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Causes of Ingrown Hair and Treatment Methods

What is Ingrown Hair (Pilonidal Sinus)?
What is Ingrown Hair (Pilonidal Sinus)?

What is Ingrown Hair (Pilonidal Sinus)?

“Hair Rotation” or medically known as “Pilonidal Sinus”, which is frequently seen in men under 30, is called the hair socket under the skin. Ingrown Hair (pilonidal sinus) is a skin disease characterized by the inflammation of the subcutaneous cyst filled with skin debris and then fistulizing the skin in a number of ways to drain it. After the cyst is formed, the skin wastes accumulating under the skin occur when an inflamed tissue is formed in that area with the accumulation of hair, fat, epithelial tissue and other skin tissue inside.

In this disease, which is a hair-filled cyst, ingrown hair abscess may occur due to infection of the cyst. If the disease is not intervened in a timely manner, the ingrown hair abscess may progress and involve other hair follicles and spread to the subcutaneous fat tissue. In other words, pilonidal sinus, which occurs as a result of the accumulation of free hair and hairballs in some areas, causes complaints such as swelling, stiffness, discharge and pain.

Ingrown hair is 3 times more common in men than in women. The most common age group of ingrown hair is between the ages of 15-25. Although hair structure is one of the most important factors in experiencing ingrown hair, some factors can cause the problem to be experienced more.

Being overweight, sitting too much during the day and sweating a lot are among the factors that cause hair loss. With the movements of the hip muscles while walking or sitting, the hairs are buried deeper, which causes the hair to rotate.

For this reason, it is quite common in athletes who are interested in sports such as bankers, students and drivers, cycling or horse riding sports. Apart from that, the body structure is very hairy, the hair structure is dense and coarse, skin thickness and poor hygiene are other obvious factors of the disease.

What are the causes of ingrown hair?

One of the reasons for hair rotation is that the hairs shed from the dorsal region rotate in the coccyx region and move towards the skin. Apart from this, sports such as sitting for a long time, being overweight, sweating, engaging in strenuous sports such as weight lifting, riding a motorcycle or cycling for a long time can also cause hair loss.
The main factor in the formation of the hair follicle is the abscess or inflammation of the hair follicle at the bottom of the hair root. Hair rotations in the coccyx occur slightly above the anus. As a result of small cracks in the breech area, more than one hair may accumulate from the area and cause hair to grow.

What Causes Ingrown hair?

In summary, ingrown hair occurs when hair penetrates the skin and is placed under the skin. It is frequently observed especially in the coccyx region. The main reason for its occurrence in the coccyx region is that this region has a hairy structure.

Also, wearing tight trousers is a big factor in ingrown hair. It causes the hair to change its direction between the hips and sink inward and place in this area. In the same way, hair loss from the back is one of the reasons for the large amount of ingrown hair.

What are the Symptoms of Ingrown hair (Pilonidal Sinus)?

In order for ingrown hair disease to occur, it occurs when there is a cyst under the skin and this cyst is filled with skin residues and swelling and inflammation because it cannot remove these residues.

The ingrown hair that usually occurs between the hips can be seen as a simple acne or lesion. However, with the accumulation of too much hair in the area, a painful process may occur with abscess. Among the symptoms of ingrown hair;

There is a burning sensation.
Although ingrown hair is mostly observed in the area between the hips, it can also occur in the armpits, belly or groin.

How to Understand Ingrown Hair?

Ingrown Hair accumulates between the hips and can be detected by consulting a doctor with complaints such as itching and swelling in that area. After an anal examination performed by a physician experienced in this field, the diagnosis of ingrown hair can be made definitively.
For the diagnosis of ingrown hair, it can occur with a good physical treatment without the need for imaging devices such as MRI, ultrasound or x-ray. However, in case of incomprehensible situations, some tests may be requested by the physician.

Treatment Methods

In the treatment of ingrown hair, surgical method can be applied in addition to local care and baths, epilation, crystallized phenol application according to the stage of the disease. In patients with very new, small, midline 1-2 sinuses, this situation can only be regressed with epilation and local care / baths.
When the problem is more widespread and deep, hair removal / pit excision / removal of the sinuses with local anesthesia (micro sinusectomy) or crystallized phenol application is performed. Although there are short and painless procedures that do not require hospitalization, these methods should be applied by experts.

In cases where non-surgical methods cannot be applied in hair growth, various interventional methods are used in patients.

Ingrown Hair Treatment

If the ingrown hair disease is at the beginning and the person does not have any complaints, surgery is generally not preferred as the first treatment method. It can be treated with painkillers or antibiotic drugs recommended by the physician.
Inflamed ingrown disease cannot heal spontaneously without an intervention due to the presence of hairs in it.

Ingrown hair Surgery

In ingrown hair disease, the operation should be done very carefully and it should be applied especially to patients with relapse of this disease. In hair growth, which seems simple in unnecessary surgeries, can turn into a nightmare due to stubborn wounds.
In cases that are too spread to be treated, it is necessary to remove the diseased tissue. After the removal of this area, new sinuses may occur due to cracking, pitting and stretching of the skin due to the suturing of the defect.

Again, movement limitation occurs due to the tension that occurs after surgery. If the wound is left open, dressings lasting months may come into question. Therefore, ingrown hair surgery should be performed by a specialist physician.

After Ingrown hair Surgery

The healing process after Ingrown hair operation varies according to the course of the operation. If the process is crystallized phenol, the healing process takes at least 6 or 8 weeks. This process can take 8 to 10 weeks in open surgery and 3 to 4 weeks in semi-closed methods.
After the ingrown hair operation, the time for patients to return to their daily work can vary between 2 and 10 weeks. There are some points that patients should pay attention to after the operation. These can be achieved by simple care at home and regular use of medications recommended by the physician.

It is very important for patients to care for the operation area after ingrown hair operation. For example, it is very important to take a shower with hot water every day, to keep the area away from hair with depilatory creams or laser operations, and to keep the area away from sweat.
In addition, depending on the operation that the patient has undergone, measures such as sitting up high while urinating, climbing the steps one by one while climbing the stairs, lying face down or on the side instead of on the back can be taken.

Does Ingrown hair Recur After Treatment?

Recurrence of ingrown hair after surgical or non-surgical ingrown hair treatment is very low with newly developed techniques. If the correct treatment method is used in these patients, the average success will increase considerably.

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