How to Treat & Prevent Ingrown Hairs & Razor Bumps.
Ingrown hairs are often referred to as razor bumps. They crop up when growing hair curls around and grows back into the skin. The most common symptom of ingrown hairs is itchiness and inflammation of the skin in localized small bumps. Sometimes the ingrown hair can be seen curled beneath the swelling. Ingrown hairs usually affect underarms, legs and the bikini line in women. For men, the prime areas for ingrown hair and razor bumps are the face (beard) and neck. Ingrown hairs are more likely in individuals with naturally curly hair.
What Causes Ingrown Hair?
Hair removal is really the major cause of ingrown hair, with shaving being the method most likely to cause razor bumps and ingrown hairs. The problem starts when the hair is cut too short or just below the surface of the skin. When the hair begins to grow back it can curl and twist around and start to grow inside the hair follicle and get trapped. As the hair continues to grow the hair follicle may become infected, resulting in a red, itchy bump on the surface of the skin. New hair and dead skin cells can also get trapped in the hair follicle and cause a condition with symptoms similar to ingrown hair.
Tips for Preventing Ingrown Hair.
Shower before you shave.
Stay in the shower for a few minutes before you shave. The hot water and steam will help to relax the pores and soften the hair. Washing the skin also helps to remove dead skin cells and lift the hairs away from the skin follicle.
Shave in the direction of the hair growth.
This means shaving downwards on the cheeks and chin and upwards on the neck area. For women, it means shaving the legs in a downward stroke. Shaving in the direction of the hair growth helps prevent the hair from being cut too short.
Daily moisturising helps to keep the skin smooth and supple and keeps the hair follicles moisturised. This helps the hair to grow straight and prevent ingrown hair. Be sure to use a moisturiser that wont block your pores.
Exfoliate on a regular basis to remove dead skin cells. This also helps lift the hair away from the skin follicle, helping the ingrown hairs to pop out easily. Do not exfoliate over inflamed skin or infected pores.
How to Treat Ingrown Hairs:
To encourage the release of ingrown hairs and minimise the appearance of unsightly red bumps from underarms, bikini lines and legs consider using a multi-active formulation which contains Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid. Salicylic Acid has an antibacterial action to cleanse and purify infected pores, whilst helping to reduce swelling and redness. Glycolic Acid is a mild exfoliant that sloughs away dead skin and helps release the trapped ingrown hair from the follicle.
Often ingrown hairs can be released by carefully lifting them out of the skin with tweezers. Use a hot compress to relax and open the pores. Do not pluck at the hairs, very gently ease them out. Sterilise the tweezers before use and use a topical antiseptic to prevent infection.
Sometimes Ingrown hair can lead to the formation of puss in the affected areas. If there is severe infection, seek advice from a dermatologist or your health care practitioner.
The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.
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