Let’s face it: ingrown hairs happen when hair removal is a part of your daily routine. Painful and annoying, knowing how to treat ingrown hairs can help lessen their occurrence and alleviate your discomfort.
An ingrown hair occurs when the hair grows into the skin instead of straight up. The first sign of an ingrown hair is often a red, swollen, and itchy bump. In some cases, the bump fills with pus and the skin around the ingrown hair may darken.
Ingrown hairs are most common in people with curly and coarse hair. Those with thin or fine hair are much less likely to deal with them, but ingrown hairs are normal for anyone who uses standard hair removal methods. The most common areas for ingrown hairs are your face, head, neck, armpits, pubic area, and legs.
While ingrown hair can improve without treatment, we’ll share some tips to speed up the process.
Steps to Treat Ingrown Hairs
1. Quit hair removal in the area of the ingrown hair.
Hair removal can be extremely irritating to the skin. Give your skin and hair a break while you wait for the ingrown hair to grow out. Continuing to remove hair will only aggravate the sensitive area more. Picking at the ingrown hair could even cause a skin infection or scarring.
2. Use warm compresses.
Wash the affected area with warm water and soap, and then place a warm washcloth over the ingrown hair area. The heat will loosen up the skin pores and may prompt the ingrown hair to rise to the surface. Use a gentle, circular motion on the skin with the warm washcloth to further encourage the ingrown hair to release.
3. Exfoliate and remove dead skin.
Gentle exfoliation removes extra dead skin that may be blocking the ingrown hair from reaching the surface of your skin. Typically, exfoliation is encouraged once a week to stay on top of dead skin removal. Beyond exfoliation, a sauna can also help to remove dead skin pile-up on your skin. In some circumstances, you may want to speak with a dermatologist for a prescription for retinoids that help with dead skin removal and clearing up dark patches of skin.
4. Reduce inflammation with creams.
When weekly exfoliation and warm compresses are not enough to treat ingrown hairs, a dermatologist may prescribe a steroid cream to clear up the inflammation. This topical cream will also lessen irritation. Once the inflammation goes down, it’s easier to gently tug the hair back into an upright position so it can grow out properly.
5. Tug the ingrown hair straight.
Using clean tweezers, straighten the hair once it becomes visible above the skin. While you could choose to pull it out, it’s better to allow the skin to heal around the correctly growing hair. This will decrease the chance of infection and future ingrown hairs.
When trying to avoid ingrown hairs in the future, the easiest solution is to stop hair removal. However, if you prefer to continue hair removal, consider trying hair removal creams or be sure to always have a sharp and clean razor for shaving.
Does your skin need a gentle exfoliation to help remove dead skin cells or do you want expert hair removal via waxing or threading? Make your appointment at Cloud 9 Spa today by calling (352) 335-9920.