How to Treat and Prevent Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hair is found most among people with curly or coarse hair. It is a condition where the hair grows sideways or curls back into the skin. Mostly affected in where the skin is waxed or shaved, ingrown hair can actually appear anywhere. Ingrown hair can lead to infection of the follicles of hair. Sometimes, dead skins block hair follicle to grown through the pour, forcing them to curl up or grow sideways causing the formation of ingrown hair. Ingrown hair can develop into round bumps or small bumps called papules or pustules respectively. There are different types of ingrown hair treatments available from dead skin removal to creams and antibiotics.
Ingrown hair can irritate the skin and sometimes, causes a boil like sore which is painful. Itchy and uncomfortable, ingrown hair can produce pus inside the bumps. Mostly caused due to curly or coarse hair, ingrown hair exists in people with excessive hair growth and high level of sex hormones. Pseudofolliculitis is another type of ingrown hair in men, also called razor bumps, can be caused by waxing, shaving or tweezing to remove hair from beard area. In women, the most common areas for ingrown hair to come are legs, pubic area, and armpits. Ingrown hair can be treated through different methods. Most of the cases, ingrown pubic hair cures itself. However, the rest needs to be taken care of. Here are a few methods to treat ingrown hair:
- Removal of dead skin – exfoliating by gentle washing around an ingrown hair can help it grow back to the surface. A doctor can be consulted in case it does not work so that he can prescribe a drug to get rid of the dead skin cells. Retinoids (Retin-A) helps to remove dead skin cells easily.
- Creams to lessen inflammation – Steroid creams come in handy to reduce the inflammation caused by ingrown hair. It can also reduce the irritation and swell around the affected region.
- Antibiotics – You can get a prescription from a doctor for antibiotic ointments or antibiotics that are taken by mouth to treat the infection of ingrown hair.
- Rotatable medical devices, needles or tweezers – Ingrown hair can be removed using these instruments by carefully pulling the ingrown hair out by the use of the pointy tip.
- Use of a compress – A warm, moist cloth or a warm milk and bread compress can be applied to the affected part gently for a few minutes. This helps in softening the region and helps to bring out the ingrown hair to the surface.
- Acne medication – benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can cure ingrown hair infection because of its similarities to pimples.
As the wise saying goes “prevention is better than cure,” it is always better to prevent ingrown hair than to cure it once it’s been contracted.
- Exfoliating – proper exfoliating will help remove dead skin cells out from your body. This will help prevent the accumulation dead skin cells near hair follicles.
- Laser treatment – one of the expensive treatments for ingrown hair, laser treatments removes hair follicle from deep within, damaging it. This results in stopping the growth of the hair. But the results are mostly temporary.
- Using sharp razor – a close shave can only be expected to be achieved by the use of a sharp razor. This helps to get rid of any hair follicles which can curl up to form ingrown hair.
- Lubricating gels – Applying warm water or lubricating gel to soften the skin before shaving helps in reducing chances to get the ingrown hair.
- Depilatory creams or chemical hair removal methods – can be used to remove the unwanted hair and prevent ingrown hairs from any region. Depilatory creams dissolve the ingrown hair. Chemical hair removal can succeed in removing them, but it can irritate or cause further side effects.
Ingrown hair can become a chronic issue. If you find it difficult to get rid of them or it causes irritation, swell or any other types of problems, it is always better to consult a doctor to get a better opinion. So make sure not to treat them lightly and consult a specialist if you find them to be affecting your life.