Last updated date: 31-May-2023
Originally Written in English
How to remove hair correctly and prevent Ingrown Hair?
Ingrown hair is a condition when hair instead of growing towards the surface of the skin, curls right back into it.
Ingrown hair can occur in any point of the body where hair grows. Depending on the severity, the ingrown hair could stimulate inflammation and it could become troublesome for the one who suffers from it.
The inflammation resulting from the ingrown hair can be accompanied by small reddish bulges that could be painful. Also, they could be very bothersome, as they occur on the spots where the hair has been recently removed.
Normally, ingrown hair is a temporary condition and it heals on its own in a couple of days. If the condition becomes more severe, it might require a visit to the doctor.
The Ingrown Hair cyst
Hair develops in the follicle and grows towards the skin and out of it. From time to time, the hair might rise out of the follicle and curl right back into the skin, due to various reasons. Also, the ingrown hair could develop within the follicle and never get out of it, creating some tiny red bulges on the surface of the skin. These are medically referred to as ingrown hair cysts.
The ingrown hair cysts are normally reddish tiny or small bumps on the surface of the skin. They could also have the aspect of a pimple with ingrown hair inside. If the ingrown hair cyst is infected by bacteria, it could turn into a bigger red bump.
The ingrown hair cysts could occur anywhere on the body, as long as hair grows there. The condition usually occurs a short time after removing hair.
In males, the most common areas which are at risk of developing ingrown hair under the skin are the face, respectively the chin, cheeks, and the upper part of the neck, and the penile shaft or scrotum.
In females, ingrown hair could develop under the skin of the armpits, inner thigh, or pubic area.
Even though ingrown hair cysts are normally healed without needing any special attention, they can be truly annoying as they could become itchy and painful.
Moreover, the ingrown hair cysts could turn into serious dermatological conditions, if they are attacked by bacteria. One of these conditions is folliculitis.
Folliculitis is a skin condition that is represented by ingrown hair that develops in its follicle. It might look like a sudden breakout of acne and each spot could have a red ring around it and the skin could become very itchy or painful. Depending from individual to another, some might not experience any symptoms.
If the follicle gets damaged, it is truly easy for the bacteria to get inside of it and start an infection. Usually, the damaged follicles are infected by Staphylococcus aureus, which exists on the skin. There could be other organisms that could stimulate an infection within the damaged follicles.
The follicles are easy to damage and stimulate ingrown hair to develop within. The most common causes of producing harm to the follicles are:
- Skin rubbing against the skin;
- Wearing tight clothes;
- Frequently touching and rubbing the skin;
- Hot tub (improperly maintained);
- Medication that is applied to the skin;
- Medication that you take;
- Weight gain.
A mole with Ingrown Hair
The hairy moles could also be affected by ingrown hair. The condition could cause irritation and even inflammation to the skin that surrounds the mole. The affected skin could become very red and the slightest touch of it or the mole could stimulate a profound pain.
In case you suffer from ingrown hair in a mole, you might consider a topical antibiotic, in order to calm down the infection.
Ingrown Hair Symptoms
The symptoms of ingrown hair usually include:
- Skin irritation;
- Small bumps that have hairs in the middle;
- Small pus-filled bumps;
Also, the symptoms of ingrown hair include the pseudofolliculitis barbae, which are commonly referred to as razor bumps. The face and the neck are prone to suffer from razor bumps.
Is Ingrown Hair Painful?
The symptoms of ingrown hair could vary from a person to another. Some people report that they have suffered from ingrown hair and they did not feel any pain at all. Other persons report that while they suffered from ingrown hair, they felt continuous pain in the affected area.
Although it is best to leave the affected spots to heal without interference, the ingrown hair pain could be reduced by applying warm water compresses for 10 minutes. You should do so 3 times a day, at least.
Normally, a mild ingrown hair episode should clear up on its own after 1 or 2 days, but more severe cases of ingrown hair could even last up for a couple of weeks.
What Causes Ingrown Hair?
Ingrown hair might be quite annoying and you would like to avoid it. Ingrown hair could occur especially in the areas of the body that you want to look as good as it is possible. To prevent it from happening, you should know the exact causes of the ingrown hair under the skin.
The reasons for which the hair grows back into the skin are related to hair removal procedures. Whether you wax it, shave it or tweeze it, using improper techniques for removing the hair could cause swelling, which might lead to razor bumps or cysts.
When removing hair, you could end up switching the growing direction of the hair to the future hair. Therefore, when you remove hair, you could create a disequilibrium. The new hair could grow incorrectly: it could grow sideways and curl back to where it started from.
In such scenarios, the follicles can close over the hair, and it becomes stuck or ingrown. The skin considers the curled back hair as a foreign object and it will respond immediately by getting inflamed.
If you are shaving your hair, you are at risk of developing razor bumps. Using improper procedures might cause inflammation on your skin, such as red bulges or pimples. The remaining parts of the freshly shaved hair might end up growing towards the skin. The persons who have curly hair are at a greater risk of developing razor bumps.
Ingrown Hair on Scalp
If you noticed after shaving your head some bumps that popped up on your scalp, usually on the back of the head and on the neck, and seem to be scalp acne, they are most probably spots of ingrown hair.
The reason for ingrown hair on scalp occurrence is related to improper shaving techniques or equipment, such as a dull blade razor.
It can be truly annoying at first, an ingrown hair is considerably irritating and itchy. Avoid touching your scalp, as you could end up making the situation worse and therefore healing would take longer.
In case that your scalp is periodically affected by ingrown hair, you should seek medical attention. A doctor would tell you if you are suffering from ingrown hair or another skin condition that could be more serious.
Ingrown Hair on the Face
The face is the most common area of the body where you could develop ingrown hair.
The ingrown facial hair happens soon after it has been shaved, waxed, or tweezed and it starts growing sideways or back into the skin instead of aiming to the surface of the skin. The face could also suffer from ingrown hair on account of the dead skin cells which block the hair follicles. In this case, the hair is forced to grow without direction.
The persons who have curly hair are very likely to suffer from ingrown hair in the beard or ingrown hair on the neck and chin due to its form that could make it prone to grow sideways by default.
The symptoms of ingrown hair on the face usually include red and painful bulges that could seem similar to cysts or boils. Moreover, the area of skin that gets affected by the ingrown facial hair could become very itchy and uncomfortable.
Normally, the bout of ingrown facial hair should improve on its own and it does not require medical treatment. Although in case the ingrown hair gets infected, an antibiotic should be needed to treat it.
To avoid the suffering of ingrown facial hair, you should remove the hair as rarely as possible. If you need to shave it or wax it periodically, make sure to do it carefully. Also, you could start improving your shaving technique, using single edge razor blades and washing them after use. Furthermore, you should always use shaving cream and aftershave solution and wash your face daily.
Ingrown Hair on the Eyebrow
It is a great possibility to suffer from ingrown hair on the eyebrow if you are periodically removing the hair from that area of the skin.
After removing the hair from the eyebrows, the new hair could end up growing sideways or back towards the skin and it can be a cause for inflammation and even infection.
The symptoms that are related to the ingrown hair on the eyebrow area are:
- Tiny reddish bulges;
- Tiny reddish pus-filled bumps;
Also, in some cases, you might be able to spot the actual hair that is trapped under the skin.
Ingrown Hair on the Eyelid
The eyelid can also be the subject of ingrown hair. It could happen when one of the lashes starts growing into the skin instead of outwards.
The symptoms of ingrown hair on the eyelid include specifical bulges, that could be sometimes even pus-filled, surrounded by tenderness and pain.
The ingrown hair on the eyelid could be caused by ophthalmological conditions, such as blepharitis, distichiasis, or entropion.
The ingrown hair on the eyelid is a serious condition and it may require surgery for removing it. If you suffer from ingrown hair on the eyelid, seek medical advice.
Ingrown Hair in Nose
In case that you have removed hair from your nostrils, you might end up developing ingrown hair in your nose. The fragments of the remaining hair could start growing sideways within the skin and stimulate inflammation.
The ingrown nose hair could appear as a red bump or pimple. Other symptoms that are related to ingrown nose hair are:
- The skin surrounding the ingrown hair gets irritated;
Normally, the ingrown hair in the nose heals on its own. In case that the ingrown nose hair turns into a chronic condition, a visit to the doctor might become mandatory.
Ingrown Hair under the Armpit
The skin of the armpit is very sensitive. An ingrown hair in the armpit’s skin could be very painful.
Besides the tenderness of ingrown hair in the armpit area, the sweat and the use of deodorants could make the condition even worse.
Normally, the ingrown hairs under the armpit should heal on their own in a couple of days. Unfortunately, they could turn into ingrown hair cysts that could take weeks to heal. Also, the ingrown hair cysts might need medical treatment, especially if they become a chronic condition.
The symptoms of ingrown hair under the armpits are:
- Reddish in solid bulges;
- Red pus-filled bumps;
- Irritated skin;
Ingrown Hair on Breast
Breasts are another part of the body on which the hair grows. Ingrown hair on the breast could occur, as well. The bumps or pimples of the ingrown hair on the breast surround the nipple. In some very rare cases, the pimples specific to the ingrown hair could also signify the existence of more serious conditions, such as breast cancer.
The symptoms of ingrown hair on the breast are similar to the symptoms of ingrown hair on other parts of the body:
Also, the ingrown hair on the breast could mimic benign lump conditions, but it is nothing to worry about, as they are non-cancerous.
In case the ingrown hair on the breast does not heal by itself in a couple of days, it would be best to consult a doctor.
Ingrown Hair on Stomach
The ingrown hair on the stomach is not something that happens too often, as that part of the skin does not produce too much sebum, which could block the follicles, as it does on the face, for example. The less sebum exists in combination with dead skin cells, the less are the chances of getting your follicles blocked.
But in case that you notice a red spot that is similar to a pimple, you may have ingrown hair on your stomach.
It is nothing to worry about, as it should heal in a couple of days without treatment. In case that it takes longer than a couple of days to heal, you should ask for the opinion of a doctor.
Ingrown Hair Bikini line
Both men and women can get affected by ingrown hair in the intimate area. Whether it is ingrown hair next to the vagina or on the shaft, it occurs as tiny bumps that could also be pus-filled.
The symptoms that are linked to ingrown hair on the shaft, groin, inner thigh, or vagina are usually linked to hyperpigmentation; pain, and itchiness.
The intimate area is more likely to be affected by ingrown hair, as the pubic hair has a curly form that makes it prone to grow back towards the skin.
Ingrown Hair on the Leg
If you have curly hair on your legs, you are very prone to suffer from ingrown hair. The curly form of the hair makes it grow without an aim, and it usually ends up growing back into the skin.
Ingrown hair on the legs and knees is also related to shaving or waxing. This condition is normally characterized by small pus-filled bumps that look just like pimples.
Just like any other bout of ingrown hair, the occurrence on the legs should heal by itself. In case you are suffering from recurrent ingrown hair with pus, you should speak to your doctor.
Ingrown Hair Infection
In the worst scenario, an ingrown hair bout could turn into a severe complication, if it gets infected. If you happen to pass through an ingrown hair bout, you should be very careful about how you handle it. Try to avoid touching and do not try to pop the pus-filled bumps. Also, do not try to pick an ingrown hair that you can visually spot under the skin. Diggin into the skin and trying to make a hole in the affected area could lead to a serious infection. Moreover, such an infection could lead to ingrown hair scars.
To treat infected ingrown hair, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics.
Treatment for Ingrown Hair
There is no treatment for ingrown hair cysts, as they should all heal by themselves. In case the ingrown hair cyst becomes infected, the medic will prescribe a topical antibiotic.
Ingrown Hair removal
Ingrown hair could become very uncomfortable sometimes as they can be associated with intense pain and tenderness. When suffering from it, the urge of removing the ingrown hair is usually high. If you feel like doing it, you should know how to remove the ingrown hair correctly:
- First of all, you have to wash the area very well, using soap and warm water. If the affected skin is not irritated, you should exfoliate it softly.
- Afterward, put a warm and wet washcloth over the ingrown hair. The water and the warmth help the follicle open and drain. In order for this to happen, you have to keep the washcloth in position for about a minute.
- After you remove it, gently tease out the hair, using a sterilized needle or tweezers.
- When the whole hair is above the skin’s surface, grab the base of it, using tweezers. Gently pull out the hair.
- The final step is to wash the ingrown hair area again, just like you did at the beginning. After a minute of keeping the washcloth over the former ingrown hair cyst, you can safely remove it.
It’s done! You have successfully pulled out the ingrown hair!
Ingrown Hair vs Herpes
Sometimes, the bout of herpes could be quite confused with ingrown hair and therefore it is very important to be able to differentiate between these two conditions.
While herpes is a virus and must be contracted in order to become infected, ingrown hair is a condition of the skin that results from removing the hair; it is basically a skin reaction.
The symptoms of herpes consist of:
- Bumps that are smaller than 2 millimeters;
- Yellow fluid within the blisters;
- Tenderness of the sores;
The symptoms of ingrown hair are less severe:
- Reddish small bumps;
- Pus-filled bumps;
- Ingrown hair sore.
The two conditions might have some things in common, but they are sufficiently different to identify them precisely. Also, the ingrown hair heals by itself in a matter of a couple of days, while the herpes heals after a week, at least.
Hair grows on most parts of the body and therefore, in all of these spots, ingrown hair could occur.
The principal causes of ingrown hair are represented by the removal of hair. Due to improper techniques of hair removal, hair fragments remain in the skin or the future hair starts growing sideways, without aiming to the surface of the skin.
The common symptoms of ingrown hair are:
- Irritated skin;
- Red bumps;
- Pus-filled bumps;
Each ingrown hair may form a cyst that should heal without any intervention. In case that the ingrown hair cysts become very inflamed or infected, medical treatment might be needed.
The best way of preventing ingrown hair is to avoid hair removal. In case that it is necessary to remove it, make sure that you are doing it correctly, using proper techniques and equipment.