How to Treat and Prevent Ingrown Hairs

How to Treat and Prevent Ingrown Hairs

Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

These days, we’re all too aware of the dangers of ingrown hairs. We’re all too aware of the painful side effects of ingrown hairs. It’s embarrassing. It’s uncomfortable. It’s painful.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Ingrown hairs are a fairly common problem for men and women. The body has a natural tendency to grow hair. If a hair follicle grows into the skin, it can sometimes grow over the edge of the skin and pierce the skin. This can cause a painful condition known as ingrown hair.

If you have ingrown hair and need to remove it safely, follow these instructions in order.

How to Treat Ingrown Hairs

How to Treat and Prevent Ingrown Hairs

Sanitize the area

This is one of those circumstances a doctor will tell you to wash your face with denatured alcohol (or elsewhere on the body). To prevent bacteria from entering the skin after you extract the hair, disinfect the region around the ingrown hair.

Apply a Warm Compress to the Area

To assist relax the hair and bring it higher to the surface of the skin, gently rub a clean, warm towel on the area. You can do this for 10–15 minutes, but to keep the cloth warm, you may need to re-wet or reheat it. However, never use hot water to avoid burning your skin. However, you should avoid pressing hard on the skin with the cloth, as this will aggravate any itchiness and cause a much longer recovery time.

Tweeze it (but not too hard!)

You can coax the hair out if you can see it beneath the skin. That doesn’t mean plucking it; rather, you’re attempting to release it by lifting it up from the skin, allowing everything to heal around it and the hair to continue to grow properly. You should also use tweezers that are clean and sterilized. However, don’t go digging for a hair you can’t see and don’t compress the area in the hopes of bringing the hair to the surface. You’re simply going to make matters worse.

Shave the Area As Little As Possible

We also advise against shaving the area till it has fully healed. Instead, cut everything down in the region with your beard trimmer while the wound heals.

Continue to clean with a disinfectant.

Remember how we said to use rubbing alcohol in the first step? Keep it on hand and use it after an ingrown hair extraction to keep the skin clean and stimulate faster, safer healing of the ingrown area.

Ingrown Hairs and How to Prevent Them

How to Treat and Prevent Ingrown Hairs

Anything you pluck, wax, or shave creates the possibility of an ingrown hair since the new or recently shorn hair will have to make its way out of the skin unencumbered.

Make use of a disinfectant cleaner.

If you’re prone to ingrown hairs, we recommend washing your face with an antibacterial cleanser containing sulfur or benzoyl peroxide before shaving. This will kill any bacteria that may be present in the skin, as well as any trapped hairs. This will also assist to reduce shaving bumps and irritation.

Slowly shave

Both experts agree that the safest shaving regimen is one that methodically goes through each phase of the shave and takes no shortcuts. A skin-conditioning and hair-softening pre-shave oil, a sensitive shave gel, and a soothing/toning post-shave recovery balm should all be included in the routine, as well as steady strokes during the shave and periodic warm rinses to remove debris from the razor. By taking your time, you’ll be able to make the program more restorative.

Never shave dry.

Always shave with a damp, moist face, “typically after a shower.” It’s also preferable to shave with warm water to assist relax the hairs and opening the pores, which will result in less resistance from the shave and less blade drag. (Not only is razor drag uncomfortable, but it can also cause dead cells and cuts to become stuck in the pores.) We also recommend using shaving cream or gel rather than shaving dry or using skin-drying shave soaps. The more moisture you have, the more your skin will be moisturized and protected from ingrown hairs.

When Should You See a Doctor About Ingrown Hairs?

We advise that if the region gets red, hot, or painful, you should contact a board-certified dermatologist straight away. “This is especially true if the redness spreads outward or if a ‘pus’ bump forms. This could indicate that it’s contaminated.”