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Ingrown hair vs herpes (How to tell if it’s an ingrown hair or herpes)

Ingrown hair vs herpes

Ingrown hair vs herpes

The most common learning elements in understanding ingrown hair vs herpes are their symptoms, appearance, and location. While both these conditions typically cause skin bumps, they are still entirely different infections that affect millions of people daily.

Let us learn the differences involving herpes vs ingrown hair. In this article, you will know to identify a skin condition based on its look and accompanying symptoms.

What is an ingrown hair?

An ingrown hair appears as a raised, red, and itchy bump on the skin. It develops when a strand of hair grows inward instead of getting through the skin’s surface. It usually occurs in the genital area after shaving or waxing, although it can also develop on different body parts. Plucking hair also results in this condition where red and tender bumps develop.

Its symptoms are as follows:

  • Isolated bumps
  • Small, red bumps
  • Itchiness on the skin
  • Tenderness
  • Soreness
  • Inflammation
  • White pus inside the bumps
  • Painful sensation

Treatment is not necessary for ingrown hairs. However, if this happens to you frequently, you can opt to participate in laser hair removal treatment. This procedure helps eliminate body hair permanently, ensuring avoidance of ingrown hair.

Besides this procedure, topical medications are available to reduce the risk of ingrown hair. Some of these medications are retinoids, topical antibiotics, and steroid creams.

What is herpes?

The herpes infection is a result of the herpes simplex virus. It comes in two different types – HSV-1 and HSV-2. The first type is commonly called oral herpes, while the second type is genital herpes. People who have low immunity are at risk of developing herpes.

The symptoms of herpes are as follows:

  • Development of painful sores on the mouth
  • Intense pain before the appearance of blisters (on the mouth or genitals)
  • Fever or chills
  • Mild to severe headache
  • Fatigue or extreme weakness
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Compared to ingrown hair, herpes appears in different but specific locations:

  • Mouth
  • Vagina
  • Cervix
  • Penis
  • Scrotum
  • Thighs
  • Anus
  • Groin
  • Buttocks


Currently, there is no herpes cure; however, treatment is available involving antiviral drugs. Although these drugs do not eliminate the virus from the body, they reduce the inflammation and effects of symptoms that the infection causes.

Razor bumps vs herpes

Regarding razor bumps vs herpes, the most common difference would involve bacterial and viral infection. Although razor bumps are sometimes used interchangeably with ingrown hair, they are more acute and unique.

Razor bumps develop due to bacteria invading tiny pores of the skin. This invasion causes red spots to appear on the skin’s surface. They can be painful and uncomfortable. Its treatment includes antiseptic ointments that you need to apply to the affected area. Avoid using fabrics that may only irritate the infected region of the body, such as the bikini line.


List of herpes drugs

The source of the infection will help you on how to tell if it’s an ingrown hair or herpes. An ingrown hair only occurs if a strand of hair does not push through the skin after shaving or waxing. Herpes, on the other hand, is a result of the herpes simplex virus that transmits to the body via direct contact or sexual intercourse with someone infected.

The primary source of treatment for ingrown hair would be the usage of topical creams or ointments, although medical therapy is not necessary since ingrown hairs disappear on their own. Meanwhile, herpes needs treatment to lessen the pain and discomfort that the infection triggers in the body. The following is the list of herpes drugs that people can take advantage of.



These are the three most widely used antiviral drugs in treating herpes, whether oral herpes or genital herpes. Their main functions include:


  • Reduce frequent outbreaks
  • Lessen painful symptoms
  • Help speed up the healing process
  • Prevent news sores from forming
  • Decrease pain and itching
  • Support the body’s immunity or boost the immune system




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