Ingrown hair can appear usually after shaving or waxing and it varies in size, but the skin is mostly reddish in the surrounding area. Wherever there is a hair that is broken off short,either with shaving or waxing using sharp tip, an ingrown hair will appear.
Shaving is the most common cause of ingrown hair especially if you wear tight clothing after shaving. The hair that is left under the skin causes inflammation and growth of hair that grows longer and sideways. This can sometimes be a little painful, especially when touched.
Waxing is also a cause and just like shaving, wearing tight clothing intensifies its growth.
Blocked pores can be a cause of ingrown hair too; this condition is called keratosis pilaris, where the hair grows sideways.
There are many symptoms of ingrown hair, such as:
- Skin itch
- Pus collection under the skin
There are many signs that will indicate the growth of ingrown hair, such as: pain in some parts of the body after shaving or waxing. Most of the time when you wear tight clothes, you mayfeel that something is itching in your clothes, and when you feel it, it is a little swollen and painful; that is ingrown hair.
Treatments and Prevention
Typically, we are used to having ingrown hair – we even expect it after we shave or wax – but this condition can be treated and prevented. Some useful tips are:
- Putting a warm washcloth on the affected area is one good way to treat ingrown hair.
- If you shave in different directions you will also prevent ingrown hair growth. Do so using tweezers instead of razors.
- Exfoliating with facial scrubs after shaving can also stop the growth of ingrown hair.
- Prior to shaving, remove dead skin by using a gentle scrub.
- Always use a new and sharp blade; old ones turn dull and may introduce bacteria into your skin.
- If you notice that you still get ingrown hair even after using a new blade, your skin may be a little too sensitive; try switching to a high quality electric razor.
- Do not shave against the grain or in the direction of the hair; doing this will cause skin irritation and will only point the hair back into the skin, which will cause a bump.
- Always make sure that you have shaved a particular area thoroughly to avoid going back to it; shaving one area too many times will remove skin cells that will result in skin irritation.
- To get rid of ingrown hair, disinfect the affected area using products with buffered fatty alcohol; this chemical acts like astringent that will kill the bacteria but with less of the stinging.
- Try to reduce the swelling by topically applying anti-inflammatory agents.
- Use an anti-ingrown hair product after the swelling is done.
- You can also use natural home remedies that will treat the growth of ingrown hair like salt and sugar scrubs.
Salt is a very good exfoliating agent and it can also increase circulation, helping to heal any swelling of the skin.
For the face, you can use a cup of warm water and add a half teaspoon of salt. Use a cotton ball to wipe the solution into the ingrown hair, leave the solution and let it dry. Do this every day until the ingrown hair is removed totally. Discontinue if your skin gets irritated.
For the body, put Epsom salts in the tub and soak for a bit. If you want to exfoliate more, apply the Epsom salts directly to the affected area.
Using a salt solution before shaving is also a good technique in preventing the growth of ingrown hair.
Sugar scrubs are now very popular for exfoliating the skin; you can actually make your own sugar scrub to use at home. Just mix a cup of white cane sugar with essential oils of your choice and virgin oil. You can keep the extra solution in a clean bottle and use it for at least six months.