How Long for Ingrown Hair Cyst to Go Away?

by Jay Kang | Posted on January 29th, 2023

Have you noticed a large, hard bump forming on your skin? Is it red and tender to the touch? If you think you may have an ingrown hair cyst, this blog post is for you!

In this blog post, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments for ingrown hair cysts, as well as how to prevent them in the first place. We’ll also debunk some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding this condition.

cross section illustration of ingrown hair cyst

By the end of this post, you’ll be armed with all the knowledge you need to understand and manage ingrown hair cysts.

How Long for Ingrown Hair Cyst to Go Away

Ingrown hair cysts are a common skin condition that can cause discomfort and embarrassment for those affected. They occur when a hair is trapped beneath the skin’s surface and grows inwards rather than outwards.

Fortunately, these cysts usually clear up within a week or two, although some treatments may be necessary in more severe cases.

What is an Ingrown Hair Cyst?

An ingrown hair cyst is a type of cyst that occurs when ingrown hair becomes trapped underneath the skin. It is often very painful and can take several days or weeks to heal. Symptoms of an ingrown hair cyst include redness, swelling, tenderness, and a visible lump under the skin.

If the cyst does not go away on its own, a person may need to seek medical treatment to have it removed. At-home treatments such as warm compresses or topical creams can help reduce inflammation and pain. It is important to also prevent future ingrown hairs by using clean razors and avoiding tight clothing that may irritate the skin.

How Big Does an Ingrown Hair Cyst Get?

An ingrown hair cyst is a bump that develops when hair curls back into the skin instead of growing out of it. They typically start as small red pimples and can grow quite large, reaching up to an inch in diameter. In some cases, they can become infected and become even larger and more painful.

Pustules may also form as a result of ingrown hair. These will appear as a round lump with a white or yellow center and a small black plug at the top. If left untreated, the cyst can become quite large and cause discomforts like irritation and itching. It’s best to treat ingrown hair bumps as soon as possible to avoid further complications.

Signs and Symptoms of an Ingrown Hair Cyst

Signs and symptoms of an ingrown hair cyst can vary depending on the severity of the cyst but typically include a raised bump on the skin, redness and swelling around the bump, and pain or discomfort when touched.

In some cases, an ingrown hair cyst can become infected, causing it to become filled with pus. If this is the case, it may be tender to the touch, accompanied by pain and itching. In some cases, an abscess may form around the cyst, which can become large and painful. If you have any of these signs or symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention to ensure proper treatment.

When to See a Doctor

It is important to seek medical help if you suspect you have an ingrown hair cyst. While many ingrown hairs and cysts can heal within a week or two, some may require medical attention. If the cyst is large and painful, the area looks infected, or the cyst does not seem to improve after one or two weeks, it is best to contact a doctor. A dermatologist can diagnose the condition and recommend proper treatment to reduce the cyst’s size and inflammation.


It is important to properly diagnose an ingrown hair cyst to ensure that it is treated correctly. If the cyst persists after a week of home treatment, it is advisable to see a doctor. A doctor can examine the cyst and determine if it is an ingrown hair cyst or something more serious.

They can perform a biopsy or other tests to remove the cyst and confirm the diagnosis. They may also prescribe medications or topical creams to help reduce inflammation and swelling. Most ingrown hair cysts will disappear within a few weeks with proper diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment Options for Ingrown Hair Cysts

Treating ingrown hair cysts can be complex, as various treatment options are available. In most cases, home treatment may be sufficient to help reduce inflammation and pain, such as applying warm compresses or taking ibuprofen.

A doctor may recommend a corticosteroid injection to reduce swelling if the cyst is particularly large or painful. They may also suggest draining the cyst or performing laser or surgical removal. If a person is prone to ingrown hairs and cysts, their doctor may also recommend preventive measures such as using mild soaps and avoiding activities that irritate the skin.

At-Home Treatments for Ingrown Hairs Cysts

At-home treatments for ingrown hair cysts are a great option for individuals who want to try to clear up the issue without visiting a doctor. Applying warm compresses to the cyst for 10-15 minutes several times a day can help bring it closer to the surface, allowing it to drain.

Keeping the area clean and avoiding shaving or tweezing over the affected area can also help reduce the risk of infection and aid healing. There are also a variety of over-the-counter topical creams and ointments that may be used to treat ingrown hair cysts.

However, if your condition is not improving after trying at-home treatments, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Preventing Ingrown Hair Cysts

Preventing ingrown hair cysts is relatively easy and can be done with proper hygiene habits. Avoid shaving too close to the skin or using dull blades. It’s also important to exfoliate the area regularly with a gentle scrub or loofah to remove dead skin cells and other debris that can trap ingrown hairs.

Additionally, it’s best to avoid waxing or tweezing, as these methods can cause irritation and increase the risk of ingrown hairs. Lastly, always moisturize the area after shaving or exfoliating to keep the skin hydrated and less likely to develop an ingrown hair cyst. Taking these steps can help reduce your chances of developing an ingrown hair cyst and help keep your skin looking healthy and smooth.

Myths and Misconceptions About Ingrown Hair Cysts

Many people have misconceptions about ingrown hair cysts. One myth is that popping an ingrown hair cyst is a good way to eliminate it. Popping an ingrown hair cyst can cause it to become infected, so it’s best to leave them alone or let a doctor or dermatologist handle them. Another myth is that shaving does not cause ingrown hairs.

However, shaving can promote this type of bump and infection, so it’s important to practice safe shaving techniques, such as using a sharp razor and avoiding multiple passes over the same area. Additionally, some people believe that an ingrown hair cyst will go away on its own without any treatment at all.

While this may happen in some cases, timely treatment can help eliminate them and prevent complications. For these reasons, it’s important to know the facts and myths surrounding ingrown hair cysts before attempting self-treatment.


In conclusion, it’s important to note that ingrown hair cysts can take several days or weeks to clear up on their own fully. Treatment options at home and from a doctor can help reduce symptoms and speed up healing.

Additionally, prevention is key when it comes to avoiding ingrown hair cysts. Taking steps to prevent ingrown hairs, such as exfoliating before shaving and using sharp razor blades, can significantly reduce the risk of developing an ingrown hair cyst.

Jay Kang

Just because i'm asian does not mean I don't need shaving. I always wanted to grow a beard when I was young, now I need to shave because hair growth for me is a problem. I'm going through what every man will and has gone through before.