do ingrown hairs cause scabs? Typical ingrown hairs do not scab. However, when the hairs are extremely itchy, it results in scratching which could harm the skin. In addition, where the skin around suffers damage such as by being scrapped by a razor blade, ingrown hair scabs will form as part of the healing process.

Ingrown Hair under Scab

An ingrown hair that is trapped under a scab can be uncomfortable. This is more so in cases of ingrown pubic hair scabs that become itchy. It is possible to want to pick at the scab to see if this will encourage the hair to grow out. This, though should not be encouraged. Picking at the scabs opens up the wounded skin thus prolonging the healing period. It also exposes the ingrown hair to infection causing organisms. Instead of risking all these, have a professional do the extraction of the ingrown hair.

Black, White or Yellow Ingrown Hair Scabs

In most cases, white or yellow ingrown hair scabs will form where there is pus trapped within the ingrown hair bump. In addition, ingrown hair scabs on the scalp as a result of seborrheic dermatitis which is commonly referred to as dandruff are common. They appear as crusty patches attached to the skin with ingrown hair scabs. In other cases, ingrown hairs may take the appearance of a white or blackhead.

As the healing of the damaged skin progresses, the ingrown hair scab is likely to turn into a dark color such as purple or black. This is indicative of proper healing and the scab should fall of within no time.

How to Remove Ingrown Hair from Scab - Treatment for Scabbed Ingrown Hair

Ingrown hair removal from under a scab is not as obvious as removal of an ingrown hair that has not scabbed. In addition, an ingrown hair scab removal is not recommended as it might expose the skin and the hair follicles to infections. As such, the best way on how to remove an ingrown hair from a scab is through professional means. The same applies to an ingrown hair that keeps scabbing over.

Where you are patient enough to wait until the scab falls off, you can then follow the procedure given below to remove the ingrown hair.
  1. Exfoliate the area around which the ingrown hair had scabbed over to get rid of dead skin cells, oils and dirt that might be trapped on the skin. Exfoliation may also encourage the hair to come out to the surface. The exfoliation should be gentle enough not to cause further damage on the skin.
  2. To soften the skin, apply a warm moist compress on the area with an ingrown hair. You can achieve this by wetting a wash cloth with hot water and wringing it our so it is wet but not dripping and pressing it on the ingrown hairs.
  3. Repeat this procedure until you see the ingrown hair rise to the surface of the skin.
  4. Using a sterile pair of tweezers, tease the tip of the hair out of the skin and onto the surface.
  5. Use warm water and a gentle soap to clean up the area and apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.

Ingrown Hair Scab Won’t go Away or Heal

A hard ingrown hair with scab that won’t go away or heal may be infected. It should therefore be checked by a general practitioner for treatment of the infection as well as extraction. Where extraction does not stop the scabbing over and ingrown hair from occurring, laser treatment may be recommended in which the entire hair is killed right from the follicle to stop it from growing.

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