Ingrown Hair vs Herpes: How to Tell the Difference

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Ingrown Hair vs Herpes: How to Tell the Difference

Ingrown hairs are commonly found on the face, chest, groin, and legs. They can happen due to shaving or hair removal by waxing or plucking. When ingrown hairs become infected with a virus like herpes simplex, they will cause painful red bumps which can be quite unsightly.

What is an ingrown hair?

Ingrown hairs (also known as “barber’s itch”) are hair that has been accidentally trapped in the skin or follicles. They usually appear red and irritated, and the cause is usually shaving with a razor that is not properly aligned with the hairline.

Why do we get them?

Ingrown hairs are not only painful and annoying, they are also a sign of an autoimmune disease. This means that we have a system in our body that is attacking itself. The main cause of ingrown hairs is the use of harsh hair product, poor skin care habits and shaving too closely.

What can you do to prevent ingrown hairs?

Ingrown hairs are caused by shaving or waxing, or sometimes even by a skin infection. They are uncomfortable and can cause itching and redness, but they’re relatively easy to treat with over-the-counter creams. Generally, they go away in a few days. If you have herpes, though, the symptoms of ingrown hairs will be much more painful.

Causes of ingrown hairs

The causes of ingrown hairs are a number of different things, but one is razor bumps. The other causes are bacterial infections, including when the hair grows back in curly or coiled, and when hairs grow too fast. They can also happen from certain kinds of medical procedures like electrolysis.

Symptoms of herpes

Although many people are confused about the difference between ingrown hair and herpes, there is a clear difference. The first thing to do is make sure that when you have an ingrown hair, it’s not caused by some other type of infection. When trying to figure out if it’s caused by herpes, you’ll want to see if the tender spot has any clear discharge or blisters on it. If it does, that could be a sign of herpes.

How do I know if it’s herpes or not?

Herpes simplex virus is a common sexually transmitted infection. It’s caused by the herpes simplex virus, which can be passed from person to person during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Herpes outbreaks are typically classified as “primary” (transmitted in the first instance) or “recurrent” (transmitted on more than one occasion). A primary outbreak of herpes is considered to be a blistering red or purple rash with blisters and small fluid-filled bumps that form where the lesions break open.


Both ingrown hairs and herpes (ingrown hair vs herpes) can appear at the same location. The difference is that the needle-like herpes virus remains in the hair follicle while the ingrown hair occurs when a hair curls back on itself instead of emerging from its normal growth direction.

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