There are many reasons why ingrown hair may occur. These include shaving, waxing, and plucking too close to the skin; wearing tight clothing; using irritating soaps or shampoos; or having a genetic tendency for more frequent ingrown hairs.
Ingrown hairs can be itchy and painful and they often lead to infection if left untreated. If you have ingrown hair growth, there are steps that you can take which will help reduce the irritation of this condition and prevent more from wreaking havoc on your skin.
1. Exfoliate regularly.
Exfoliation removes the dead skin cells that can often trap hair follicles, leading to ingrown hairs. Use a gentle exfoliator every day, especially if you are prone to ingrown hairs. Proper exfoliation involves using circular motions and light pressure. Avoid using harsh scrubs or rubbing too hard, as this can irritate the skin and make the problem worse.
2. Use a good-quality moisturizer.
Keeping the skin well hydrated is essential for preventing ingrown hairs. Moisturizing can help by keeping the skin supple and preventing it from becoming dry and irritated. Look for a moisturizer that is oil-free and non-comedogenic, so that it will not further aggravate the skin. Opt for one that is enriched with antioxidants and natural oils, as these will help to soothe and protect the skin. Apply moisturizer liberally after bathing and before bed.
3. Consult with a dermatologist.
If you are experiencing a lot of ingrown hairs, or if your symptoms are persistent and do not improve with home remedies, it is a good idea to consult with a dermatologist. They can help to identify the cause of the problem and recommend the best treatment plan for you. Some will recommend medication while others may open the option of laser hair removal to eliminate the problem completely.
4. Avoid using harsh products.
Products that are high in alcohol, sulfates, or other harsh ingredients can irritate the skin and lead to ingrown hairs. Look for gentle, soap-free formulas that will not dry or irritate the skin. If you are using a hair removal method that leads to ingrown hairs, such as waxing or plucking, try to limit the number of times that you do this in a week.
5. Keep the area clean.
If you have an ingrown hair, it is important to keep the area clean and free of infection. Apply a warm compress to the area a few times a day and use a mild antibacterial soap to cleanse the skin. If the infection persists or worsens, consult with your doctor.
6. Be conscious of how you shave.
Shaving is one of the most common causes of ingrown hairs. To avoid this, make sure to shave in the direction of the hair growth and use a sharp blade. Shave slowly and avoid applying too much pressure. Rinse the blade after every stroke and moisturize the skin afterward. If you are prone to ingrown hairs, consider switching to a hair removal method that does not involve shaving.
7. Opt for waxing.
Waxing is a hair removal method that pulls the hair out from the root. This can help to reduce the number of ingrown hairs that you experience from shaving. It also prolongs the time before the hair grows back, giving you less time to deal with ingrown hairs. However, it is important to make sure that you are going to a reputable salon and that the therapist is experienced in waxing. Do not attempt to wax at home, as this can lead to more problems.
8. Consider using a topical treatment.
There are a number of topical treatments available that can help to get rid of ingrown hairs. These include salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and azelaic acid. Consult with your dermatologist to see if one of these treatments may be right for you.
9. Wear loose clothing.
Tight clothing can irritate the skin and lead to ingrown hairs. If you are experiencing a breakout of ingrown hairs, try to avoid wearing tight clothing, especially around the affected area.
10. Be patient.
Treating ingrown hairs can take time. These tips won’t magically work overnight. It may take a few weeks of using these tips before you notice a significant improvement. You have to stick to a regular routine, maintain cleanliness, and be patient. Your skin will thank you in the long run.
Ingrown hairs can be unsightly and frustrating, but with a little bit of patience and some simple remedies, you can reduce their occurrence and keep your skin looking its best. Remember to keep the skin hydrated, avoid harsh products, and shave carefully to minimize the chances of ingrown hairs. If you are experiencing a lot of ingrown hairs, consult with a dermatologist for advice on the best treatment plan for you.