Home ingrown-hair Ingrown Hair vs Genital Warts, STD, Pimple, Staph, Spider Bite, Skin...

Ingrown Hair vs Genital Warts, STD, Pimple, Staph, Spider Bite, Skin Cancer, Mole?

Many people confuse ingrown hair and STDs /STIs,  pimple/zit, genital wart, boil, spider bite, skin cancer or mole. In this writing, learn how these conditions are similar as well as how they differ. Knowing which is which is very important as it will help you decide on the most effective treatment option. This is especially helpful for the individuals who prefer home remedies. Even for those who leave it all to a doctor, it is still important as it will save your time and may be a few consultation bucks.

Ingrown Hair or STD? Genital Warts, Syphilis

Ingrown hair or syphilis?

There is some marked similarity between ingrown hairs and sexually transmitted diseases  or infections like syphilis and genital warts. However, there is some things and areas where these two conditions have great areas of difference.

Ingrown hair comes about from shaving, waxing, very tight clothing or due to such procedures that lead to uneven breakage of hair with sharp tips. It is similarly more prominent in people with curly or coarse hair.

On the other hand, STDs  are transmitted from contact between those who do not have and those who are infected.

In terms of appearance, ingrown hair bumps produce reddish bumps over the skin that looks like a pimple. In me they affect the cheeks, chin and the neck. In women it develops in lower limbs, pubic region and the armpits.

On the other hand, STDs both men and women are at the same risks of contacting them, provided there is unprotected sexual contact. Syphilis is painless at times itchy and rarely bleeds.

In terms of treatment, ingrown hair can resolve on their own when they are left untreated. They can also be dealt with using tweezers or by producing a small nick at the site of the hair with a needle or scalpel to release the hair.

Further Reading:

Looking at the STDs, it is all dependent on the type of causative agent. Techniques like freezing, laser treatment and surgical removal can be used to deal with these conditions in addition to the available medications.[2]

Ingrown Hair vs Genital Warts- Ingrown Hair or Warts?

ingrown hair vs wart(genital)
Ingrown hair vs warts

Ingrown hair and genital warts are similar in the sense that they mostly affect the same parts of your body. The two however are different in terms of causes, appearance, symptoms, treatment, prevention and the long term consequences that you might encounter.

In terms of appearance, an ingrown hair forms a bump that could look like a pimple. It is normally red and the area around it might be red as well. The middle of the bump is yellow in color and this indicates pus in the bump.

Genital warts on the other hand which affects both men and women on an equally has bumpy surfaces but may be a bit smooth. Colors vary greatly and you are likely to see only one or even clusters of them that look like curly flowers. Warts can be both small and large in size.[5]


herpes or ingrown hair

It is a common occurrence that when you shave hair from any part of your body, you will notice some bumps that look like herpes lesions. The truth is that shaving your skin can make hair to start growing inwards. The common denominator between herpes and ingrown hair is that there is presence of red bumps.

The likelihood of you having an ingrown hair is more than being found with herpes. The difference therefore is that herpes is transmitted sexually while an ingrown hair can be brought about by the improper ways of removing with hair on your body.

Similarly, you can be able to tell out the difference by looking at the time it takes to deal with the condition. Herpes lesion fades on their own without any extra medical help. It will return after one month or two since it occurs in stages for ingrown hair, it fades away permanently once it has healed.

Ingrown Hair or Pimple/Zit/Acne?

Both of these conditions appear to be bumps or lumps on the skin. On the other hand, these two are very different and the differences are rather very open and well-marked out. In the case of acne, dead skin cells and natural oil block the pore opening. In the blocked pore, bacteria begins to multiply. The body then starts attacking the tiny infections therefore causing redness and inflammation.

Ingrown hairs on the other hand occur when something in your follicle causes the hair inside of it to grow sideways.

In a normal healthy pore, the hair grows straight up and out of the follicle. It occurs when hair begins to grow into the follicular wall.

Your body normally does not like this and hence responds with a similar swelling and redness to reduce to prevent bacteria that gets into your skin.[3]

ingrown hair or pimple/zit/acne

Ingrown Hair or Staph?

Ingrown hair infection is caused by the bacteria and fungus. Infected ingrown hairs also contain pseudofollicullitis barbie, it causes swelling on face, neck and groin area due to shaving. Scratching spots are also formed due to the cracks formed on the skin during the shave.

Bacteria like staph and fungi enter the cracked area of the skin.[6] The similarity therefore is that one leads to the other and in this case, ingrown hair infection gives room for accumulation of staph bacteria.

Ingrown hair or spider bite?

Most brown spider bites either do not have any symptoms at all or have a little swelling and a red bump. Some brown spider bites will develop a boil or a pimple and would be completely indistinguishable from an ingrown hair or a skin infection like staphylococcus or streptococcus.[8]

ingrown hair vs spider bite
spider bite

Ingrown Hair or Skin Cancer?

There is a very big difference between an ingrown hair and a lump that is brought about by cancer on your skin. A cancer lump is very immobile and is neither sore nor tender. Similarly, it tends to grow in size with time.

On the other hand, ingrown hairs in the armpits are relatively common and although they are uncomfortable and very unsightly, they are not as harmful. They occur when a shaved or tweezed hair grows back into the skin leading to inflammation and irritation.[9]

Ingrown Hair or Mole?

Moles are highly pigmented benign spots on the skin, according to The Health Success Site. Moles normally do not cause any trouble and seldom require medical treatment. Therefore, there is no need to panic. Ingrown hairs are also not harmful.

On the other hand though, moles could be indicators and point outs of a predisposition to cancer. Moles easily get to cancerous levels to be dangerous to the body. Ingrown hairs are harmless and are not predispositions to any type of cancer.[10]

Ingrown Hair or Lymph Node

Once an ingrown hair armpit cyst starts to grow, it is normally filled with some protein called keratin that appears yellowish in color and has a foul odor. This sac usually grows and create a small protrusion on the skin at the place of the initial injury.

At the time of treating the ingrown hair underarm cysts, you have to keep in mind that not all the underarm lumps are cysts. It can be a swollen or an irritated lymph node. These are the glands that help the body to fight infections. Even though the only best way to treat a lump under the arm is by having a doctor to inspect it, there are also basic symptoms one can look for.[11]

Other Skin conditions mistaken for Ingrown Hairs


This refers to medical condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed, having blisters that cause itching and bleeding, at times resulting from a reaction to irritation (eczematous dermatitis) but more typically having no obvious external cause.[12]

Keratosis pilaris (chicken skin)

This is a common, harmless skin condition. It causes small, hard bumps that may make your skin feel like sandpaper. Compared to ingrown hair hair, the bumps are much smaller and harder

Ingrown hairs come about when a hair starts growing into the skin, and they usually result in very small red bumps. A staph infection and most specifically a boil is a kind of skin infection.


An abscess is a painful collection of pus, usually caused by a bacterial infection. It can develop anywhere in the body. It often appears as a swollen, pus-filled lump under the surface of the skin. You may also have other symptoms of an infection, such as a high temperature and chills.


According to Mayo clinic, Impetigo is a common and highly contagious skin infection that mainly affects infants and children. In most cases, it usually appears as red sores on the face, especially around a child’s nose and mouth, and on hands and feet. The sores burst and develop honey-colored crusts.

Heat rash

This condition is sometimes called miliaria, it is a harmless but very itchy skin rash with small red spots in places where sweat collects, such as the armpits, back, under the breasts, chest, groin, crooks of elbows and knees, and the waist. This happens when your body sweats more than usual, so it is usual to get it during the summer months or whilst on holiday in a hot climate.

Pustular psoriasis

This condition presents as small, raised white or yellow bumps or blisters on skin that’s become sore and red. It is a very rare skin disease known for its pus-filled blisters that dot the skin. It can appear with no warning, and it affects men just as often as women.

Molluscum contagiosum.

Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin disease. It is caused by a virus. This virus easily spreads from one person to another. You are likely to get Molluscum by sharing towels and clothing. Similarly, skin-to-skin contact also spreads the virus. Often the only sign of Molluscum is pink or flesh-colored bumps on the skin. These bumps can appear anywhere on the skin.


One very big difference between an ingrown hair and a boil is that boils are generally much more severe, producing a larger bump and more serious infection.

On the other hand, ingrown hair can lead to a skin infection, but it is not the same as a boil, and it’s generally smaller. There are exceptions where an ingrown hair and a boil may look very similar, but it is not common. Boils can happen in oil glands and hair follicles, and they are caused by a wide variety of different things, many of which are preventable.[7]

Further Reading: How to deal with ingrown hair boil


A cysts is a noncancerous and it comes in a sac-like structure that may be filled up with fluid, pus, or gas. One notable difference between ingrown hairs and cysts is that ingrown hair happen on body regions where there is hair while cysts can occur anywhere on the body including hair regions.

  Further reading: Ingrown hair cyst removal, causes and treatment

Sources & Citations

[1] http://www.medhealthdaily.com/ingrown-hair-or-herpes/

[2] http://www.differencebetween.net/science/health/

[3] https://yoderm.com/pimples/difference-acne-ingrown-hairs

[4] http://www.wisegeekhealth.com/how-do-i-tell-the-difference-between-an-ingrown-hair-and-a-cyst.htm

[6] http://dentgap.com/infected-ingrown-hair-symptoms-cysts-staph-treatment/

[7] http://www.wisegeekhealth.com/what-is-the-difference-between-an-ingrown-hair-and-a-boil.htm

[8] https://www.verywell.com/brown-recluse-bites-1298284

[9] https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130612230855AAFa0tU

[10] https://www.reference.com/health/difference-between-wart-mole-11623d43246df0fe

[11] http://www.lightskincure.org/hair/ingrown-hair-armpit-cyst-lump-infected-swollen-remedy/

[12] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/14417.php



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