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Why do my pimples have hair in them?

It can be alarming to look closely at a pimple and see what looks like a hair protruding from it. However, finding hair in pimples is actually quite common. There are a few reasons why hairs can get trapped inside pimples and blemishes.

What Causes Hairs to Get Trapped in Pimples?

There are three main reasons why you may find hairs in your pimples:

  1. The hair follicle itself gets clogged.
  2. A nearby hair gets embedded in the pimple.
  3. Ingrown hairs get trapped under the skin.

Let’s explore each of these causes in more detail:

Clogged Hair Follicles

Pimples form when follicles on the skin get clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Hair follicles are vulnerable to this same process. When the opening of a hair follicle gets blocked, the resulting bump may look just like a regular pimple. So in some cases, that hair you see is actually growing directly out of the clogged follicle that formed the pimple.

Nearby Hairs Get Embedded

Most pimples occur on the face, back, chest and other areas with high concentrations of oil glands and hair follicles. Even if a nearby hair follicle isn’t the direct source of a pimple, hairs can get pushed down into the pimple sac as it develops. The hair may get stuck and begin protruding from the pimple itself.

Ingrown Hairs Become Trapped

Ingrown hairs form when strands of hair curl back into the skin rather than growing straight out of the follicle. They become trapped under the surface, leading to bumps and irritation. When an ingrown hair gets enveloped by a pimple, it can look like a hair is growing out of the pimple itself.

What Does it Mean if You Have Hairs in Your Pimples?

Finding a hair trapped in a pimple is not necessarily a cause for concern. It doesn’t mean there is anything unusual going on with your skin or hair growth. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • It is very common and does not indicate any serious underlying problem.
  • Trapped hairs alone do not cause pimples to form.
  • The hair is not actually growing inside the pimple itself.
  • You can safely remove any protruding hairs from pimples.

In most cases, a hair trapped in a pimple is simply an incidental consequence of the proximity between hair follicles and oil glands. However, there are some circumstances when an excess of hairs in pimples could potentially signal something more significant:

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormone fluctuations are a common trigger for increased oil production, more ingrown hairs, and acne breakouts. You may notice more pimples with hairs during times of hormonal changes like puberty or menopause. See your doctor if you suspect hormonal factors at play.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS causes higher levels of androgens, leading to excess facial and body hair growth along with acne. If you have other PCOS symptoms like irregular periods, seeing a doctor is recommended.

Skin Conditions

Certain skin disorders like folliculitis can cause bumps that may resemble pimples with hairs. Consult your dermatologist if you notice symptoms spreading or getting worse.

How to Remove Hairs from Pimples

While you should never pick, squeeze or pop pimples, you can gently remove any visible hairs:

  1. Wash your face and hands thoroughly.
  2. Use sterile tweezers to grasp the hair near the base.
  3. Pull out the hair slowly in the direction it is growing.
  4. Cleanse the area and apply antiseptic.
  5. Cover with a hydrocolloid bandage as needed.

Avoid digging around under the skin to remove partially embedded hairs. See a dermatologist if hairs are abundant and bothersome for proper treatment.

Tips to Prevent Pimples with Hairs

While getting the occasional hair trapped in a pimple is normal, you can take steps to reduce their frequency:

  • Wash your face daily with a gentle cleanser.
  • Use oil-free skincare products.
  • Exfoliate regularly to prevent dead skin buildup.
  • Shave carefully using proper technique.
  • Avoid picking and popping pimples.
  • Use acne medication if breakouts persist.

Making adjustments to your hair and skincare routines can help minimize clogged follicles and ingrown hairs. If you have chronic, severe acne, see a dermatologist for prescription treatments.

When to See a Doctor

Most of the time, finding a hair in a pimple is not a worry. However, consider making an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist if you have:

  • Sudden increase in pimples with hairs.
  • Acne and excess facial hair growth.
  • Inflamed, sore pimples that worsen over time.
  • Signs of a skin infection like oozing pus.

A doctor can determine if an underlying condition is contributing to recurring blemishes with trapped hairs. Prescription medications or procedures may be recommended in stubborn cases.

The Takeaway

Discovering a hair growing out of a pimple can certainly be startling. But most of the time, it is simply a coincidence when hairs get lodged in pimples that form nearby. With proper skincare and hygiene habits, trapped hairs and related blemishes can often be minimized. Pay attention to any worsening symptoms and seek medical guidance if acne with hairs seems abnormal or severe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I only get pimples with hairs on my face and nowhere else?

The facial skin contains a very high density of hair follicles and oil glands. This increases the chances that hairs will get trapped in pimples that form in this area. Other common pimple-prone zones like the back, chest, and shoulders also have many hairs that can embed in blemishes.

Do hairs cause pimples to get infected?

Not directly. Hairs themselves do not harbor bacteria or infect pimples. However, removing hairs improperly can introduce bacteria and make pimples worse. Gently removing protruding hairs with disinfected tweezers is okay, but avoid picking and digging.

Can you prevent pimples with hairs?

There is no foolproof way to prevent hairs from becoming embedded, since it is mostly coincidental. But you can reduce the chances by properly caring for your skin and hair – wash regularly, moisturize, exfoliate, shave carefully, and don’t pick. Seeing a dermatologist for prescription acne treatment can also help.

What if I have a lot of thick, dark hairs in my pimples?

Having an abundance of coarse, terminal hairs along with chronic acne could signal an underlying hormone imbalance. Issues like PCOS can cause increased facial hair growth and breakouts. See your doctor to get your hormone levels tested.

Are hairs in pimples connected to cystic acne?

Cystic pimples form very deep within the skin, making it less likely for hairs to get directly embedded in them. However, hormonal shifts that contribute to cystic acne can also increase ingrown hairs and hair growth, potentially leading to more hairs trapped in related breakouts.

Common Causes of Hairs in Pimples
Cause Description
Clogged hair follicle The hair follicle itself gets blocked with oil and debris, forming a pimple-like lesion with a hair in the center.
Nearby hair embedded Hairs from adjacent follicles get pushed into the developing pimple sac and trapped inside.
Ingrown hairs Ingrown hairs formed under the skin become enveloped by a pimple.
Tips to Prevent Pimples with Hairs
Prevention Tip Details
Wash face daily Use a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil, sweat, and dirt that clog pores.
Use oil-free products Avoid skincare and cosmetics that contain pore-clogging oils.
Exfoliate regularly Gently remove dead skin cells to prevent buildup and blockages.
Shave carefully Use proper technique and products to minimize ingrown hairs.
Don’t pick pimples Picking can push hairs deeper, worsen infection risk, and cause scarring.
Acne medication Prescription topical and oral drugs can help treat hormonal acne.


While having a hair trapped inside a pimple may look peculiar, it generally happens by chance rather than indicating any serious problems. Proper skincare and avoiding excessive hair removal friction can help reduce recurring hairs stuck in breakouts. See a doctor if worrisome changes in your acne or hair growth patterns develop. With some diligent care, those pesky hairs popping out of pimples can be minimized.