Standing on its own, however, dealing with ingrown hair is a huge annoyance and, quite frankly, it is also embarrassing. They usually appear in areas of the body which are shaved and when the hair breaks off too close to the skin line or right below its surface and begins to grow at an angle into the side of the hair follicle. This results in painful red bumps on the skin which usually appear in clusters and are easily chafed and infected. Statistics show that people with dark, coarse and curly hair are more inclined to get ingrown hair and so it is estimated that sixty to eighty percent of African American men and twenty percent of Caucasian men get ingrown hair. Among women who shave their legs, armpits and bikini areas, however, the odds tend to be more even.
How To Treat Ingrown Hairs
Here are some options, but it is up to you to decide which works best for you and your particular anatomical site of ingrown hair:
1/ If possible, shave less frequently to let the hair grow out and to allow the affected area to heal. If letting your hair grow is not an option:
- Use a single blade razor and avoid pressing too hard.
- Stretch the skin and follow the direction of the growth (face downwards, neck upwards, legs upwards, bikini area sideways, armpits downward).
- Use the same blade only two or three times.
- Shave only after having thoroughly soaked the area with plenty of hot water and always use shaving cream.
- Cologne may add to the irritation but a medicated after shave lotion is a good idea.
2/ Gently lift out the ingrown hair with a cleansed pinpoint and let it heal.
3/ Using the sharp point of a cleansed pair of tweezers, you may pluck the ingrown hair out.
4/ Exfoliate the dead skin cells which are trapping the ingrown hair by rubbing your face with a loofah sponge, a soft skin brush or any number of cosmetic scrubs and/or exfoliating masks.
5/ The various acne skin products available on drugstore shelves work effectively to relieve and heal the irritated areas.
6/ When the red bumps become infected they fill with pus and a dermatologist should assess the condition at this point. Try to resist the temptation to squeeze it because that can only lead to other unpleasant skin conditions.
7/ Electrolysis and laser hair removal kill the roots of hair to prevent them from ever growing back again. These may be good solutions for those who suffer from chronic ingrown hair. Both these procedures are fairly lengthy and not inexpensive, but they may be worthwhile.
8/ Using a home-made sugar mask will sooth the irritated area of the ingrown hair while exfoliating the skin.
Heat the juice from a half medium lemon with one cup of sugar plus one and one half teaspoons of cornstarch and one quarter cup of honey. Mix to a smooth paste and let cool. Sprinkle the affected skin lightly with cornstarch and spread the mixture evenly over the skin. Leave it on for twenty minutes and remove with warm water. You may treat your skin to another such mask after three days.