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This encourages the hair to curl back into the skin once it is cut, especially if the hair is dry when shaved or the blade is dull. But razors aren't the only culprit. Laser hair removal is one of the best methods for preventing ingrown hair as it targets the hair follicle to reduce hair growth over time. With each treatment, the follicle shrinks in size and the hair it produces becomes finer and lighter in color. Using depilatory cream to dissolve hair is another method that can help prevent sharp hair strands and ingrown hairs.

To avoid irritation, Dr. Kikam recommends choosing creams that are formulated for specific areas like the face and pubic area. Lastly, although waxing can cause ingrown hair, the risk is lower as it is less likely to cause sharp hair stubs that curl back into skin. Change your approach to shaving. Shave in the direction of the hair growth instead of against it.

While shaving the opposite direction of hair growth offers a closer shave, it can lead to more ingrown hairs. Wash your skin with warm water and a mild facial cleanser before shaving to prevent bacterial infection.

Use a sharp razor every time you shave. Dull razors may not cut hair straight, which can cause the hairs to curl back into the skin. Avoid stretching the skin taut for a closer shave; doing this encourages retraction of sharp hair tips into the skin and promotes ingrown hair. Reduce frequency of shaving as much as possible to decrease risk of ingrown hair and irritation to skin.

Prep your skin for shaving by using exfoliants such as BHA or AHA glycolic and lactic acid to unclog the hair follicles. If the ingrown hair is not inflamed, try applying a retinoid or a gentle exfoliant to help soften and dissolve dead skin around the area. If the ingrown hair is inflamed, you can apply over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to the area, but check with a dermatologist to make sure the follicle is not infected, as this may require an oral antibiotic.

If you are in excruciating discomfort, consult a dermatologist who can help remove stubborn ingrown hairs safely, and provide faster relief with a steroid shot to the area. By Omenaa Boakye Apr 29, pm. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. You're likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor.

He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin conditions dermatologist. To get the most from your appointment, it's good to prepare. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment. In the days before your appointment with your doctor, if possible, stop shaving or using any form of hair removal.

Ingrown hairs may worsen at first as they regrow, but eventually they'll improve. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version.

Diagnosis Your doctor is likely to diagnose ingrown hairs by looking at your skin and discussing with you your hair removal habits. Treatment To treat ingrown hairs, stop shaving, tweezing or waxing until the condition improves — usually one to six months. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter.

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And unfortunately anyone can get them, typically appearing after shaving, waxing, or tweezing. However, the good news is that there are a few steps you can take to decrease the chances of experiencing the dreaded discomfort that comes along with the trapped hair.

Below, we speak with Dr. Adeline Kikam, dermatologist and creator of brownskinderm to find out more about the nature of ingrown hairs and how to prevent them in the first place. Ingrown hair is a common condition that can result from hair removal. It typically occurs when the sharp tip of the hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin. Sometimes, the hair curls back into the skin and the hair follicle closes over the curled hair which causes the hair to grow underneath the skin," explains Dr.

Dead skin cells can also cause ingrown hairs. This happens when there are too many on the surface of the skin. As a result, they inadvertently clog the hair follicles. Shaving is more likely to cause ingrown hairs as it creates sharp edges. This encourages the hair to curl back into the skin once it is cut, especially if the hair is dry when shaved or the blade is dull. But razors aren't the only culprit. Laser hair removal is one of the best methods for preventing ingrown hair as it targets the hair follicle to reduce hair growth over time.

With each treatment, the follicle shrinks in size and the hair it produces becomes finer and lighter in color. Using depilatory cream to dissolve hair is another method that can help prevent sharp hair strands and ingrown hairs. To avoid irritation, Dr. Kikam recommends choosing creams that are formulated for specific areas like the face and pubic area. Lastly, although waxing can cause ingrown hair, the risk is lower as it is less likely to cause sharp hair stubs that curl back into skin.

Change your approach to shaving. Shave in the direction of the hair growth instead of against it. While shaving the opposite direction of hair growth offers a closer shave, it can lead to more ingrown hairs. Wash your skin with warm water and a mild facial cleanser before shaving to prevent bacterial infection. Pimple Popper , you know you should never pick at your acne. And the same rule of thumb applies to ingrown hairs.

Try a chemical exfoliant like apple cider vinegar, acetic acid or retinol to break down skin cells above the hair. Use a topical antibiotic lotion or a short course of topical steroid cream to reduce inflammation. If the ingrown hair was infected, your provider may also prescribe you an antibiotic. Regular exfoliation can help prevent and treat ingrown hairs, so reach for a refreshing body polish like this one from First Aid Beauty every few showers.

This acne-specific treatment is also great at preventing and treating ingrown hairs, and exfoliates the top layer of the skin, the epidermis, to help loosen skin over the ingrown hair. Get an even, safe shave with the help of this razor that features a weighted, ergonomic handle. It's also got an aloe vera hydrating strip to help prevent irritation. Sensitive skin, rejoice! One of Venus' latest innovations is a razor targeted specifically toward easily irritated skin.

And when it comes to preventing ingrown hairs, you need all the help you can get! Don't forget the shaving cream, ladies! Help lubricate and protect your skin with a moisturizing formula like this one from Eos. Right after shaving, treat your skin to some much-needed moisture to prevent irritation. This indulgent formula melts right into the skin!

If your attempts to prevent an ingrown hair fail, reach for a topical antibiotic lotion like Bacitracin to reduce inflammation. A topical steroid cream like Cortizone 10 will also do the trick and help calm down any inflammation. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, watching bad reality TV and consuming copious amounts of cookie dough. IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. Share this —.

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Once the washcloth cools, run it under hot water and repeat the process. This will open up the follicles so you can pluck out the ingrown hairs. With a pair of sterile tweezers, gently pull the hair that emerges. You can draw out the top of the hair with a needle. Make sure that the tip is out of the skin before waiting to pluck it out completely. The area needs to heal first, or else the skin will heal over the hair follicle underneath.

Avoid digging or breaking into the area because this may cause an infection. With a wet washcloth, rub around the bump in a circular motion. This can also dislodge any dirt, oils, or dead skin cells that trap the ingrown hair. Over-the-counter OTC products and home remedies are also a great way to relieve bumps and prevent ingrown hairs.

Here are some effective remedies to try:. Inflammation, redness, and discomfort may be caused by ingrown pubic hair, so you can call your doctor to prescribe an ointment or cream that can reduce the swelling and irritation. A topical steroid cream can help you soothe the itchiness and lower the risk of infection. Other creams your doctor may prescribe are:. Moisturize well after applying retinoids because these substances can cause dryness. Be sure to consult with your doctor before using retinoids, since this medication is dangerous for pregnant women and may cause birth defects in unborn children.

When hair is removed, it usually grows back up through the skin without any problems. However, some hairs may grow under the skin and cause a negative reaction, because it senses the hair shaft is a foreign object. Ingrown hair is a common problem and there are several causes. You might get ingrown hair because of how you remove hair, the clothes you wear, or even the type of hair you have. The best way to prevent ingrown hair is to avoid removing the hair altogether.

If that is the case for you, here are some tips you can follow to prevent ingrown pubic hairs:. When you shave dry hair, sharp edges are created and these are more likely to grow back into the skin and become ingrown. You can use a warm, damp compress too. Next, apply shaving cream or gel to soften your hair. Make sure to choose a lubricating product that is designed for the sensitive genital area. Other products containing chemical exfoliants such as glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid can help dissolve the dead skin cells that trap ingrown hairs, so try to find one that contains these substances.

Avoid using a dull razor when you shave. With a dull razor, you need to go over the skin more than once, which may lead to ingrown hairs and infection. Replace your razor after a few uses to ensure clean, precise cuts. You should also choose a single-blade razor over a multi-blade one, since multi-blade razors can cut the hair beneath the skin.

Single-blade razors move across the skin at a gentler angle, which prevents irritation. You can also look into electric razors or clippers, since they can give you a good shave as well. You also get rid of the shavings that clog the blades, which make it harder to remove hair in one swipe. Going against the grain will get you a close shave, which makes it easier for the hair to curl back into the skin.

Additionally, stretching your skin tight when shaving can also cause ingrown hairs. The tips of the remaining hair can shrink back easily, so let your skin sit naturally while shaving. You should also moisturize your skin after shaving so it remains smooth and hydrated.

According to Mayo Clinic, there is a really easy ingrown hair remedy; you simply wash the area around the ingrown hair with a soft-bristled toothbrush or washcloth in a circular motion for several minutes to hep release the ingrown hair. This is best done before shaving and before going to sleep at night. Can you pop an ingrown hair? No, you should not try to pop or squeeze the affected area because not only can this damage your skin, but it can also result in an infection.

Wondering how to remove ingrown hair safely? This method is absolutely not recommended for deep ingrown hair removal. Do ingrown hair bumps go away on their own? Whatever you do, do not scratch at or try to pick at an ingrown hair with your fingers because this can increase infection as well as scarring risk. So if you were wondering how to get rid of an ingrown hair naturally with zero effort — simply wait.

Can waxing prevent ingrown hairs? Waxing can actually contribute to ingrown hairs, but if you are going to wax your body, you may want to consider a more natural form of this hair removal technique. As an alternative to aggressive or chemical-laden waxing, you may want to try this DIY sugar wax recipe , although you can also find sugar waxing available at non-toxic salons.

Sugaring uses a paste made from a combination of sugar, honey , water and lemon juice to remove hair not skin without the discomfort of traditional waxing. This is an especially good option for anyone with sensitive skin. Sugar and salt are considered to be natural mild exfoliators that can be applied to an ingrown hair to help reduce redness or irritation. My homemade body scrub with sugar and sea salt is a great combination of these two amazing exfoliators.

To reduce the inflammation of an ingrown hair, you can apply ice or a cold compress. This is also helpful for any pain or itching you may be experiencing as a result of this confused hair follicle. Essential oils can also help with ingrown hairs. One great choice to consider is tea tree oil. This essential oil from the Melaleuca alternifolia plant is well-known for its ability to improve skin health.

Simply apply a drop or two of pure tea tree oil to ingrown hairs once a day to discourage infection and inflammation while promoting healing. Wearing clothing like this over an area where you have an ingrown hair can only make the situation worse. How to prevent ingrown hairs mainly revolves around proper hair removal techniques. If you want to prevent an ingrown hair, or even worse, an infected ingrown hair, you should never shave any part of your body dry.

Always wet the area well with warm water and apply a high-quality, natural shaving cream first to soften the hairs. You can also apply a warm compress before shaving to help prevent ingrown hairs. Shave in the direction your hair naturally grows and rinse off the blade following each stroke.

Resist pulling your skin taut while shaving. The more often you replace the blade, the less likely you are to experience cuts and irritations like ingrown hairs. Some experts also recommend using a single blade razor to discourage ingrown hairs, especially on the face.

It can also help to allow the hair to grow longer prior to shaving it. Complications of chronic ingrown hair can include a bacterial infection due to scratching , permanent scarring, skin darkening hyperpigmentation and pseudofolliculitis barbae, also known as razor bumps. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world What Is an Ingrown Hair?

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