Men who shave closely once or twice daily are vulnerable to developing ingrown hairs. These red, sometimes painful bumps aren’t just unsightly, but can become infected. Men with curly, thick beard hair are most likely to experience ingrown hairs, but anyone who shaves is at risk for an ingrown hair. That includes women eliminating leg and underarm hair, whether they shave or wax. Besides their unsightly appearance, ingrown hairs cause sensitivity and itching.
Ingrown hairs are literally that – hairs growing into the skin instead of out of it. In a worst-case scenario, they can become cosmetically disfiguring, resulting in scarring or a change of skin pigmentation once they heal. Because ingrown hairs often produce pus, they look like pimples. However, the ingrown hair acts more like a small splinter in the skin, and the body reacts to it as a foreign object. Don’t try to squeeze an ingrown hair as if it were a zit. That route leads to possible infection, and also makes it more likely that another ingrown hair will appear in the same place.
Place a warm compress on the area, which may release the trapped hair. There are over-the-counter products designed to get the hair growing up and out. You can also put hydrocortisone on the spot to reduce inflammation, and wash your face with acne medications containing benzyl peroxide to combat any minor infection.
If you suffer from a badly inflamed ingrown hair, don’t try to treat it yourself. Pay a visit to your dermatologist. The doctor will surgically remove the errant hair. You may receive antibiotics to get rid of the infection or require topical medication to lessen inflammation.
Stop ingrown hairs from forming in the first place with a simple change in your shaving routine. Here are some tips:
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair removal, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!