Ingrown hairs are those that curled around and moves into the skin. Generally, it results to elevated, reddened spots that are at risk for infection and form into sore sores that are filled with pus.
The ingrown hairs can cause itchiness and embarrassing, but often settle without any treatment. Anyone is at risk but typically an issue among those who have curly or coarse hair.
What are the causes?
Ingrown hairs typically have moved out of the skin but curled back and enters the skin again. In some cases, the hair curls move back into the hair follicle without leaving the skin.
An ingrown hair develops if the hair follicle is blocked with dead skin cells. This forces the hair within to grow sideways which is likely to occur if the hair is coarse or curly and recently shaved.
It is an issue of concern in areas being shaved such as the legs, beard area, armpits and pubic area among women. In such areas, the ingrown hairs appear as pimples and you can oftentimes see the hair trapped under the skin. In addition, the spots might be filled with pus.
What should I do for ingrown hairs?
If possible, ingrown hairs must be left for awhile as they settle without requiring any treatment.
Avoid picking or scratching the site since bacteria can enter any small wounds which increases the risk for infection. In addition, it can also cause scarring.
Do not squeeze the spots since it can damage the skin and result to an infection. In case it is near the skin surface, a sterile needle or tweezer can be used to slowly tease the hair out. Nevertheless, do not dig for the hair if it is deep in the skin surface.
The easiest way to prevent ingrown hairs is to allow the hair to grow freely without shaving. This can be done for a brief span for relief from bad spots.
If the individual continues with shaving, the following measures can help:
- Utilize a sharp, single-bladed razor
- The skin should be damp with warm water and apply a gel
- Shave in the direction the hairs are growing
- Perform a few strokes if possible
- Rinse the razor after each stroke
- Do not shave too closely. Leave behind a bit of stubble if possible since bacteria can enter the miniature openings of skin that was newly shaved