Ingrown hair or razor bumps are common among individuals who shave improperly. However, ingrown hair can also be caused by improper waxing, and tweezing. Ingrown hair happens when the hair grows back into the skin, instead of growing outward. This can result to red bumps, infections, and even scarring. But, there are several ways of preventing ingrown hair like proper shaving and tweezing.
Ingrown hair can be irritating and can prevent one from having a smooth, blemish-free, hairless skin. Untreated ingrown hair usually get infected and can result to scarring.
Preventing Ingrown Hair
Proper shaving can greatly reduce the occurrence of ingrown hair.
- Make sure to clean first the skin before shaving. Cleaning the skin removes dead skin cells and dirt that can cover hair follicles and result for hair to grow inward. Washing the skin also softens the hair in preparation for shaving.
- Use hypo-allergenic shaving cream if necessary.
- Use sharp and clean razor. Old and blunt razors accumulate dirt and bacteria that can penetrate newly-shaved skin. If possible, use electric razor.
- Shave in the direction of hair growth and not against it. Shaving against the direction of hair growth would only cause the hair to curl and grow inward.
- Avoid shaving in the same area. Shaving the same area repeatedly will remove and scrape off skin cells, exposing underlying skin cells to infections.
- Avoid shaving too close to the skin because the longer the hair, the less likely will it curl back and grow inward.
Home Treatment For Ingrown Hair
Treating ingrown hair usually involves removal of the ingrown hair itself. However, it is important to make extra caution in removing ingrown hair as it can result to infections.
- Exfoliate the affected area. Exfoliation is important to slowly remove dead skin cells that cause the hair to curl back, as well as oil and dirt that may cause infection on the ingrown hair.
- Apply topical acne creams. Infected ingrown hair is very similar to acne. Acne creams containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are effective in reducing redness and inflammation. Both ingredients also have antibacterial properties that kill bacteria.
- Use only sterilized needles or tweezers. Unsterilized tweezers and needles can only cause infection on the hair follicle. Sterilization can be done by boiling the tweezers and needles in water, and washing them with alcohol.
- Do not pluck the hair out.
- After pulling out the ingrown hair, always make sure to clean the infected area to prevent further infection.
When none of these tips work, and infection worsens, then it is best to seek medical help. A dermatologist would know the best way to treat ingrown hair.