Remove Ingrown Hairs
The Reasons We Get Ingrown Hairs
A hair curling back into its follicle or failing to grow above the follicle remaining embedded within the skin is an ingrown hair. An ingrown hair can affect virtually all parts of the body.
Usually, they are just bothersome, but do have the ability to become unsightly and painful. If left untreated an ingrown hair can develop an infection.
Ingrown hairs are a more common occurrence for people with curly hair. However, most people will experience an ingrown hair at some point in their lives.
It all begins with a painful, red bump indicating one of those teeny tiny hairs is on it’s way to turning into a painful mountain that can wreak havoc on your appearance making the surrounding area tender for days and sometimes weeks.
An ingrown hair is one of the more aggravating skin conditions you can develop. Refraining from squeezing and scratching this red bump is sometimes quite challenging. Then forgetting it is there and plowing into it with your wash cloth or razor can be quite painful.
Most people don’t realize that there are things that can be done to eliminate the ingrown hair. By treating the ingrown hair the inflammation is eased almost immediately, which will help decrease the areas sensitivity and relieve the pain.
Frequent Shaving Means More Ingrown Hairs
Someone that shaves on a regular basis has a greater chance of experiencing ingrown hairs frequently. The fact is that razor burn will frequently lead to ingrown hairs that are commonly called razor bumps.
If you are able to reach the hair within the razor bump, gently lift it out so it is visible. DO NOT PLUCK THE INGROWN HAIR OR SQUEEZE IT! If you pluck it or squeeze it you will increase the odds that you will get a nasty infection or cause another hair at the same spot to become ingrown.
Let the razor bump heal for a couple days and then you can remove the hair safely. Try some of the tips below to ensure easy removal of the hair.
If you have an ingrown hair right now, follow the instructions below to release it, and then keep it from returning.
Things to Try Prior to the Step By Step Removal Process
Exfoliate around the ingrown hair twice daily. Be gentle, you may be able to release the hair by nudging it out of your skin. DON'T exfoliate it aggressively it can begin to bleed. It is extremely difficult to release an ingrown hair that is beneath a scab.
Whenever you have a doubt, exfoliate more lightly for longer periods of time. You can use one of the gloves made for exfoliating. You need to try approaching the hair from various directions.
You can apply a touch of medication for acne. Pimples and ingrown hairs are very similar, especially if the ingrown hair is infected and full of pus.
The Right Chemicals to Use
Apply salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide a few times daily for several days. Doing this along with the exfoliation is usually rather successful in the removal of the ingrown hair. The reduction in swelling will give the hair a chance to grow out.
Be sure to treat the hair with cleansing or medication products containing salicylic acid which is a common cosmeceutical. A cosmeceutical is a cosmetic product that has been scientifically researched and designed to improve or even cure specific skin aspects.
Salicylic acid will clean out the pores and in doing so lessens the level of irritation and infection associated with the ingrown hair.
Be Careful with Alcohol
These products will dry your skin out and tighten your pores, totally defeating your purpose of freeing the ingrown hair. It will also lock in any grime or dirt in that area. Many of the pimple and acne treatments contain alcohol to dry the pimples out; this DOES NOT WORK for ingrown hairs.
After removal, you can also use witch hazel to bring the redness and swelling down. It is a fantastic anti inflammatory agent. Only use it after you have removed the ingrown hair because, like alcohol, it tightens the skin.
If you are Successful in Removing the Ingrown Hair
Wash the skin around the former ingrown hair using warm water and moisturizing soap. Apply a Triple Antibiotic Ointment to protect yourself from the possibility of infection. Exfoliate your skin regularly to assist in preventing more ingrown hairs.
You may decide to apply a topical solution daily to prevent the development of new ingrown hairs.
Ingrown Hair Removal Step By Step
The process of removing an ingrown hair is not extremely difficult, but it is necessary to prep the skin and adhere to the correct after care to receive the best results possible. If the ingrown hair is severely inflamed or infected, removal of the hair may cause more irritation to the skin so you need to be careful.
You will need:
- Face cloth
- Gentle Exfoliate
- Small Towel
- Cotton Swabs/Q Tips
- Ingrown Hair Tweezers
- Cup Alcohol
- Shave Cream or Gel
- New Razor
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Cotton Squares or Balls
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment
Cleanse Your Skin
Using a mild cleanser, remove any dirt or debris from the area of skin being treated.
You can bathe or shower with warm water. OR You can apply a warm compress to the area for 5 minutes.
Make a warm compress by soaking a face cloth in warm water. DO NOT make it too hot.
The heat will assist in softening the skin and relaxing and opening the follicle that is holding the hair. This process aids by bringing the hair closer to the surface.
If you are not able to see the hair initially, you can apply the warm compress up to ten minutes chances are you will need to re warm the face cloth several times throughout the ten minutes if you are still unable to see the hair, you will NOT be able to remove the hair yourself.
It could be something else; you may need to see your dermatologist to ensure it isn’t skin cancer.
Only complete this step if the area is NOT infected. Apply a very mild exfoliate and work it into your skin by gently moving your fingertips in a small circular pattern around the ingrown hair’s follicle. This will loosen any remaining debris, oil and dead skin cells.
Gently rinse the exfoliated area with clean warm water. You need to thoroughly remove the dead skin and debris. The infection caused by the debris, oil and dead skin cells creates much of the swelling and redness surrounding an ingrown hair.
Gently pat the rinsed area with a clean, dry towel.
Remove the Hair
You need to hold the skin taut and begin to gently scrape the ingrown hair with a cotton swab. Be sure to scrape in the opposite direction of the ingrown hair.
If the hair releases, you can skip the seventh and eighth steps.
Use the Ingrown Hair Pointed Tip Tweezers
Tweezers that have been made especially for the removal of ingrown hairs is recommended. Use an alcohol wash to sterilize the tweezers.
It is imperative that you make sure to sterilize ALL instruments that have any chance of coming into contact with your blood stream. Your risk of an infection increases tremendously when you touch any open wound on your body with an object that has not been sanitized.
A Simple Sterilization Process
Sterilization is very simple, pour rubbing alcohol into a cup, put your tweezers inside the cup grabbing side down in the alcohol and let them soak for at least two minutes.
You can also sterilize your ingrown hair removal tools by placing them in boiling in water.
GENTLY Grab the Hair
Gently grab the ingrown hair and slightly pull. You need to be patient; this process may take some time. Be sure to only remove the hair that is curled and growing into the skin. Gently return the, now released, ingrown hair back to its original position with the tweezers.
DO NOT dig the tweezers into your skin, you will regret it later, INSTEAD repeat Step 2 and reapply the warm compress.
Use a Sterilized Needle
If you are lucky enough to see a ‘loop’ of hair close to the skins surface, your removal could be easier than you thought. If you take a sterilized sewing needle within the loop and give it a gentle tug, many times the end will come loose.
Use Sterilized Pointed Tipped Tweezers
If you don't have the specifically designed tweezers for removal of ingrown hairs, you could use a pair of typical sterilized tweezers. A pair of tweezers with a pointed tip would be less damaging to the skin as long as they are used with caution.
Use a Sterilized Rotable
Another possible removal device would be a sterilized rotable medical device. These devices are made especially for the removal of ingrown hairs and will not damage the surrounding skin or the follicle.
If you attempt to remove the hair from the root, you will cause added irritation and expose your bloodstream. The bacteria that is trapped around the ingrown hair beneath the skin could get inside causing an infection.
After the ingrown portion of the hair has been released, if it is longer than the surrounding hair, shave it. Use shaving cream/gel and a clean razor blade.
Apply hydrogen peroxide to the area using a clean square or cotton ball.
Apply an Antiseptic like Triple Antibiotic Ointment
Apply a Triple Antibiotic Ointment to assist in warding off any kind of infection. Applying an antiseptic will eliminate any of the bacteria that may have been surrounding the hair; it will also remove any pus that may be present.
On occasion, an ingrown hair will not budge whatsoever because it is too deep.If you attempt all of these methods, and the step by step process is to no avail… OR If inflammation occurs beyond the area of the ingrown hair follicle… OR If the inflammation continues longer than several days following the ingrown hair removal…
You need to make an appointment with your primary care physician or dermatologist to inquire about a prescription medication.
How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs
Always shave properly; the majority of ingrown hairs arise because of improper shaving techniques. Splash your face with warm water prior to applying your shaving cream/gel. Be sure to apply a generous amount of shaving cream/gel.
The warm water will assist in opening your pores while a generous amount of the shaving cream/gel will keep your skin lubricated. Try to shave less closely with the use of an electric shaver or single blade razor as opposed to a multi blade razor.
This is helpful because a longer hair is less likely to become an ingrown hair. Make sure the area you are about to pluck or wax is thoroughly clean and dry. Otherwise, all the oil, grime and dirt on the skin will be able to enter into your hair follicles when you pluck the hairs out.
If these particles are allowed to enter into the follicle, they may block the follicle and cause an ingrown hair rather quickly. Use warm water when cleaning the area. This will assist in opening your pores thus allowing easier hair removal. It also makes the pore more difficult to block.
Specific Ways to Avoid Ingrown Hairs
Use a facial scrub frequently to exfoliate your skin. Regular exfoliating will help to remove your dead layers of skin. This removes some of the cells that could clog pores and cause ingrown hairs to occur. Try to avoid the stiff collared shirts or clothing that is too tight.
You should avoid wearing tight clothing in areas that are shaved regularly. For men, the neck and for women the legs, wear clothing that fits loosely and breathes easily. Doing this will help you avoid experiencing an ingrown hair. Apply a non comedogenic moisturizer to areas prone to have ingrown hairs.
BE SURE to use a non comedogenic moisturizer because it will not clog your pores and make problems worse. Apply a product specifically designed to prevent/remove ingrown hairs.
There are products available on the market that claim to remove and/or prevent ingrown hairs altogether. If ingrown hairs are a recurring problem for you in a particular area of your body, you could potentially purchase one of these products to use regularly.