An ingrown hair (folliculitis) in the nose can be very painful and sometimes turn into a staph infection. Preventing ingrown hairs is the first step in eliminating the problem.
An ingrown hair occurs when the hair either grows sideways underneath the skin or curls back down and grows inward. Curly, stiff hair is more prone to ingrown hairs than straight or soft hair.
The process in which you remove your nose hairs can effect whether or not you will get ingrown hairs. If you pluck the nose hairs, this irritates and damages the hair follicle and an infection might occur as the hair starts to grow back inward.
It is best to use nose hair trimmers to remove the hair. If your nose hair is thick and curly, do not cut it too short as it may turn back around and burrow into the skin.
Ingrown hairs are manifest by a painful red lump and possible pus underneath the skin in the nose. The pus indicates there is an infection.
According to the Mayo Clinic complications occur when the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria cause the ingrown nose hair to become infected. You should see your doctor for treatment and a prescription of antibiotics.
Most ingrown hair infections resolve themselves, but it can be painful. It may take weeks before the hair is pushed up to the surface by the infection in the follicle.
You can hasten the healing process by using a warm wet compress on the infection site to soften the top layer of skin. Eventually the ingrown hair will need to be removed for healing to occur. If you can see the hair under the skin carefully lift it with clean tweezers out of the infection. Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to help the infection heal.