An ingrown hair is characterized as one that curls around back to the skin instead of rising up from it. This usually occurs among individuals with curly hair. An ingrow hair causes a raised and red bump that looks similar to a pimple. Sometimes, there is presence of pus inside the bump. This condition also causes inflammation, swelling, irritation and pain in the affected area. It can also occur in those who shave unwanted hair in areas such as the legs, beard area, bikini region and the underarms.
Symptoms of an ingrown hair
- Pain and itchiness of the affected area
- Darkening of the skin or hyperpigmentation
- Embedded hair
- Presence of small and solid rounded bumps or papules
- Development of blisters filled with pus or pustules
If an ingrown hair becomes a chronic condition, there is unwanted growth of hair or hirsutism and polycystic ovary syndrome, it is best to seek medical help immediately.
- Pulling the skin tightly when shaving which makes the hair to go back into the skin and then re-enter the skin without growing out.
- Using tweezers or plucking the hair can leave behind fragments of hair under the surface of the skin and can end up inflamed.
- Scrub the skin using sugar to prevent ingrown hair. It exfoliates the skin, remove dead cells and make the ingrown hair emerge out the skin as well as making the skin smooth. Mix one cup of white sugar and ½ cup extra-virgin oil and mix 10 drops of tea tree oil and then mix well to create a paste. Apply on the affected area and gently scrub the area in a circular motion for a few minutes and rinse it off using lukewarm water. Perform this process at least once or two times per week as needed.
- Mix a tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of water. Mix well and dip a cotton ball in the mixture and apply it on the skin. Leave on for at least 5 minutes and rinse it off using cold water. Repeat this process 2-3 times every day as needed. Baking soda has anti-inflammatory properties, lessens the itchiness and exfoliates the skin. It also lessens the redness of the area due to an ingrown hair.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of table salt to one cup lukewarm water. Mix well until salt is dissolved. Moisten a cotton ball in the solution and gently rub it on the skin and leave it on for a few minutes and rinse it off with water. Repeat this process 2 times every day until the ingrown hair disappears. Salt is an exfoliating agent, increases the blood circulation in the area, lessens the swelling and promotes fast healing of the area.
- Wash the skin using warm water and a mild facial cleanser before shaving.
- Use a sharp razor when shaving and avoid close shaves.
- Rinse the shave after each stroke.