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Ingrown hair

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I have ingrown hairs (follictues). Is this the same thing? Ingrown hairs and follicitis? I want to treat the ones I have. I have some on my genital area and I have some on my chest. I shave both areas frequently. I went to a determologist and he told me to take Doxycycline. He told me to take one pill a day to prevent it. He said it also prevents acne. He also gave me some benzoyl peroxide to treat the ingrown hairs.

He ended the appointment quickly, so I didn't really have enough time to ask him about all of the methods of treating and preventing ingrown hairs. I went on wikihow and it said that there are about 5 methods to remove an ingrown hair.

Method 1 of 5: Exfoliating method

Method 2 of 5: Acne medication method

Which one is better? Benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. I read that salicylic acid is better. Or does it not matter?

Method 3 of 5: Compress method

Method 4 of 5: Sharp device method

Method 5 of 5: Keeping the skin clear of ingrown hairs

There are a lot more tips and methods on other sites. It is not practical for me to use all of these methods. It is too time consuming. However, I will apply the tips on shaving properly the next time that I shave....I don't mind applying all of these methods if I have too, but I would prefer not to.


Is the combination of the pill and the benzoyl peroxide (or salicylic acid..whichever one you think is better) enough to treat the ingrown hairs (follicuitis). Does the pill treat the ingrown hairs? Or do I need to do anything else alongside of this?


Is the pill I mentioned earlier used to treat the ingrown hairs and prevent them? Or just treat them? Or just prevent them?

If I just use benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid (whichever one you think is better) to prevent the ingrown hairs and the pills (if it does prevent the ingrown hairs)...will that be I need to use any other methods? Aside from shaving.....I am going to shave properly from now on...

Please let me know. Thank you.

Category: Dermatologist

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Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
 22 Doctors Online


Thanks for posting your query. I can understand your concern.

Ingrown hair is usually caused when the hair is shaved off at an angle so that it curls back and goes into the skin and grows sideways resulting in a bump.

Folliculitis is caused when this ingrown hair becomes infected with bacteria. (folliculitis can be caused even without ingrown hair)

The treatment with doxycycline and benzoyl peroxide will treat the folliculitis but not the ingrown hair, however it won't act as a prevention for either.

Ideally the treatment for ingrown hair is to use a laser for hair removal, this removes all the ingrown hair.

The prevention for ingrown hair would be to shave with proper techniques:- not shave too close , shave only in the direction of hair growth.

Folliculitis can be prevented by maintaining good levels of hygiene.

Hope this helps, please feel free to discuss further.

Take care

Patient replied :

What are some less expensive ways to treat ingrown hairs?


Ingrown hair mainly requires laser, which is effective.

Application of retinoid creams is another option, but it is not very effective and can be a strong irritant in the pubic or genital area. Hence its better avoided in that area. It can be applied in the chest area though.

Hence I recommend that you shave with proper techniques to prevent them.

Take care

Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar
Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
Diploma in Dermatology - Royal College Of Physicians & Surgeons Of Glasgow, UK , 2010
Residency - DNB, Dermatology -  K.J Somaiya Hospital, Mumbai, 2009
Medical School & Internship - MBBS - Dr. D . Y . Patil Medical College, Mumbai, 2004
Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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