Ingrown hairs are something we all get faced with sometimes. A painful and strange bump that’s not a pimple or a rash is usually an indicator of a hair that has grown under your skin instead of rising up from it.
While they’re not very serious, ingrown hairs can be aesthetically displeasing and irritating. While they are more common in people who have curly hair, pretty much anyone can have an ingrown hair. Or more. Sometimes, people of African descent and generally people with thick or curly hair have a type of ingrown hair called pseudofolliculitis, colloquially known as “razor bumps”. This appears as a collection of little bumps that appears on your beard area after you shaved. The hair that grows back has a sharp edge and can therefore poke easily back through the skin and get trapped under the surface once your pores close. And that’s not too pleasant.
This is why it’s important to know how to go about them, to make sure you deal with them properly.
How to treat ingrown hair
An ingrown hair will, many times, go away by itself. However, if it does not go away, it can become infected, leave a scar or darken your skin. This is why, if such a hair is bothering you, you should do something about it.
Here’s what you can do in a few easy steps:
In case you have an ingrown hair that has become infected, your doctor can make a small cut in your skin using a sterile needle in order to release it. Your doctor can also prescribe you steroid medicine to run on your skin to take down the irritation and swelling.
Another thing your doctor can prescribe is Retin A (Retinoids) that will help remove dead cells from your skin. This can also help remove skin pigment changes.
A third thing your doctor can give you is antibiotics you take by mouth or that you rub on your skin as a cream.
While these are all valid ways of getting rid of ingrown hairs, it’s rare to have a hair cause such big issues that you end up at the doctor’s.
Generally, ingrown hairs can be treated at home easily. What you need is a pair of tweezers with which you can pull ingrown hairs loose – but not all the way out of your skin. Lift the hair up and remove it with a razor, as you do when you shave. The reason for this is that pulling hairs out and leaving an empty spot in your skin can lead to infection.
If your hair is under a lot of skin, before trying to take it out, exfoliate your skin, as this will remove dead skin cells from your face and make your access to the hair easier. Sometimes, after shave can make your skin better before you proceed to dealing with your ingrown hair.
Ingrown hair prevention
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do once a hair grows under your skin, but there’s nothing like prevention. Here are some things you should do to make sure you won’t get any ingrown hairs:
- Use an ingrown hair treatment – those who are often confronted with ingrown hairs can buy specialized treatments
- Go with the grain – when you shave, always shave with the grain and not against – many ingrown hairs are caused by going against the grain while shaving
- Make sure you exfoliate your skin about twice a week – this way; your skin will always be as fresh as possible and won’t trap any hairs
- Shave only with a sharp razor – toss your dull razor, as it will cut your hairs badly, which can lead to ingrown hairs
- Before you shave, wet your skin with warm water by using a towel or by taking a shower – this will relax your skin and make your whole shaving experience better
- When you shave, use as few razor strokes as possible – this will lessen the chance of hair growing towards your skin
- Also, while shaving, rinse your blade as often as possible
- If you are using an electric razor, make sure you hold it slightly above your skin
- When you are finished shaving, dip your face in cold water or apply a cool washcloth on it – this will close the pores of your skin and won’t allow hairs to get back in – generally
If you deal very often with ingrown hairs, you can also appeal to more complex methods of removing or avoiding ingrown hairs. Such methods take more time and are more costly. Depilatory creams that dissolve the hair and a laser or electric current (electrolysis) treatments can help remove the hair follicle.
Sometimes, even though you do your best to prevent ingrown hairs, you will still get one once in a while. However, as you can see, there’s plenty you can do to make sure you have a smooth and clean skin.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. We want to hear from you! Do you deal with ingrown hairs? What are your major issues regarding these? How do you deal with them? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!