Ingrown hair usually occurs when you shave, tweeze or wax regularly. Instead of growing back in an upward direction, the hair curls onto itself and grows inward, causing painful bumps. It is especially common for people who have thick and naturally curly hair. When you get ingrown hair, you may be able to spot small, round bumps called papules or worse, pus-filled bumps called pustules. You may be tempted to prick it like a zit, but practice caution. Chances are, it will get infected, and you will end up with a bigger problem.
Ingrown hairs are commonly found in areas where you remove hair. For men, it is most common on the face and scalp if they also shave their heads. For women, it happens more in the pubic area, armpits, and legs.
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According to Healthline, ingrown hairs usually clear up on their own. Let's say you have some on your chin. It is best to leave the area alone to avoid aggravating it. If it gets too uncomfortable, here are some ways to ease your discomfort:
Self suggests applying a warm compress to the affected area to soothe and relax the skin. Applying anti-inflammatory aloe vera gel can also help with itching.
For physical exfoliation, use a washcloth or soft toothbrush and apply gentle circular motions on the affected area to help loosen the ingrown hairs. Chemical exfoliation, with the help of alpha-hydroxy acids, can hasten up the process, as well. Looks for skincare products with AHA or BHA and apply to skin as directed.
While you have ingrown hairs, stop shaving, tweezing, and waxing. It will only irritate your skin further, and you might get more ingrown hairs. If all else fails, consult a dermatologist.
To avoid having ingrown hairs in the first place, here are some simple tips to follow:
1. When shaving, always use a cream or gel to lubricate the skin. Follow the direction of your hair growth. You may not even notice, but we usually shave against it. Rinse the blade after every stroke for a clean shave. Make sure to always use fresh blades or clean and dry your razors thoroughly. The Mayo Clinic also suggests using an electric razor or perhaps a safe chemical hair remover, more commonly known as depilatory creams like Veet.
2. It is always best to tweeze after a warm shower. The pores are more open, and you should be able to extract the hair properly, including the root. Make sure your tweezers are clean before and after tweezing.
3. If you want to maintain smooth, hairless skin, it is best to invest in laser hair removal. Yes, it is expensive, but it prevents the hair from growing back.
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