Can Dogs Get Ingrown Whiskers?

If you suddenly notice a raised red bump around your dog’s whisker, your mind may immediately jump to an ingrown hair.

We know that humans can develop painful ingrown hairs that cause local swelling, so can this be the case for our pups as well?

To help you better determine the cause of your dog’s strange growth around their whiskers, let’s discuss everything you need to know about ingrown hair follicles and other skin conditions in dogs.

Can A Dog Get An Ingrown Whisker

Can Dogs Get Ingrown Hairs?

Yes, dogs can get ingrown hairs on any fur covered areas throughout their body. If a tiny blade of hair or whisker decides to grow sideways instead of upward in the growing process, this can quickly develop into an ingrown hair follicle.

While a hair trapped in its follicle seems like nothing to be concerned with, it can actually be quite painful for our furry friends. These ingrown hairs and whiskers can even get infected, leading to the need for medical intervention.

Can Whiskers Get Trapped In A Dog’s Skin?

Now that you know that our dogs can experience ingrown hairs, this means they can develop ingrown whiskers as well. A dog’s whiskers can easily become trapped in their follicle if something goes wrong in the growing process, leading to a noticeable bump on their muzzle.

While any type of dog can get an ingrown whisker, they are more commonly found in certain breeds.

Some of the most at risk pups include:

  • Poodles
  • Shar-Peis
  • Doodle mixes

Experts think this is due to the thick fur present around their mouths.

What Causes Ingrown Hair In Dogs?

Ingrown hairs can occur without a known cause, but there are a few factors that are known to contribute to ingrown hair follicles in dogs.

Some of the most common causes include:

  • Recent grooming or shaving of their fur
  • Grooming products, as this can block their pores and disturb normal fur growth
  • Bathing your dog too often
  • Chronic skin conditions such as allergies, ectoparasites, bacterial infections, autoimmune conditions, and any other skin disorder

Not all dogs with the above factors will develop ingrown hairs or whiskers, but they are simply more at risk than the average pup.

What Are The Signs Of Ingrown Whiskers In Dogs?

Ingrown whiskers and ingrown fur in dogs is similar to ingrown hair in humans, so their symptoms are very similar as well.

Some of the most common signs of an ingrown whisker follicle include:

  • Inflamed bumps on a dog’s skin, often small
  • Swelling around your dog’s muzzle
  • Pustule on your dog’s muzzle
  • Small bleeding lump on your dog’s muzzle
  • Ingrown hair cyst on their muzzle

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your pup, it is very possible that your dog has an ingrown whisker.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that many other skin conditions can mimic ingrown hairs in dogs, so you will need to consider other causes as well.

Is It Really An Ingrown Whisker?

As we just mentioned, there are many other skin conditions that can look similar to ingrown hairs or whiskers in dogs. Many dog owners write off their dog’s small skin bumps as ingrown hair, when they are actually struggling with an unrelated skin condition.

Other skin complications that can cause similar symptom of ingrown hairs include:

  • Itchy skin in dogs, as constant scratching can cause skin inflammation
  • Dry and irritated skin
  • A fungal infection of any kind
  • Small skin cysts
  • Bacterial skin infections
  • Fleas, skin mites, or other ectoparasites
  • Allergic skin disease from environmental allergies, food allergies, or contact allergies
  • Irritation from recent grooming
  • Canine acne, as this often causes small red bumps around the muzzle as well
  • A tumor, as a small bump is often the first warning of a growing mass

As you can see, there are many causes of tiny red bumps on your dog’s skin. Because of this, it is important to get all lumps and bumps examined by your vet for an accurate diagnosis.

Where Are Ingrown Hairs Most Commonly Found In Dogs?

Though developing ingrown hairs is possible on any part of the canine body, it is most common in a few areas.

Dogs most commonly develop ingrown hairs around their muzzle, on their paws, and between their toes. However, many other skin conditions can impact these areas as well, so it’s important to make sure your vet rules out other complications.

It’s also important to keep in mind that many dogs will develop ingrown hairs soon after their fur is shaved, so you should always watch any shaved areas closely in the weeks following their grooming.

How To Treat Ingrown Hair & Whiskers In Dogs

If your dog does truly have an ingrown hair, it is often quite easy to treat.

Many dogs can even benefit from simple at home care to assist in the healing process, as well as relieving any discomfort for your pup. To help relieve the swelling and pressure of an ingrown whisker, you can start by applying a warm compress to the area twice a day.

This will help to not only bring down the swelling of the area, but hopefully loosen up the lump and help the whisker escape. You can do this twice daily for 7-10 days until the area has begun to heal.

Though it may be tempting to apply over the counter antibiotic ointment to your dog’s ingrown hair, we always suggest avoiding this.

Applying ointment around the dog’s mouth and muzzle makes it easy for them to consume, and some of these ingredients can be harmful to your pup. If you think the ingrown hair requires antibiotics, we suggest reaching out to your vet for a safe antibiotic option.

If it truly is infected, they can prescribe a safe treatment option.

If there is any obvious redness or swelling around the bump in question, your dog could be dealing with a case of folliculitis. This occurs when the ingrown hair follicle becomes infected, often due to bacteria or fungus entering the compromised area.

If this is the case, your dog will require medical attention to treat their infected hair follicle. We do not suggest trying to treat folliculitis at home, as it may only get worse without proper medical care.

Final Thoughts On Ingrown Whiskers

Ingrown hairs sound straightforward in dogs, but they can lead to a painful or infected hair follicle in your pup. Infected hair follicles require medical intervention when they occur, as they may continue to worsen on their own.

Just be sure to always have any bumps on your dog properly diagnosed by a vet, and to try to limit any predisposing factors in the future.

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