Ingrown hair is hair that has curled up and grown back into the skin instead of growing outwards. Also known as razor bumps, ingrown hair looks like a small pimple. Pus can build up inside the bump, causing redness, swelling, inflammation, pain and irritation. The condition occurs most frequently where people shave or wax to get rid of unwanted hair, such as the beard area, legs, underarms and bikini area. If you are prone to having ingrown hair, it will appear no matter how careful you are with shaving or waxing.
- Having very curly or coarse hair: People with very curly or coarse hair are prone to ingrown hair. In this case, it would be advisable to use an alcohol swab and sterilize the tweezers to remove the ingrown hair.
- Wearing tight clothing: Wearing tight clothes such as skinny jeans, nylon leggings, polyester underwear can cause infection and aggravate ingrown hair. Wear loose clothing till the bumps have healed.
- Scraping the skin while shaving: Using a dull and worn out razor can result in hair breakage. Waxing is a better option because it does not break the hair. Don’t use a razor more than 6-8 times. Using fresh blade can go a long way in preventing ingrown hair.
- Shaving or waxing in wrong direction: Before you shave, lather the area with pre-shave creme or gel to soften the stubble in the direction of your hair growth. Then shave in the correct direction.
- Picking or scraping ingrown hair: Avoid picking and scraping ingrown hair as it may end up aggravating the sensitive area, cause an infection, and leave a scar.
Here are some natural remedies to deal with ingrown hair:
- Steaming: This is an effective method of treating ingrown hair. The heat opens up the pores and helps air the skin, causing the hair to soften and go outward. This will make it easier to remove the ingrown hair using tweezers.
- Use a sugar scrub to gently exfoliate the skin. This will make the ingrown hair come out of the skin.
- Apply aloe vera gel on the ingrown hair. This can provide instant relief from the symptoms such as skin redness, inflammation and itching, while moisturizing the skin and speeding up the healing process.
- Tea tree oil is another effective ingredient that can treat ingrown hair. The application of tea tree oil helps the ingrown hair to come out from beneath the skin and also prevents further growth of ingrown hair.
- Dissolve aspirin medicine in water and apply it to affected area. The salicylic acid in aspirin will loosen the ingrown hair. It can also treat associated inflammation and redness.
If these natural ways don’t help the condition, consult a dermatologist.