|Posted on 18 July, 2015 at 22:20|
Ingrown Hair is a condition where hair curls back, or grows sideways into the skin, instead of rising up from it. The condition is most prevalent among people who have coarse or curly hair. It may or may not be accompanied by an infection of the hair follicle (folliculitis) or "razor bumps" (pseudofolliculitis barbae), which vary in size. While ingrown hair most commonly appears in areas where the skin is shaved or waxed (beard, legs, pubic region), it can appear anywhere. Anything which causes the hair to be broken off unevenly with a sharp tip can cause ingrown hairs. Shaving is the leading cause, followed by waxing and tight clothing. Sometimes, dead skin can clog up a hair follicle. That forces the hair inside it to grow sideways under the skin, rather than upward and outward. Sometimes, cutting naturally curly hair too closely will result in the sharpened end of the hair piercing the skin, causing an ingrown hair. This condition is not serious, but can be irritating and embarrassing.
Signs and Symptoms. Symptoms include rash, itching skin, hair which remains in spite of shaving, infection and pus collecting under skin. The site of the ingrown hair will form a reddish, raised bump (or group of bumps), similar in appearance to a pimple. Sometimes an ingrown hair can form a painful, boil-like sore. It can be itchy and uncomfortable, especially if you've got a lot of them. You may notice pus inside the bumps. Or you may see the hair that's causing the problem.
Ingrown hairs In men often pop up as a bunch of little bumps on the chin, cheeks, or neck after shaving.
In women, ingrown hairs are common on the legs, as well as in the pubic area and armpits. You can also get ingrown hairs on your buttocks.
Ingrown Hair Causes. Anyone can get an ingrown hair. But the problem is more common in people who have very curly or coarse hair. Curly hair is more likely to bend back and re-enter the skin, especially after it's been shaved, waxed, or cut.
Also, people with high levels of certain sex hormones can have excessive hair growth, which makes it more likely to get ingrown hairs, especially after shaving.
Many African-Americans, Latinos, and people with thick or curly hair develop a type of ingrown hair called pseudofolliculitis. More commonly known as "razor bumps," this collection of little bumps is common on the beard area after you've shaved, waxed, or tweezed to remov
unwanted hair. The hair that grows back has a sharper edge, so it can more easily poke back through the skin and get trapped under the surface.
Prevention. The simplest and most effective way to prevent ingrown hairs is to abstain from shaving and allow facial and body hair to grow out as normal. When shaving, there are a few precautions that can be taken to prevent ingrown hairs including proper shaving techniques and preparation of the skin before shaving. When shaving, applying the proper amount of lubrication (in the form of shaving cream, gel, or soap) is important to prevent the hair from being forced underneath the surface of the skin. Also the application of too much force with a razor can contribute to hair that is cut shorter than the surrounding dermis. Using a beard trimmer at the lowest setting (1 mm. or 0.5 mm.) instead of shaving, is an effective alternative.
The simplest way to prevent ingrown hairs is to allow hair to grow freely without cutting it. Shaving and waxing can cause or exacerbate ingrown hairs. The shaving techniques described above can be applied to prevent or decrease the occurrence of ingrown hairs. Topical hair-growth-inhibitor cream (Vaniqa), electrolysis, or hair-removal lasers can also effectively help decrease ingrown hairs.
Treatment. Although no cure exists, it is possible to decrease the occurrence of ingrown hairs. The easiest way to do this is through proper hair and skin hygiene. Although an ingrown hair can heal on its own and spontaneously dislodge, in some cases, it may be tough to get rid of it.
Fortunately, there are many different treatments for ingrown hairs:
• Medical removal of the ingrown hair by small incision and pulling out the hair.
• They can be removed with tweezers (though this can be painful), or dislodged with a rotable medical device for ingrown hairs. It is recommended that should be done by a specialist.
• Some people who chronically get ingrown hairs could use laser treatment or electrolysis to completely prevent hair growth.
• There are many different products that prevent or cure ingrown hairs. Some are alcohol-based, while others are alcohol-free. Chose your product carefully, because for some people, alcohol can cause skin irritation and thus alcohol-free products may be preferred.
• Twice daily application of diluted glycolic acid.
• Applying salicylic acid solution is also a common remedy for ingrown hairs, caused by waxing or shaving.
• Exfoliating with facial scrubs, brushes, sponges, towels, or creams containing acids, and ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
• Chemical depilatories. Chemical depilatories like Neet or Nair can loosen the structure of hair, resulting in blunt tips of shaved hairs at the follicular opening. Chemical depilatories may be used every second or third day rather than every day due to the possible chemical irritation on the skin. Hydrocortisone cream can be applied to alleviate the irritation caused by chemical depilatories.
• Topical antibiotics. Topical creams. Tretinoin (Retin A) cream can help decrease skin plugging or hyperkeratosis. Topical tretinoin cream may thin out the epidermis, reduce the buildup of dead skin cells, and decrease hair embedding into the follicles. Topical corticosteroid creams with a mild strength can be applied to reduce inflammation of inflamed ingrown hairs. Topical and oral antibiotics may be required for severe cases that form pustules and abscesses, which indicate secondary infection. Topical antibiotics, including erythromycin (E-Mycin, Ilosone) and clindamycin (Cleocin), topical antibacterial agents, such as benzoyl peroxide (Persa-Gel), and the combinations of topical antibiotics and antibacterial agent, can help reduce the growth of skin bacteria and treat secondary infection. Oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline (Sumycin) or cephalexin (Keflex, Keftabs), are used to control infected pustules or abscess formation.
• Antibacterial washes, such as benzoyl peroxide (Clearasil, Proactiv) or chlorhexidine (Hibiclens), can be used once or twice a day to control the infection. Topical eflornithine HCl 13.9% cream (Vaniqa) is a prescription that can reduce the rate of hair growth when applied to the skin twice a day over one to two months. Hence, it can be useful as long-term therapy in individuals with excessive facial hair or patients who have pseudofolliculitis barbae.
• Laser hair removal may be an option for preventing ingrown hairs. Laser treatments applied to an area help to permanently decrease the number of hairs. Currently, laser removal works primarily on dark hairs only. Laser hair removal is generally very fast, efficient, and safe, but laser treatment risks include skin discoloration.
• Electrolysis may be used to permanently remove hairs. This procedure targets individual hair follicles and can be performed on any color of skin and any size and color of hair.
• The destruction of hair follicles is permanent. Electrolysis is often slow, tedious, and requires multiple treatments
Remember, that the best results may be achieved with combination therapy. Consulting a medical practitioner who specializes in dermatology may be necessary for the optimal treatment of more severe cases!
Home remedies and prevention for ingrown hair.
Don’t pick at the affected area with your fingers. Ever! It can be so tempting, but the easiest way to make an ingrown hair worse is to pick at it. Picking at ingrown hairs inflames the area, and sometimes drives hair further into its reclusive bat cave (aka your skin). Your hands carry outrageous amounts of bacteria, and exposing an ingrown hair to that can cause further swelling, pain, or even infections.
Picking at the skin around an ingrown hair often leads to permanent scarring. The momentary satisfaction of getting that sucker out will not be worth it 20 years from now, trust me. Your skin deserves better, and in the future you will be grateful.
• Putting a warm washcloth over the ingrown hair. Apply a warm, moist compress to the area for a few minutes. This will soften the skin. Just wet a washcloth with hot water, wring it out, and press it against the ingrown hair. When the washcloth cools down, run it under hot water again. If you can see the ingrown hair embedded in the skin, this treatment will soften the hair and bring it closer to the surface. If you can't initially see the hair, leave the warm compress on until it rises to the skin's surface. If you apply the compress for ten minutes and you still can't see any sign of hair, you're not going to be able to remove it yourself, or it might be something else altogether.
• Shaving in a different direction. Do not shave against the direction or grain of the hair growth. Avoid shaving too closely to the skin. When using electric razors, some shaving techniques may help prevent ingrown hair. Keep the head of the electric razor slightly off the surface of the skin and shave in a slow, circular motion. Pressing the razor too close to the skin or pulling the skin taut can result in too close of a shave. Leave very short 1 mm.-2 mm. stubble with shaving to help reduce the tendency of shaving too closely.
These shaving techniques can avoid creating a sharp tip when shaving and prevent hair from reentering the skin by leaving slightly longer stubble.
• Another way to prevent ingrown hairs is by avoiding shaving and allowing hair to grow naturally. Regularly shaving newly grown hair often results in frequent ingrown hairs, especially if you don’t replace your razor or blades as often as they should be. Waxing and hair removal creams are better for your skin. Even if you are not shaving, exfoliating your skin and using after-shave serums is important! If your ingrown hairs are extremely frequent and painful, it may not be enough to try addressing them at home. If you find that they’re interrupting your daily life, it may be time to consult a dermatologist.
• Hydrate and soften both the skin and the hair before shaving. This can result in a duller, rounded tip to the hair, which decreases the likelihood for hairs to reenter the skin.
• Use a moistened washcloth, a wet sponge, or a soft-bristled toothbrush with a mild soap to wash the ingrown hair for several minutes via a circular motion to help dislodge stubborn tips. Wash the area around the (formerly) ingrown hair with warm water and a moisturizing soap. Apply an antiseptic to provide extra protection against infection. Avoid wearing tight clothing on that area, and exfoliate regularly to prevent new ingrown hairs. You may wish to apply a daily topical solution to prevent any further ingrown hairs from developing.
• Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it. Haphazardly rubbing a towel against your skin after shaving causes friction, which can lead to irritation and inflammation. Use a cotton towel on exfoliated, post-shave skin. Pat in gentle motions, being careful to not rub too harshly against your skin. This can cause chafing (ugh, even that word hurts).
• Apply a dab of acne medication. Ingrown hairs are pretty similar to pimples, especially when the ingrown hair is accompanied by pus. Your middle school BFFs — salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are the active ingredients in most over-the-counter acne medications. Applying either to the skin above an ingrown hair reduces swelling and inflammation, giving the hair more room to redirect its course and grow outward. Apply benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid several times a day for a few days. This, combined with daily exfoliation, is often enough to remove the ingrown hair, since swelling will be reduced, giving the hair more room to grow out (rather than in). If you don't have acne medication on hand, you can try using the aspirin method or adding a dab of toothpaste.
• Warm milk and bread compress. Warm up small amount of milk. Don't make it too hot. Dip a piece of bread into the milk. Place the bread on an ingrown hair/or a boil. It may feel too hot, but it won't be (unless you made the milk too hot). Leave the dipped bread on. Remove when it feels cool; this will be about 2 minutes. Repeat the dip and hold during about 10 minutes. Check for an opening of the pore. Use a needle to pull up the loop of hair and free it. If you cannot see the opening, repeat the dip and hold. If it fails to open, do not cut and damage your skin, see your medical practitioner for advice.
• Egg membrane. Remove the membrane from inside an eggshell. Cover the problem area with the membrane. Let it dry and shrink around the area. Once dry, pull it off. The ingrown hair should come out with it. Sometimes, the ingrown hairs may not budge at all due to the fact that they may be placed in very deep. If these methods do not work, talk to your doctor or dermatologist to get a prescription medication.
• Some natural mild exfoliators can be applied to treat the redness or irritation, that comes with the ingrown hair. Twice a day, scrub the ingrown hair gently. This will help to remove any dead skin cells, dirt, and oils that might be trapping the ingrown hair. It may also physically nudge the tip of the hair out of your skin. Try to hit the ingrown hair from a variety of directions. Use an exfoliating glove or ingrown hair brush. Be gentle! You'll need to exfoliate enough to achieve this effect, but not so much that the area surrounding the ingrown hair starts to bleed. When in doubt, exfoliate more gently but for a longer period of time. Hair is freer to grow outward when it’s not being blocked by barriers outside your skin. Use a soft-bristled brush or washcloth to gently massage a scrub into the area around an ingrown hair using small, circular motions. Stop exfoliating if your skin cracks or bleeds! Note! It's very difficult to remove an ingrown hair from under a scab. In this case, it might be best to use a different method, or consult your doctor.
• Sugar. Sugar is a great skin scrub that can help get rid of ingrown hair. It gently exfoliates the skin, removing dead cells and helping the ingrown hair come out of the skin. Plus, it will make your skin silky smooth.
Mix one cup of white sugar with one-half cup of extra-virgin olive oil or jojoba oil.
Stir in 10 drops each of tea tree oil and lavender essential oil.
Apply a small amount of this homemade scrub on the affected area.
Gently scrub the skin in circular motions for a few minutes. Then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
Follow this remedy once or twice a week as needed.
You can store the remaining scrub in an airtight container for future use.
• Baking Soda. Baking soda has a soothing effect on the skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it helps relieve itching by exfoliating the skin and also reduces redness caused by ingrown hairs.
Mix one tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of water. Dip a cotton ball in the solution. Dab it on the affected skin. Leave it on for five minutes and then wash it off with cold water. Repeat two or three times daily as needed.
You can also make a homemade scrub with one teaspoon each of baking soda and ground oatmeal and one tablespoon of water. Mix the ingredients together to create a paste. Apply it gently on the skin and leave it on for not more than five minutes. Then rinse if off with lukewarm water and gently pat the skin dry. Follow this remedy twice daily as needed.
• Tea Tree Oil.Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help heal the skin and also prevent infection.
Add five drops of tea tree oil to two tablespoons of distilled water. Apply the diluted tea tree oil on the affected skin after cleansing the area with antibacterial soap. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse the area with lukewarm water. Do this twice daily as needed.
Mix three drops of tea tree oil in one tablespoon of olive oil. Apply the mixture on the affected area and gently massage it for a few minutes. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy twice daily as needed.
• Aspirin. Aspirin can help reduce redness and inflammation, the two most common symptoms of ingrown hair. The anti-inflammatory property of aspirin reduces swelling, fights inflammation and treats mild infection. Plus, the salicylic acid present in aspirin scrubs away dead skin to loosen the offending hair.
Soak two aspirin tablets in one teaspoon of warm water until it forms a paste-like consistency.
Add one teaspoon of honey to the paste.
Apply the paste to the affected area.
Leave it on for 10 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and then gently pat the skin dry.
Follow this remedy once or twice a week as needed.
Note: Those with highly sensitive skin should not follow this remedy!
• Salt. Salt works as a great exfoliating agent and at the same time helps increase circulation, promote healing and reduce swelling.
Mix one and one-half teaspoons of table salt in one cup of lukewarm water.
Dip a cotton ball in the mixture and gently rub it over the affected skin.
Leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse it off with water.
Do this twice daily until the ingrown hair clears up.
Note: Do not use this remedy if your skin gets red or irritated!
• Black Tea Bags. Black tea bags can also help get rid of ingrown hairs. Black tea contains tannic acid, which reduces redness and inflammation and helps soothe the skin.
Moisten a black tea bag in warm water. Rub it over the affected area for two to three minutes. Repeat several times daily as needed.
Alternatively, steep a black tea bag in hot water for a few minutes. Remove it from the water and squeeze out the liquid into a bowl. Mix in one teaspoon of coconut water. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and then press it gently on the irritated skin. Do this twice daily for a few days until you see improvement.
• Use an ingrown hair serum after exfoliating your shaved skin. Ingrown hair serums help keep your raw skin hydrated. Shaving and exfoliating can take their toll and natural oils like lavender and tea tree oils replenish your skin’s moisture, soothing post-shave irritation and keeping inflammation at bay. After-shave serums and anti-bump creams can also reduce the appearance of blemishes and bumps. Avoid products that contain alcohol — they’ll dry out your skin. Shea Moisture makes a great after-shave elixir that can be used for face and body.
Categories: WAXING TREATMENTS