Do you notice tiny bumps on your legs, armpits or face a few days after shaving? If so, then this must be ingrown hair, or hair that grows back into the skin instead of moving upward. Aside from appearing quite unattractive, ingrown hairs can be quite irritating. So, check out these techniques on how to get rid of ingrown hair the easy way.
There are instances when dead skin tends to block a hair follicle. When this happens, the hair inside the follicle ends up curling around and growing sideways rather than outward. Thus, these hairs appear as small bumps on your skin, and may resemble little pimples over time.
You may also experience slight discomfort and pain once they form into boil-like bumps. It may also be itchy, particularly when there are plenty of ingrown hairs. Once infected, pus may also form inside these tiny bumps.
Ingrown hairs are common among men right after shaving, and these are usually found on the cheeks, neck and chin. On the other hand, women may notice small bumps on their armpits, legs and pubic area after waxing or shaving.
Getting Rid of Ingrown Hairs
If you are tired of the pain and embarrassment that an ingrown hair can cause, then you may want to get rid of it by applying certain techniques. When treating and removing ingrown hair, you need to address any inflammation in the affected area until the hair is safe to be pulled out completely. Avoid plucking it unless your skin is no longer inflamed, so you can prevent scarring of the area once you pick the hair out.
It is also worth noting that ingrown hair goes away eventually, and you can simply wait for it to grow outward your skin. However, if it persists, this can lead to infection, scarring, and darkening of the skin. These issues often occur when you pick it out or scratch the area, which result in an infection.
So, to avoid these problems, it may help to apply these tips on proper and safe ingrown hair removal.
1. Use hydrocortisone
You may consider applying a small amount of hydrocortisone cream on the affected area. Simply use this medication at least twice a day and refer to the package instructions for the right amount to apply. This type of cream is effective in minimizing inflammation, so it will be easier for you to pull out the hair without causing irritation.
2. Salicylic adic or benzoyl peroxide can help
Another great way to eliminate ingrown hair is by using a small portion of acne medication such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide on the infected part of your skin. Once infection occurs, the tiny bump may be filled with pus, which makes acne medication effective in addressing this issue.
Aside from using the medication, you should exfoliate your skin daily to make it easier for you to remove embedded hairs. As soon as you control the swelling and inflammation of the area, it will be able to grow outward.
3. Pluck it out easily by applying warm compress
In case you have no acne medication available at home, another option you may use is warm compress, which should be applied on the area for at least 5 minutes. Get a washcloth soaked in warm water and wring it out. Then, press the warm cloth gently onto the affected area. This technique will make the hair softer until it moves closer to the skin’s surface.
Once the cloth begins to cool down, soak it again in hot water and press it onto those tiny bumps. If you cannot see the hair near the surface, just leave the hot compress on the area for another 5 minutes. However, if there is still no progress, you can just reapply warm compress after several hours instead of insisting on pulling out the hair and causing irritation.
4. Sterilize a pair of tweezers or other tools when trying to pull out an ingrown hair
Before you decide to use any tweezers or needle in pulling out the hairs, be sure that you use sterile tools to avoid infections. You may use these tools to gently pull the hair out of your skin, but be sure to do so in a gentle manner. Try to soften the area first by applying warm compress until it is no longer swollen. Then, have your sterilized tool in hand to start getting rid of it.
Never take the hair out completely unless it is closer to the surface. Remember that it may take some time before you can coax these hairs out, so try your best to be as gentle as possible to avoid cutting the skin. Look for a tiny loop of hair that is getting closer to the skin’s surface, as this means that the rest of it is growing deeper into the skin. Simply use your tweezers to tug the hair lightly until the end comes loose.
When using tweezers, it is best to use the ones with pointed tip instead of the flat-tipped variety. By using a more pointed pair of tweezers, you can avoid any damages to your skin. If you can find a medical device that is designed specifically for removing ingrown hairs, you may use this for better results. This tool can prevent scarring of the follicle while allowing you to pull it out properly.
If there is an infection in the area, then you should treat it immediately. Sometimes it may get infected after you get the hair out, so be sure never to leave it without applying a special medication for inflammation. For instance, you may use an antibiotic ointment or other topical medication for irritated skin such as Bacitracin. You may also contact your doctor for further advice when it comes to the best type of antibiotic to use in this situation.
To avoid further problems, you should stop shaving for about 3 to 4 weeks, or until the area has healed completely. You should also steer clear of skin products that could inflame the area. Be sure to use only reputable hair removal brands and avoid using other medications if you are not even sure that these can work effectively.
Shaving or waxing can cause ingrown hair, which means the more often you perform these practices, you will never prevent problems with embedded hairs. Since longer hair does not have sharp ends, it is unlikely to grow back inside the skin. Nevertheless, by applying these techniques to treat unsightly ingrown hairs, you can continue waxing and get rid of those embarrassing bumps to reveal a more flawless and smoother skin.