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Ingrown Hairs on Scalp
brenthefriend posted:
I have ingrown hairs on my scalp and I can not really find any information out there on how to treat them. All the advice that I have seen is mostly directed toward men.

Any suggestions will help.
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear brenthefriend:As is illustrated by this citation from the National Library of Medicine site this condition can impact women as well as men:

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Feb;46(2 Suppl Understanding):S113-9.
Defining pseudofolliculitis barbae in 2001: a review of the literature and current trends.

Perry PK, Cook-Bolden FE, Rahman Z, Jones E, Taylor SC.

Skin of Color Center, Department of Dermatology, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, New York, NY 10025, USA.

Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) is a chronic inflammatory and potentially disfiguring condition most often seen in men and women of African American and Hispanic origin who have tightly curled hair and who shave or tweeze hairs frequently. The etiology is multifactorial. The shape of the hair follicle, hair cuticle, and the direction of hair growth each play a role in the inflammatory response once the hair is shaven or plucked and left to grow. This reaction often produces painful, pruritic, and sometimes hyperpigmented papules in the beard distribution. The result is an unappealing cosmetic appearance, often with emotionally distressing consequences for affected individuals. The diagnosis is made clinically. Currently, prevention and early intervention are the mainstays of therapy. Many treatment options are available; however, none has been completely curative....

Brenthefriend, here is a citation about a topical treatment using a gel with an acne cleanser and a topical antibiotic:

Cutis. 2004 Jun;73(6 Suppl):18-24.
Twice-daily applications of benzoyl peroxide 5%/clindamycin 1% gel versus vehicle in the treatment of pseudofolliculitis barbae.

Cook-Bolden FE, Barba A, Halder R, Taylor S.

Brenthefriend, the following was the best over view of treatment options I could find. It is an article targeted at healthcare providers:

In terms of finding a treatment which is best suited for scalp hairs you may need to see a dermatologist to help sort through your options.

brenthefriend replied to Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP's response:
Jane-Thank you so very much. The only thing I could do up until reading this information is to get my hair cut (which does not help the problem, but since I lose so much hair by plucking, it at least makes me look better. I am going to make an appointment today!

You do not know what this information means to me. Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!!!!

:-) Brenda
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP replied to brenthefriend's response:
Dear Brenda: Thanks for writing us back with your thanks and comments. We all hope that you can find some type of topical agent which can reduce the inflammation and possible scaring. Please do find a good dermatologist--they have the most expertise (as you can infer since most of the relevant studies are in dermatology journals).

In Support,

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