Pesky ingrown hairs can make us think we are experiencing a small aggressive pimple. They can occur virtually anywhere we grow hair and can cause some minor freakouts depending on where they are located.
What are they?
Ingrown hairs occur when the hair grows back into the skin instead of up and out to the surface. It can happen when hair has been plucked, waxed, or shaved. In some cases, dead skin can clog a hair follicle. This causes the hair to grow sideways under the skin.
Ingrown hairs normally look like a raised, red bump resembling a pimple. They can itch and cause discomfort. Pus can be found in some of them or the hair causing the issue is visible.
Common areas for ingrown hairs to occur are the face, neck, armpit, pubic area, legs, chest, and back. These are common areas that are plucked, shaved and waxed. As well, those with curly and/or thick hair are more likely to experience ingrown hairs as this type of hair tends to bend back as it grows in and have a sharp edge so when it pokes into the skin, it becomes easily stuck there.
How to prevent and how to treat them
Preventing ingrown hairs can be done at home. Depending on the area, it’s always best to prepare that area for shaving, waxing, or plucking. Cleaning that area and then using a lubricant for sensitive areas before removing the hair there. Replacing old razors is highly important. Looking into laser hair removal is a semi-permanent option as the entire hair follicle is damaged and hair doesn’t grow as often or as quickly.
Usually ingrown hairs go away on their own, but here are few tips to treat them.
- Do not pick at the area.
- Warm compress.
- If the hair is visible and breaking through, gently remove it.
- Using a gentle wash and exfoliant to encourage the hair to come through the surface and getting rid of dead skin cells.
If you are concerned about your ingrown hair and the best way to treat it, or think it may be infected, it’s urgent to see a doctor. At Radiant Skin Dermatology and Laser, we are dedicated in taking care of all of your concerns. Come in for a consultation.