Ingrown Hairs: Prevention and Treatment
Have you noticed any unusual bumps, red spots or pimples that have popped out from what seems like nowhere? If you tend not to suffer from acne or have any skin conditions and you’ve recently shaved, it is very likely that these are ingrown hairs. To put it simply an ingrown hair is a hair that has curled back and started to grow into the skin. There are a few different reasons as to why you may be getting ingrown hairs; there are also a few ways help get rid of them from the face, body and pubic area.
What exactly are ingrown hairs?
From the outside, and ingrown hair looks like a raised bump or spot. They can sometimes resemble pimples and often get confused for them. In some cases; you can see the hair that has become stuck below the surface of the skin. As previously mentioned, they come about when the hair has curled back into the skin and began to grow.
A lot of the time ingrown hairs are quite itchy and uncomfortable to have, and this is very much the case when there are quite a few of them in the same area.
What causes ingrown hairs?
Anyone can get ingrown hairs, and they are not specific to a particular race or gender. Although, this condition is more common in those who have curly, thick or coarse hair and also those who have a higher level of certain sex hormones. Sex hormones will likely cause the individual to have excessive hair growth. And, of course, the more hair you have to shave, the more likely you are to suffer from ingrown hairs.
The cause of ingrown hairs is actually in the removal method. For those who have curly, coarse or thick hair; shaving, waxing and tweezing can be the culprits. Any method that could result in the replacement hair growing back with a sharp tip, as to curl back and penetrate the skin will cause ingrown hairs. Sometimes the hair does not even manage to grow out of the skin before it is coiled back. Trapped dirt and dead skin cells that are in the hair follicle will prevent the hair from being able to grow outwards. And so it becomes stuck under the blockage. Blocked or not, the hair is still going to grow, except this time under your skin.
Why are ingrown hairs sometimes painful?
Unfortunately, a painful ingrown hair means that it has become infected. Once the area is infected it may fill with puss, go red and be quite sore to the touch. Try not to do the tempting thing and get the tweezers out and have a good old tweeze. On many occasions trying to remove the hair using tweezers is what could have caused the area to become infected in the first place. Trying to remove the hairs by hand (by using tweezers) only opens up the area and exposes it all the elements and bacteria that are flying around. So try to steer clear of self-removal!
If you religiously suffer from ingrown hairs, one of the best pieces of advice is to try not to shave or use any hair removal methods for a while. Doing this allows your skin to breathe and repair itself where it needs to. If this is not an option for you then try to follow some of these tips to prevent ingrown hairs:
– If you decide to shave; use a very sharp single bladed razor. If possible, use a different razor head with each sitting.
Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! It is very important both before and after having removed the hair to exfoliate the skin to remove any dead skin cells or trapped dirt. This helps to prevent infection by reducing the risk of the hair becoming trapped.
Try not to wear tight clothing that again nah restrict and distort the direction of hair growth.
When cleaning the area use an unscented soap that produces lots of suds. If you have time allow the soap to rest on the skin as to help the hairs go softer and become easier to remove.
There are also some natural remedies you could use like tea tree oil, sugar and baking soda. Separately they all help to either exfoliate, moisturise or reduce inflammation and infection to prevent ingrown hairs.
Other hair removal techniques like waxing can result in ingrown hairs, but it is much less likely to happen than with shaving.
If you already suffer from ingrown hairs and you worry as to how you can treat them without making them worse. Don’t fear, here are some tips you can follow to help soothe them and make them less uncomfortable.
– Try not to touch or remove the hairs in many cases, they will disappear on their own.
– It may be difficult because they can be quite itchy but try not to scratch the area. Without knowing it, by doing so, you may be breaking the skin , introducing bacteria and allowing infection.
– If you notice the spots are filling with puss, try not to squeeze them. Again, once the skin has broken is allows bacteria to infect the area.
– IF, and this is a big if! If the hair is close to the surface of the skin where it is poking out, you can attempt to pull it out. Only using sterile tweezers or a needle. Do not try to do so if the hair is lying far below the surface. Hairs close to the surface are usually dead and not attached to anything, so you will find the hairs are removed with no resistance.
– If you are a male and you see that you are prone to getting ingrown hairs in your beard area. It is tempting to try to remove them. This will make it worse! Maybe consider growing your beard out for a time and allowing the skin underneath to heal.
Although they can be painful and sometimes not fantastic to look at ; ingrown hairs ARE something that you can treat, and treat successfully. Just remember if you don’t have them yet to follow the steps of prevention, and if you do have them; not to worry, follow the steps of treatment. And before you know it, your pesky ingrown hairs will be gone.
featured image – www.buzzfeed.com/javiermoreno/men-that-prove-beards-and-man-buns-are-the-perfect-combin?utm_term=.kodjg4PJX#.pywJ2lGjK
1 – beardoholic.com/ingrown-facial-hair/
2 – frogirlginny.weebly.com/
3 – www.health.harvard.edu
4 – www.yos.org/services/prevention
5 – www.thefix.com