Besides being a little bit unsightly, ingrown hairs can get inflamed and hurt quite a bit if left untreated. Here is what to do to get rid of them, and what to avoid if you don’t want to make the issue even worse.
Ingrown hair is a fairly common condition caused by a hair that curls back or grows sideways into the skin –resulting in a pimple-like inflamed bump. Depending on its size and if they form a boil or a sore, it can get really painful.
They are usually caused by removing your hair with wax, tweezers or shaving, but not necessarily, dense, coarse hair can lead to ingrown hair as well. Though they may look very similar to pimples, if you examine it close enough you’ll see a hair growing inside the bump.
How to get rid of the ingrown hair
The first step is to stop waxing, shaving or plucking until it goes away or reduces its size, you do not want to cause the skin to tear and eventually scar. If it is inflamed, use a warm compress to open the follicle and ease the pain.
But what if the ingrown hairs won’t budge by themselves? You can use creams with exfoliant products such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid or lactic acid –they will break down sebum and dead skin cells which obstruct hair. Aloe vera can help soothe your skin and tea tree has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to prevent ingrown hairs
Body brushing is great to prevent ingrown hair as it removes dead skin cells and provides gentle exfoliation. Try doing it when your skin is dry for the best result.
Never pick at or pop an ingrown hair, you’ll increase the risk of infection and hyperpigmentation. Try to avoid tight clothes that can rub and irritate your skin and only pluck hair that has broken through the skin.
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