As if shaving rash weren’t bad enough, sometimes you also have to contend with ingrown hair too! Those itchy red spots can be a painful inconvenience – but it doesn’t have to be the price you pay for beauty.
How does ingrown hair happen?
Usually hair grows straight up and out of the skin, and usually presents no problems, but if you have curly hair or the hair’s path is blocked – with dead skin cells, for example, it can try to grow sideways instead, causing the body to react as if the hair were a foreign object, and so you get irritation, itching and swelling. Another side effect people of colour may find is hyperpigmentation around the area – so their skin around the ingrown hair becomes noticeably darker and may take weeks to return to their normal tone.
Because ingrown hairs tend to happen in places where people shave, wax, pluck or thread their hairs, you often see these painful little spots in places like:
– Your face or neck
– Your chest
– Your pubic area
– Your armpits
– Your back
– Your thighs
Another cause of ingrown hairs is when the tip of the hair is pushed back into the skin, and is often caused by not exfoliating prior to shaving. The dreaded ‘razor bumps’ – although similar – are caused by a bacterial infection, rather than the ingrowing hair itself
Ingrown hairs are often aggravated by tights and other close-fitting garments, like tight underwear or jeans or where a seam rubs against the skin. Although not dangerous, we all know that itching, burning, slightly painful sensation they give us, requiring a fair amount of attention to make them more bearable.
What can I do about it?!
Although you can take some steps to avoid ingrown hairs, such as exfoliating prior to shaving, and wearing loose-fitting clothing and moisturising with aloe vera or shea butter afterwards, these aren’t a guarantee you’ll avoid these inconvenient, sore bumps. But, if you’re unfortunate enough to be suffering with ingrown hairs, there are some steps you can take to minimise them:
– Gentle exfoliation – either with a glove or a cream – can help unclog the area, remove dead cells, dirt, grease and excess sebum, and many creams have an antibacterial element to stop ingrown hairs turning into razor bumps
– Try and soften the skin by warming it with a moist flannel, or in a warm bath, to also open up the pores.
– Gently remove the hair using sterile tweezers or a needle. When the skin is softened and warm, the hair should come up to the surface and be more visible, so you can gently remove it using sterile tweezers. Don’t dig for the hair as you’re likely to damage the skin.
– Once removed, clean the area with a body wash containing anti-bacterial properties like tea tree oil to avoid reinfection.
Is there a way to stop them completely?
Of course, the most effective way to avoid ingrown hairs is to remove them altogether. Our team at MySkin can offer you a long-lasting solution to this problem, as laser hair removal avoids this by shrinking and damaging the hair follicle and the bulb at the root, so there is no hair regrowth into the skin.
Aside from clearer, smoother skin and permanent hair reduction, laser hair removal also helps to reduce ingrown hairs and therefore less irritation of the skin, as it often encourages any hair that does grow back (due to hormone fluctuations, for example) to grow straight, so avoiding the dreaded bumps.
A complete course of laser hair removal means that around 90% of hair doesn’t return – making ingrown hairs a thing of the past. Come to MySkin Laser Clinic to see how we can help solve this common issue for both men and women – each member of our team is uniquely skilled with industry recognised qualifications and extensive training in the fields of laser hair removal, hair reduction and skin reduction. This means we’re entirely committed to using the most scientifically and technologically advanced techniques and specialise solely in laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation procedures, and remember that all MySkin pre and post-treatment care is provided at no extra cost.
We’re your go-to skin and hair removal experts in Birmingham, so if you’re fed up of sore bumps and fiddling around with tweezers, give us a call on 0121 339 5855 and make an appointment to see us now.