Ingrown facial hair, cysts, multiple ...
Michael SN449901

Ringe, Denmark

#121 Feb 6, 2008
Rational Guy wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, fruits and vegetables are good, meat is crap. But what does this have to do with a follicle producing too much hair. You need to think before you write.
Maybe it is you that should think before you write.... We got a problem we need to solve and we need all the positive feedback we can get. Fellows, please write all the things that you think could be the reason why we got this problem – there may be a connection somehow. Change of life style, new shaving method etc.

I found out that my symptoms was related to diet, but probably not the cause. Some food cause inflammation more than others. I was eating chocolate (80 % cocoa) every day because I heard it was healthy – I got to the conclusion that this was the reason why I had the worst period in a long time. My face got much worse and filled with inflammation. Sadly I got a lot of scars from this. When I quited eating chocolate (it took some time to figure out that it was the chocolate that was causing this because I normally don't get acne from chocolate) it kind of dried out, but I still got the ingrowns on my neck and jawline.

I live in Europe so my English is probably not perfect – hope you understood me anyway. I will write back another time, I have tried a lot of things that I would like to share. Laser, medicin, supplements...

And please keep this thread alive, we need to find a cure!

Bear, DE

#122 Feb 10, 2008
Nomiecat wrote:
<quoted text>
Finally! Someone who has the exact same problem as me. I've been searching on and off for years for these symptoms and only found serious, nasty looking diseases. Like you, I get zits/sores on my scalp, and when I pull the hairs from the area they are covered with about 1cm of whitish-clear film at the root. I usually just put benzoil peroxide on the infected areas and they eventually heal, just like acne. They also seem to heal faster once the hairs are pulled out, but then I end up with a small bald spot. The hair currently does grow back normally, but I'm afraid after years of this it's going to turn into alopecia and I'll be bald by the time I'm 50! If someone can recommend a diagnosis and/or treatment, I'd be most grateful. My dermatologist wasn't helpful.
When you find out, can you let me know??? Like you, I have been looking for info online on and off but only ever find scary-looking diseases. This is the first time I've ever found EXACTLY the same symptoms that I've experienced, for years actually. I also use BP which seems to heal them, and I think that when I eat better (more veggies, less sugar) that I get fewer breakouts. Also I stick to more organic-type shampoos. But when I do get the breakouts, they hurt and I can't stop myself from pulling the hairs out. My hair is starting to grow back more slowly as I age, and I'm also worried about bald spots now.
Another weird coincidence -- I have a cat nicknamed "Nomie" and use the user name "Nomiecat" for many sites. At first I thought I had actually posted this and forgotten, but then realized I don't live in Cherry Hill. ;)

Chicago, IL

#123 Feb 10, 2008
I like going to the Aveda salons, and I recently heard they have a shampoo for men that prevents baldness. I asked how, and the stylist said that men produce more sebum on their scalps. The shampoo prevents build up.
So I'm wondering if the clear tubes might be sebum. It would cling to a hair, explaining why some of you see it at the bulb of a hair.
I think using the shampoo and also exfoliating with some kind of scrub or natural bristle brush would take care of the painful bumps.(If you have long hair, a scrub would be hard to rinse out. You can try using course salt, which would melt in water.
Good luck...I hope this helps! ;)
Michael SN449901

Odense, Denmark

#124 Feb 10, 2008
Hmmm... I don't know if I am wrong but isn't this thread about ingrown hairs and cysts in the beard area? Maybe it would be better to open a new thread about scalp hair problems. Otherwise we may lose those who are looking for a solution to this problem or those who knows what helps...

Troy, MI

#125 Feb 17, 2008
I an 53 years old and have been fighting this same issue for 2 1/2 years now. It starts with a painful bump that hurts so much there is no way to "leave it alone..." as everyone tells me to do. It takes a saftey pin and some tweezers to get to it, and when it comes out, it looks like a miniature piece of rice. Its hard as a rock and reminds me of the feeling you get from a sliver under your skin. If something just brushes up against the bump, the pain is unreal. I am on my third Dermitologist now. The first one just gave me some topical cortesone cream, that didn't do a thing. The second one told me there was nothing really there and that I have an OCB that makes me pick my face. That is a hard explanation to accept, when you know you are pulling terrible things out of your skin, they are not imaginary! My current dermo has me using something called Blenderm tape. Its a clear tape with cortesone embedded in it. It does supply some relief when you have an open wound from pulling one these painful suckers out, however it seems that when you take the tape off, the sore has healed up, but the offending hair has returned also. I am at my wits end with this problem. I am so ashamed of the way this has affected my face. I don't like to go anywhere in public, or even to family functions anymore. I guess it helps a little to know there are others out there dealing with this. I wish someone would come up with a majic bullet for this problem. Its ruining my life and some of yours too I'll bet.

Portland, OR

#126 Mar 4, 2008

This condition is known as Folliculitis. Your follicles are becoming inflamed in your tissue. The cause to my knowledge is unknown. Most experienced derms believe it is an auto immune disorder. Meaning your immune system is attacking the hair follicles on your face. They become inflamed, and turn in to a disaster - sounds like you know it well. The best short term fix is to use some type of steroid to fight the inflammation. Cortisone cream 1% works well for me. However, after using the cream, also apply pure aloe vera to seal the cream in the affected area. This will help. The infected hair shaft has to be removed after becoming infected. I have had good success by having my beard lasered. The hair shaft does not remove easily when it is alive. This is why zapping hairs with an electrical current kills the follicle and consequently is comes out easily.
I hear you frustration...Derms in general want to say we're obsessed - This is not the case. This is a medical condition. Either folliculitus or pseudofolliculitus barbae.(If they become incrown or curl back in the tissue. Remember tweezing a live hair out when not infected causes a new hair to be created and grow beneath the skin. Most times this hair is doomed from the start growing directly in to the tissue...not able to exit your skin. Stop tweezing if you do, this will help. Also wash your skin with a anti-bacterial soap bar called cetaphil. You'll love it. In the morning after shaving and after you brush your teeth at night. This will help with bacteria on your skin surface. Good luck!
Same Issue Here

Chicago, IL

#127 Mar 9, 2008
I am so glad I happened upon this thread.

I have what appears to be the same issue as many of you. Below are my symptoms:

1) 2 - 5 in-grown hairs per day. If I don't fish them out immediately (which causes scabs) they turn into full-blow red lumps that itch and hurt for days, sometimes weeks. I've managed to dig out in-grown hairs up to and a little longer than an inch long.

2) Hairs that just itch with a tinge of pain. If I pull out the hairs, the follicles looks HUGE, have some sort of puss/pouch over them, and are very sticky. If I leave the hairs in, they just itch and itch and become inflamed.

3) About once every 3 - 5 days I get a small dark spot in my face. initially It looks like a black head. BUt when I squeeze it, it is a black THICK hair-like thing that is 5x - 20x the thickness of a normal hair. They range in length from 3mm to about 10mm max. I've always assumed they were some sort of accumulated blood/puss over an infected hair -- but to this day I don't know what they are. They are pitch black, and my facial hair is light-reddish.

4) I get wierd colored hairs. Sometimes they are perfectly clear (these tend to be in-grown more often than other hairs). Other times they will be clear hairs with portions that are normal color.

I've tried facial clearners, anti-biotics, facial anti-biotics, etc... I've given up on dermatologists. I basically just live with it.

Portland, OR

#128 Mar 15, 2008
A large portion of the problem here is the root of the infection. Antibiotics are not working for anyone because this is staph we're dealing with. Antibiotic creams will do very little to fight this type of infection. What ultimatley will fix this problem is a combination of prescription anti-staph cream and a good cleaning regimen.

Dickson, TN

#129 Mar 20, 2008

Centerville, IA

#130 Mar 20, 2008
The person who said....go see a doctor, instead of posting....I have.....for years....blood test...and a lot of money and I have found more help on these postings than all the doctors in my 30 yrs of fighting my skin must be a doctor, whom keep taking money from someone like me....if they wouldn't charge, unless you were helped it would be different, but I have spent so much money on " doctors" that I'm sick of them and they did not help my skin problem...except put me on years of antibiotics....till I had other problems....
richie r

Leicester, UK

#131 Mar 24, 2008
same as i am a black man - for past 15 years - time 2 time i get hard spots on jaw line -1 each side of my face (very hard) and 3 - 4 under my chin at times - some with ingrowin hairs i can pluck some hairs out off small bumps remove a curled up hair and it goes down

please help - is it hust in growin hair or is the root of this a contageous desiese?

Middleton, WI

#132 Mar 25, 2008
Rick, thank you for your recommendation on the cortisone and cetaphil. I will give that a try.

About once every 3 months I get a small hard red ball that forms right on my jaw line. It isn't a typical small ingrown hair that shows up on my neck after shaving, but a hard cyst. My last one happened a couple weeks ago and interestingly I was sick with the flu and my immune system was shot. I started to get some pain in my jaw and it went all the way down under my chin. I thought it might have been a gland, but it was only on one side. I then got a cyst on my jaw and after some investigation and a little squeezing about 10 thick hairs came out all bound together. Usually after these come out, the healing process begins and scar tissue forms around the sore, but this time I had about 2 more bundles of hairs that came out a few days later. It is extremely embarrassing because it looks like a monster zit on the side of your face and you don't even feel like leaving the house. I am not sure if these bundles of hairs formed after the first bundle came out or if they were already under the skin before the cyst started. If anybody has found anything that helps, I would be very interested in trying it.


Portland, OR

#133 Mar 26, 2008

The cetaphil and cortisone are good for maintenence. You have the stymptoms of a staph infection. Anytime the pain/swelling can be traced down a vein...You can bet that the vein is infected. Remember, we all have staph on our bodies and especially our faces. If you're picking and tweezing...Stop. Each time you do this you're allowing the staph to invade your tissue. Call your Doctor and have him prescibe a cream that will take care of the staph. Then use the Cetaphil daily...cortizone if you have to. The bundles of hairs are being produced by your follicles that are infected and not working properly. Often times washing your face as often as you need to with this stuff causes your facial skin to be extremely dry. Make sure you moisturize with an upper end lotion with no fillers. Many of the people on this site have the same problem. You all need to treat yourself for staph...This condition left untreated can turn quickly to celulitis. Be careful. Good Luck!

United States

#134 Mar 27, 2008
I have to disagree slightly with your comment that "You all need to treat yourself for staph." Not all of us suffer from staph infected folliculitis. Sure, I will agree to the normal amounts of staph living on people's skin, including faces, but even with a great cleaning and germ killing regimen, the auto immune portion of this disease is completely un-staph related and potentially would not fix some folks' conditions. However, I do agree that a good cleaning regimen can't hurt to try. And if it ends up helping the situation marginally...well, for some of us....marginal help we'll take.

As for my situation (see past posts) I've been maintenencing myself with the Vaniqa cream. It's helped quite a bit, but by no means a complete solution. It truly does slow down hair regrowth.

I have also made, what I feel, to be a significant discovery, at least for me. I was, as of 6 weeks ago, a high intake diet soda drinker. I drank, on a daily basis, 2-6 diet cokes or diet pepsi's a day. I wasn't one to believe that diet had anything to do with my condition but I'm now starting to believe it somewhat. My condition persists, but after going cold turkey on all the artificial sugars/caffeine in those diet drinks, I've noticed a decent improvement in my complexion. New ingrown formations are down, swelling areas have lessened, etc. I have replaced all that diet drinking with drinking water and it is seemingly doing the trick. Maybe there is some correlation or exacerbation of the condition with large daily intakes of artificial sugars? Or maybe the whole thing I'm experiencing is purely a placebo effect of some kind. Dunno. Don't care. All I know is it is helping. After another couple weeks of seeing if I improve any more continuing to not take the diet drinks along with the Vaniqa, I'll probably get some laser treatment done on the problem areas since many have stated that helps. Stay tuned.

Since: Jul 07

Oldham, UK

#135 Mar 27, 2008
Chris, sorry I've not replied on here for a while (computer problems). I have now been seeing an electrolysis for nearly six months and the results are very pleasing. Killing the hair follicles and ridding myself of my beard hair is working as obviously there is nothing left to get infected. It is the answer but for someone like me who is cursed with a thick wirey beard it will take a long time yet before I can stop the electrolysis and it is not that cheap, about 30 pounds for a 45min session which I am currently having weekly. The most positive thing is that having this done regularly means that I am not getting any new infections, though the problem is still evident my electrolysist can pluck out the offending hairs before they get to nasty. While I am happy the electrolysis seems to be working I am still not happy that no one has been able to diagnose the problem fully still. My dermatologist is still adamant that it's folliculitis of some sort while the electrolysis tells me it is more likely to be an abnormal cell growth at the hair route but has no idea why it is happening. I am getting through a ton of Aloe gel between sessions which seems to help a lot in settling the skin and appearance of the condition. I will post again and keep a close watch on this thread again now and add anything I think is helpful.
On the idea of a weakened immune system possibly being a cause I struggle with as I was fine when this all started though accept now that years of antibiotics have probably ruined my immune system so could well contribute now. I will be exploring that suggestion though. All the best people and try not to let it get you down to much.

Portland, OR

#136 Mar 27, 2008
What should really be the answer for me...My issues came on when I started taking an immune suppressing med.(Still on it). My GI doctor - who is very familiar with side effects of a weakened immune system - said that infections are very common. I've sense realized you need not be taking meds to have a weakened immune system. This disease we suffer from is small infections on our face that our immune system fails to properly attack at the very start. Antibiotics are prescribed...They are not effective. Then the Derm usually goes big and prescribes accutane?? I've never taken. Heard many war stories about serious side effects from the drug. Sadly...It works perfectly. Anyone taking the drug will testify. I think we're on the right track eliminating the beard. I am on my 9th visit with the laser...I have no beard!!
I still shave because there are a few gray or blonde hairs. But the issues with craters and standing in the front of a mirror going nuts are behind me. I would have paid any amount of money to get past the trauma. So, I'm not sure Chris if it's staph or just a deep stubborn antibiotic resistant infection. I kind of dread going to the laser clinic...It hurts!!! But getting used to it. She said 2-3 more visits, I'll be done.
Woo-hoo. Good luck all - Keep posting

Since: Jul 07

Oldham, UK

#137 Mar 28, 2008
Re gray or blonde hairs, electrolysis is the answer to that, laser will only do dark hairs whereas electrolysis will do all. It takes longer and sadly hurts a little more than laser but it works. I would favor going to one over buying any home kit as tweezing incorrectly can agitate this condition more + it's such a a painstaking business if you have a thick beard I'd let an expert do it, well worth every penny, especially as a lot of home kits just won't have enough charge in them to get a decent effect as most are made for women's beauty treatment and hairs a lot finer than ours.

Owensboro, KY

#138 Apr 9, 2008
you guys are hilarious. I typed it in to search because my husband has three or four hairs coming out of one pore. lol true comedy : )


#139 Apr 12, 2008
Try Tend Skin Solution. I too suffer from ingrown hairs, razor burn, adult acne. This stuff really works. It also has aspirin in it which reduces the inflamation and forces the hair to come to the surface so you can grab it with a needle or tweezers, Good luck. It truly sicks to walk around with pimply blemishes at 42.

United States

#140 Apr 13, 2008
Hey Chris. In response to your immuno deficiency post. I see a large connection with that. I had a kidney transplant last year. I am on immuno suppression meds, and have now been plagued with pmg hairs. Some are hard to remove, but in my case, the vast majority will scratch out, if I scratch with the grain, so to speak.
Chris wrote:
From what I have read, which are numerous articles, a few from medical journals....genetics and vitamin deficiencies have been mentioned as part of the problem. What I haven't seen a lot of mention of is immuno-deficiency or auto-immune issues in coincidence with these issues. I would say possibly that lots of alcohol could lower your body's immune system and be the cause of more outbreaks....possibly. But I wouldn't necessarily put a significant link on the alcoholism itself. I don't drink at all. I probably have 10 beers a year and I have these dermatological issues all the time. Now, I rarely eat lots of fruits and vegetables. My diet is fast food, french fries, pizza, and diet coke. I keep the weight off by working out, but I just eat horribly from a nutrition standpoint. I have noticed that, over the past 10 years, which happens to coincide with my outbreaks, that I have been getting sick a lot each year. If my wife gets 1 cold, I get 2 or 3. Or, if she gets 1 cold for 3 days, I have it for 6. My immune system is definitely lower than hers. What is strange what link does the immune system have to this issue? I would say somewhat a significant one but have seen no studies or have even found a doctor that could speak with experience on this one.
Andlark, Thanks so much for the info. I am going to proceed on a different path...for now...and that's to continue the home electrolysis - hey, it's CHEAP!!!! I will keep reporting my findings here periodically. Maybe we can compare notes in several weeks and see who's better off. I would tend to guess you will be as a professional is handling your case. In the meanwhile I'll be on the lookout for someone in my area that can do what you said. By the way, the lady I contacted that owned that website I referenced in a few posts ago, commented the same as you....she specialized in the transgendered beard removals and also commented that electrolysis is THE only method of permanent removal (Jason, take note....I've had 4 or 5 sessions of laser removal and for grows back, and just keeps the infections going!!! ugh.)
Also, with what I have read and what I know about my dad, I agree with the follicular issues being genetic. My dad didn't quite get these things on his face, red bumps often on his hind quarters and thighs a do i too....
they don't go away very easy, they aren't acne, and I've had a doctor say it's just folliculitis and to scrub and xfoliate the legs and buttocks areas often. And....when using pumice stone in the shower repeatedly over several days, along with a good benzoyl wash, this works!

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