A. How To Get Rid of Ingrown Hair: 9 Tips to Heal Your Skin
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As irritating as they are, ingrown hairs are generally harmless. If you want to know how to get rid of ingrown hairs, you have come to the right place. We’ve put together 9 expert tips to help ingrown hairs heal quickly. But first things first . what causes these bumps?
1. What is an ingrown hair?
Ingrown hairs form when a hair follicle gets stuck under the skin, causing inflammation and irritation. A common reason for hair to get stuck is because the follicle is clogged with dead skin. Thick and / or curly hair is more likely to grow, which is why ingrown hairs usually form in the pubic area. An ingrown hair is very similar to a pimple – the ingrown hair is usually covered with a red lump and white pus may appear below the surface.
a. Avoid wearing complicated underwear that further irritates hair stuck in the bikini line.
First of all: avoid wearing lace or trimmed underwear (which can irritate ingrown hairs or even push them further down the skin) and opt for simple cotton pairs until they heal.
b. While doing this, skip the skinny jeans (and everything else).
If your ingrown hair is in the bikini line or anywhere on your legs, it is also best to avoid tight pants or socks. Let your skin breathe and give the ingrown person a chance to heal – constantly rubbing in tight pants will not improve the situation.
c. When the ingrown hair appears, tighten it!
When the hair is above the skin and accessible, sterilize tweezers (use a cotton ball dipped in alcohol) and pull the hair out. If you can’t start, don’t force it! Placing tweezers in the skin will only make the situation worse.
However, if the hair is just below the surface, you can apply a warm compress to soften the skin. Then, gently prick them with a sterile needle and blow the whistle. When we say kind, we are serious – the hair must be so close to the surface that the tail is light as a feather and not deep enough to draw blood. If the bite exposes the hair, you can pull it out with a sterile needle. If the delicate tail does not expose the hair, remove your hands!
After pulling or pricking ingrown hairs, treat the area with a chemical scrub, such as salicylic acid or alpha-hydroxy acid. European Wax Center Smooth Me ingrown hair wipes are a great solution because you don’t have to touch ingrown hair with your fingers (which can potentially lead to infection). Then take a Polysporin swab and leave it as is!
d. Never try to blow out ingrown hairs.
If you remember one thing about getting rid of ingrown hairs, here’s the thing: no matter how tempting it is, resist the urge to pinch ingrown hairs. Squeezing areas stuck to your body is a no-no (as it can get worse or get infected). If you get post-inflammatory pigmentation, it can result in a scar, says Dr. Neil Sadick, a New York dermatologist.
e. Shave in the opposite direction of hair growth.
Can’t pull your hair out? If the idea of pinching hair is very painful (especially if it is in a sensitive area, such as the armpit), you can also shave the area. Sadick suggests gently shaving the ingrown hair with a new razor and moving towards hair growth to get uncomfortable hair out of the way. The part about the new razor? It is worth repeating. Never use a blunt blade – it will only irritate the skin. Always use a shaving cream for sensitive skin when dealing with ingrown skin.
f. Exfoliate your skin.
Track your exfoliation, even if there are ingrown hairs. Dead skin is one of the causes of ingrown hairs. Therefore, regular exfoliation will help to heal your skin. Slone Mathieu, director of spa and medical beautician at Dream Spa Medical in Massachusetts, says that a mild scrub or glycolic cleanser (we love Mario Badescus) will solve the problem. Exfoliate once a week to get the best results!
g. Avoid applying deodorant directly to ingrown hair.
Try applying deodorant around (not over) the affected area, as the chemicals that keep your pits dry can irritate the wax.
h. Use tea tree shampoo if you have hair stuck to your scalp.
If you have hair stuck to your scalp, we recommend gently washing your hair and massaging your scalp – with tea tree shampoo (try Paul Mitchell’s)! Tea tree oil is nature’s salicylic acid and has antiseptic properties. Therefore, the ingrown oil is gently removed and infection avoided. Be careful not to brush or apply the jammed product. If the hair embedded in the scalp does not disappear in about a week, Sadick suggests that you see a dermatologist.
i. Consider switching from shaving to another hair removal method.
Of all the hair removal methods, shaving is the most likely to cause ingrown hair. For this reason, switching to wax or using depilatory creams can be a good solution to prevent future ingrown hairs. Waxing can be especially effective, as the new hair follicle gets thinner and thinner (and thinner hair is less likely to become ingrown).
2. See how to prevent ingrown hairs and shave properly
Now that you know how to get rid of ingrown hairs, how can you prevent them from forming first? There are two important things you can do to prevent internal growth: exfoliate regularly and practice proper shaving techniques.
“Regular, gentle exfoliation helps to remove and reduce the peeling of the skin around the opening of the hair follicle and can cause exposure of ingrown hairs,” says Jody Levine, board-certified cosmetic and surgical dermatologist. Without exfoliating, there is a risk that oil, dirt and debris will get caught between the hair and the infection. Use a full body scrub, such as Dermalogica Thermafoliant Body Scrub.
a. Shave in the shower to soften your hair.
The steam from the warm water softens your hair and also helps you get up. This means that it will be easier for the razor to shave. Dr. Levine recommends waiting a few minutes in the shower before shaving for optimal hair softening.
b. Opt for shaving gel instead of shaving cream.
Although all hair grows at different rates, the best way to get the most out of your shave is with a cream or gel that does not froth. The foams are full of air and the air is a barrier between the razor and the skin. Having a rich, dense cream or gel can help the razor get as close to the bottom of the hair as possible. In addition, you can easily identify points that cannot be noticed when using a gel.
Also, stay away from regular soaps or hair conditioners, warns Dr. Levine. “They are not as effective as shaving gels and are sometimes very slippery, causing the razor to fall out of your hand or slip,” she explains. If you are not a girl with shaving gel, choose an oil. Shaveworks Pearl Polish Dual Action body oil allows a close shave and also works as a super moisturizing body cleanser.
c. The more blades your razor has, the better.
When it comes to choosing a razor, the more blades there are, the better. “Using multiple blades can greatly improve cutting performance. Additional blades ensure that the razor catches virtually all hairs on the first shave, resulting in a higher quality shave with less irritation,” says Dr. Levine. She recommends the Venus Swirl Razor – it has a rotating sphere that allows the blades to fit any contour – even the most difficult to reach.
Even after finding the perfect razor, it is important to change the Reg blades. “Razor burn, irritation and ingrown hairs can be caused by low quality or blind razors, along with bad shaving habits, such as pushing too hard or run in the same area several times, “explains Dr. Levine. If you love receiving mail (and who doesn’t?), Dollar Shave Club has the perfect solution. This site allows you to choose the design of your favorite razor blade and then send new blades to your door every month – which means your skin is smooth all year round.
d. Shave first in the direction of hair growth.
When you start to slide, there is a real way to do that. You should always shave in the direction of hair growth first. This may seem counterintuitive, but it will prevent razor burns and allow you to get more hair. Then, you can go back and slide in the other direction.
e. Moisturize after shaving.
When you finish shaving, always moisten with a soothing moisturizer. When you shave, you are removing good, dead skin cells. You should moisturize with a moisturizer that will help rejuvenate your cells when you’re done. This final step in the process also helps to keep the skin smooth and free of flakes, which in turn prevents ingrown hairs, explains Dr. Levine.
B. How Bad Is It Really to Get Rid of an Ingrown Hair Yourself?
Ingrown hairs are an unfortunate fact in hair removal for many people. If you are one of those people, you are probably wondering how to remove ingrown hairs – especially if you are socially distant at home thanks to the coronavirus.
These painful bumps form when a hair is attached under the skin’s surface, turning it into a small inflammation bubble. Removing an ingrown hair seems like a much lesser problem. One of the things you know you probably shouldn’t, but the risk is so small that you’re ready to take it. (A little bit of popping a pimple on your own.)
What is the problem? Can you remove ingrown hairs yourself, or should you expect help from a specialist?
1. Here’s what causes ingrown hairs.
Ingrown hairs are, unfortunately, a common side effect when trying to remove hair. Their hair grows in small pockets called follicles, explains the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). An ingrown hair usually grows in its follicle, but after it emerges into the world, it folds back and re-enters the skin, instead of continuing its journey outward. It can be incorporated there. This usually happens when trying to remove body hair, especially when you are shaving, SELF explained earlier.
You can see it as a small bow with the two ends tucked into the skin. But even if you can’t see the hair yourself, you will probably find that the resulting inflammation can cause noticeable symptoms, such as a firm or pus-filled lump, pain, itching and hyperpigmentation, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Ingrown hairs usually disappear on their own, without treatment. Sometimes it only takes about a month, according to the Mayo Clinic, but it can take up to six months for the hair to really get stuck in it. (Sorry to be depressing.) So, needless to say, you are wondering if you could handle this yourself so that it disappears faster. Here are some basic rules on how to get rid of ingrown hairs.
2. Resist the urge to remove it yourself.
Trying to remove an ingrown hair yourself may seem like a minor procedure, but if done incorrectly, it can cause some serious problems, including infection and scarring. Dr. Gary Goldenberg, assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, tells SI SAME. This takes a long time with minimal risk of skin damage or infection. Therefore, it is best to leave this to the dermis, if possible.
If you can really see the hair loop above the skin, in theory you could take a sterile needle, insert it under the loop and try to carefully lift the encrusted ends of the hair, explains the Mayo Clinic. However, this is one of those ideas left to theory and not to practice, as you would have to sterilize a needle yourself, try to find the hair hanger and then work without impaling yourself. This can be quite challenging, especially when you have an ingrown place that can be difficult to access, such as pubic hair.
First, your doctor will disinfect your skin with alcohol to prevent infections, says Dr. Bailey. Then they could use this method that the Mayo Clinic developed to insert a sterile needle under a visible hair loop to release the lock.
If the hair clip is not visible, you have other options. “I use a sterile needle to pierce the skin that covers and the cutting forceps so that the hair reaches the surface of the skin,” says Dr. Bailey. “If the hair is still attached to the base of the follicle, I will leave it for the follicle to heal.” However, if the hair is not yet attached, the doctor may “remove it in the same way as removing a splinter,” she says.
But ingrown hair is not always going to be so dramatic. If it does not cause symptoms, try to be patient by following the next steps in this list.
3. Avoid hair removal operations from the area until they have healed.
First, if you have ingrown hairs, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you stop shaving, pinching or waxing the area until it is cured. However, if you have a tendency to have ingrown hairs and cannot give up on epilation and can afford it, laser hair removal may be a good alternative for you. It affects hair follicles at a deeper level, so they don’t work as well and restrict body hair, but it’s not foolproof. Hair can still grow back, although it is likely to be lighter and not as dense as it was before.
4. Apply a warm compress to the area to soothe the skin.
Applying a warm compress to the area can soften and relax the skin, says Dr. Goldernberg. This is especially useful if your ingrown hair has become infected or itchy. Gentle products with soothing ingredients like aloe vera or colloidal oats can also help your skin feel better during healing.
5. Exfoliate gently.
After applying the hot compress, you can exfoliate the skin around the hair very carefully. This helps to remove dead skin cells, making hair more likely to develop, says Dr. Goldenberg. To do this, the Mayo Clinic recommends moving a clean, soft face towel or toothbrush over the area in a circular motion for a few minutes.
You can also use a non-prescription lotion or cream with a chemical scrub, such as salicylic acid, which speeds up skin cell renewal, said Samantha B. Conrad, director of clinical practice in the Department of Dermatology at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Group, SELF. This can help get rid of dead skin cells that would keep ingrown hairs underwater for an extended period of time.
6. Talk to your dermatologist for a stronger peel.
If that’s not enough, your dermatologist can vary the subject more widely, including retinoids, which are powerful compounds that can help cleanse dead skin cells, as well as medications like steroid creams to reduce inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic .
7. What is the best way to treat an infected ingrown hair?
If it looks like you’re dealing with an infected ingrown hair, it’s time to see a dermatologist, says Dr. Conrad. Depending on the severity of the infection, it can disappear on its own. However, if you have any questions about how to deal with the infection, or if you have had no signs of improvement for a few days, contact your doctor. They will probably give you antibiotics to treat this infectious infection and instructions on how to prevent scarring.
8. The best way to get rid of ingrown hairs is, first of all, to prevent them from appearing.
As important as getting rid of that ingrown hair, it is also important to think about how to prevent the next one.
For example, if you are shaving, make sure to always use some type of lubricant (such as a shaving cream or gel) and clean the razor after each pass. Basically, do what you can to minimize the need to repeat your hair more than once, as it will increase the chance of developing an ingrown hair every time you repeat it, as explained earlier.
Also, remember that shaving is just part of a healthy hair removal routine. The ideal is to exfoliate gently before shaving and then moisturize the skin so that it is hydrated and not ingrown.
If you have ingrown hairs frequently, it may be worth using an electric trimmer or possibly laser hair removal to make the process easier.