How to get rid of ingrown hairs

Wondering how to get rid of the painful ingrown hair bump on your skin? Read on to find out how.

What exactly is an ingrown hair?

Ingrown hairs are skin irritations caused by a hair follicle that has re-entered the skin. They commonly appear as raised, red bumps accompanied by itching or pain usually on the face, legs, armpits, buttocks or pubic area. Ingrown hairs are often a result of shaving or waxing, but they can appear anywhere. They are more common in dark-skinned people who have coarse or curly hair. Once a hair is cut, its sharp edge can curl back and re-enter the skin.

Occasionally an ingrown hair can grow into a pimple or pustule. They can be bothersome, but most will go away on their own. If left untreated, an irritated ingrown could lead to serious infection, skin darkening or scarring.

There are ways to remove ingrown hairs at home. If you suffer from constant ingrown hairs, there aren’t any permanent options other than to let the hair grow out or electrolysis, a treatment that uses heat or energy to destroy the hair follicle. See your doctor if you have chronic ingrown hairs from excessive hair growth. That may be a sign of a hormonal imbalance.

You should be able to get rid of ingrown hair at home using one or more of these tips:

Exfoliate

Twice a day, gently exfoliate and clean the area with a washcloth to remove dead skin cells. However, if a scab has formed over the sore, you could aggravate the skin further by exfoliating. You should look to exfoliation as a preventative measure.

Compress

Apply a warm compress to coax the hair to the surface until you can get rid of the ingrown hair.

Tweezers

If you can see the hair just underneath the skin, you may be able to pull it out. Disinfect the skin area beforehand and use a sterilized tool like tweezers or a needle. Be careful not to dig otherwise you may cause further skin irritation or scarring.

Topical medicines

Topical acne creams or ointments will help dry up any ingrown hairs that have turned into a pimple. If you don't have acne cream, toothpaste can work as a good alternative. Opt for white paste over blue gel toothpaste.

Responsible Shaving

If you can, don’t cut it – allow hair to grow naturally. When that’s not an option, men who are prone to ingrown hairs can try shaving using an electric razor, holding it just above the skin in order to leave a slight layer of stubble.

Both men and women should practice proper shaving to avoid ingrown hairs:

  • Exfoliate with a wash cloth or dry skin brush before shaving
  • Wet and condition skin before shaving with a lubricating shaving gel or oil
  • Shave in the same direction of hair growth or with the grain of the hair
  • Avoid double-edged razors; choose a single edge
  • Splash with cool water after shaving

Getting rid of ingrown hairs early so they won’t become an issue later on would be the wisest thing to do.

How to get rid of ingrown hairs
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