What is ingrown hair?
Normally a hair emerges from the outer surface of a skin but when the tip of the hair curves back around or grows from the side into your skin which results in regrowth of its own follicles.It is generally visible as a tiny tan or at times as a pinkish bump below one’s skin.
It is a common skin disorder in regions with curly or coarse hair such as bikini area in women and beard and neck in men. Ingrown hair can be a little itching and painful. Most of the times they vanish without any specific treatment. Usually, it is a harmless condition but it might cause discoloration of the skin, scarring or skin infection.
Causes of ingrown hair
Ingrowth hair emerges when the skin surface has plenty of dead cells.These dead cells unintentionally obstruct hair follicles.
The most commonly affected areas by ingrowth hair are hair removal areas such as armpits, legs, face and public areas. A hair that is trimmed shortand is in proximity to the skin develops a sharp tip and causes the growth of an ingrowth hair. It is primarily the outcomeof inappropriate hair removal techniques such as shaving or waxing. Shaving and waxing result in formation of sharp hair tips that easily get trapped within the skin.
Now the most important question arises, ‘How to get rid of ingrown hair?’
There are few methods on how to get rid of ingrowth hair.
Method 1: Let the Ingrowth hair clear up on its own
- Wait forsome timeto clear it up by itself: In most cases, ingrowth hair vanish without causing any disrupting any part of the body. Meanwhile, be careful that you do not scratch or pick the same or shave over the area. Give it a week’s time to figure out a way out to grow out through the skin that has been obstructing it for a while.
- Use acne ointment to get rid of the ingrowth hair: Ingrowth hair seems much like a tiny pimple. You can apply ointments which are commonly used for clearance of acne such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid on a continuous period in consultation with your skin specialist. These ointments applied with exfoliation can do wonders in ingrowth hair removal. They will help in diminishing the swelling caused which provides more room for the hair to grow out. The acne removal creams are easily available at any online or offline pharmacy.
- Apply steroid cream on the infected area: If the ingrowth hair is infected with pus, you must seek to treat the infection before opting for any methods for ingrown hair removal. You can apply dap of steroid cream over the infected area. Steroid cream such as cortisone is easily available at any drugstore or pharmacy store. If your infection is severe, you can consult a doctor immediately. He may prescribe you a stronger steroid cream depending upon severity of your infection. These cream help in eliminating the infection.
Method 2: Extract the ingrown hair
- Try exfoliation of the area: You can brush the ingrown hair twice in a day with the help of an exfoliator and an exfoliating glove to clear dead skin cells, pores, excess oil that may be obstructing the ingrown hair. You have the option to touch the hair from any direction in an attempt to loosen the skin surrounding it to some extent.Exfoliators may also help in pushing the hair tip out of the surface of your skin. The exfoliators can be broughtover the counter at any supermarket or pharmacy store.
- Be cautious while using exfoliators: While exfoliating an area, you must keep in mind that the motive behind using exfoliators is to make the skin surrounding the ingrowth hair flexible and not to disrupt the skin in any manner. In situations when the area around the ingrowth hair turns red or raw or seems painful, you need to cease the exfoliating without any further delay. Whereas in situations of ambiguity you may exfoliate the area smoothly for a longer duration may be a period lasting from ten to fifteen minutes.
- Place a moist cloth against ingrowth hair for a few minutes: You need to start by soaking and a washcloth into a bowl of hot water, then squeezing it and placing it gently against the ingrowth hair for a few minutes. Just make sure that it does not last more than three to four minutes. This simple method shall help you in pulling out the ingrowth hair by moderating the skin and taking the hair to the outer surface. It can be really fruitful to you if the ingrown hair is implanted in your skin. If the hair is not initially visible, keep the washcloth over the area till the hair emerges out to the surface of the skin.
- Pull the ingrowth hair out with the aid of a sterile needle or tweezers: You initially need to detect the tip of the hair with the needle and then drag the end of the ingrowth hair from the skin by using a pair of sharp tweeters. If possible, do not extract the hair entirely but ensure that the hair tip is out of the surface of the skin. Before using your tools, sterilize them to avoid any skin infection.
Method 3: Keep your skin clear, Say no to ingrowth hair
- Wash hairy areas with lukewarm water and apply moisturizing lotion: Since ingrown hair emerges mostly on body areas that you are prone to frequent shave, it is essential to wash these areas regularly. You may also use an antiseptic if you are exposed to ingrown hair on a frequent basis.
- Before shaving the ingrowth hair, rinse the area with lukewarm water for a few minutes. You may also wash the area with a mild cleanser before proceeding to shave it.
- The chances of ingrown hair would be less if you shave in the direction in which your hair grows.