Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) is a condition widely associated with ingrown hairs, razor bumps and/or razor burn. Manifested in the appearance of tiny, raised reddish bumps at the hair follicle, ingrown hairs can get infected at worst, and are irritating and unsightly at best. But what causes PFB or ingrown hairs, and what can successfully treat them? Read on to learn more about the best treatments for ingrown hairs, how you can prevent them, and hair removal methods that least encourage them.
1) Follique® Revolutionary Skin Therapy
Follique originated as an ingrown hair treatment, and quickly turned into a full skin care line due to the success and popularity of the product. Follique is a topical formula that can be applied with a cotton ball or swab and is recommended for use on irritated skin, and for PFB on the face and body.
On the product website, it says Follique Skin Therapy is safe to use as a treatment for razor burns, and for skin irritation due to waxing and electrolysis treatments. Additionally, Follique is safe for all skin types, and is a favorite of sensitive skinned patients.
2) Tend Skin® Liquid
The Tend Skin Liquid treatment is a popular ingrown hair treatment for both men and women. Tend Skin uses a little salicylic acid as one of its active ingredients, and can be used to treat razor burns and bumps for men, as well as to treat skin irritation in women who regularly shave, wax or use electrolysis.
Since Tend Skin has exfoliating properties, consumers are advised not to combine Tend Skin with highly concentrated alpha hydroxy or glycolic acids, powerful Retin-A treatments, or harsh scrubs or peels. Tend Skin's salicylic acid ingredient makes it especially helpful for acne-prone or oily skinned patients with ingrown hairs. The product can be applied with cotton balls or with the fingers, provided consumers wash their hands afterwards.
3) PFB Vanish Skin Treatment
PFB Vanish Skin Treatment is a formula that can reportedly help diminish skin irritation and ingrown hairs, while improving the appearance of acne at the same time. With active ingredients including salicylic acid and glycolic acid, PFB Vanish Skin Treatment helps treat oily skin while it soothes razor bumps. It also helps in coaxing ingrown hairs to the skin surface.
The PFB Vanish formula comes with an easy roll-on applicator, and is recommended for daily use post hair removal treatment; be that shaving, waxing, electrolysis or another hair removal method. The PFB Vanish Skin Treatment may not be ideal for very sensitive skin or dry skin types.
4) MiN New York Solution2 Post Shave Treatment
The MiN New York Solution2 treatment is particularly marketed for treating razor bumps and burns after shaving, but it can also be helpful post waxing or electrolysis. The roller formula is appropriate for both men and women to use, and reportedly uses organic spearmint and aspirin to effectively relieve redness, bumps, ingrown hairs and skin irritation. Patients who use Solution2 allegedly won't need any other products for post shaving care.
The MiN Solution2 rollerball can be applied to facial skin, the bikini area, the legs, the chest, and all other body areas after shaving or waxing. With continued regular use of MiN Solution2, consumers should see a definite improvement all around in the quality of their skin post hair removal.
5) Anthony Logistics for Men Ingrown Hair Treatment
A top rated ingrown hair treatment for men, the Anthony Logistics gel formula even won the Men's Health 2007 Grooming Award for Ingrown Hair Treatment. The Anthony Logistics Ingrown Hair Treatment uses a combination of exfoliating ingredients like salicyclic acid, glycolic acid, and phytic acids to remove dead skin, while ingredients like lavender and willow herb reportedly calm irritation and moisturize dry, reddened skin.
Anthony Logistics Ingrown Hair Treatment is safe for all skin types, and can also be used by women. The formula is recommended for nightly use on clean, dry skin, and can be applied to the face and body areas where hair removal has taken place. Since the product uses a few acid exfoliators, the formula might not be best for more delicate areas like the bikini line.
While one or more of these treatments will likely help you treat ingrown hairs following hair removal procedures, it's also useful to understand what causes ingrown hairs. Knowing the condition's causes can help patients to lessen the prevalence of ingrown hairs, and improve the odds of success when using the above-mentioned products.
Ingrown hairs typically occur when a plucked, shaved, or waxed hair is inhibited during regrowth. While attempting to regrow, the hair either curls in on itself within the follicle, or penetrates the skin lining the follicle; in either case, the hair becomes trapped and creates an inflamed bump or pimple.
If the ingrown hair has become infected, the infection must be treated first before the hair can be attended to. Once treated with an antiseptic, the ingrown hair must be gently coaxed to the surface. The products mentioned above can not only bring ingrown hairs to the skin surface, they should prevent the onset of PFB altogether with regular use. In terms of what you can do, here are a few at-home tips and tricks to reduce PFB symptoms:
Ingrown hairs occur less often with laser hair removal than with many other hair removal methods. This is due to the laser technology employed, and the mechanism by which it removes hair. Whereas shaving and waxing often simply break the hair shaft at or just below the skin surface, laser hair removal treats unwanted hair at the follicle root. By treating hair at the root, laser hair removal permanently weakens the hair shaft over time and reduces overall hair growth, without harshly disrupting or breaking the existing hair.
Shaving and waxing can create sharp broken edges where the hair is cut off; these sharpened hair follicles then proceed to grow at odd angles and can even pierce the skin to become trapped more easily. Laser hair removal doesn't typically create this problem.
If you have more questions about laser hair removal, or want to compare hair removal treatments and their effect on PFB and ingrown hairs, it's helpful to meet with a professional hair removal provider near you. They can also help recommend an ingrown hair treatment that best fits your individual PFB condition.