Ingrown Hair

Ingrown hair is known as Psuedofolliculitis Barbae (PFB) or razor bumps. It is caused by hair which is cut too short or broken off below the skin so the hair grows sideways into the skin. Ingrown hair commonly appears in areas where the skin is shaved, tweezed, or waxed. It appears as small bumps and can become pus-filled lesions if the area is inflamed. Some people with ingrown hair can also experience uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, itching, and pain.

Ingrown hairIngrown hair is more common among blacks and Hispanics who have coarse, curly hair because this type of hair structure is likely to curl back into the skin. However, it can also develop in females. In males, ingrown hair can be found in the beard area, including the chin, cheeks and, especially, the neck while in female, common areas for ingrown hairs are the armpits, pubic area and legs.

Ingrown Hair Treatment

– Retinoid: A retinoid can remove dead skin cells that trap the ingrown hair underneath the skin’s surface. They also help reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.

– Salicylic acid: Like a retinoid, salicylic acid helps remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin.

– Corticosteroid: Corticosteroid is a topical steroid ointment that can help control inflammation.

– Antiseptic: Antiseptic such as Bacitracian and Neosporin will kill bacteria that cause inflammation.

How to Prevent Ingrown Hair?

– Use an electric razor/single blade. When you use an electric razor/single blade, the shave is not as close as that of a double- or triple razor. Too close shaving makes hair grow underneath the skin.

– Wet your hair and exfoliate the area before shaving. Wet hair can be cut more evenly than dry hair. Right after showering in hot water or after pressing a hot, wet washcloth against the ingrown hair for at least two minutes, rub the skin with the washcloth using a circular motion. This will lift the hair away from the follicle. Then apply a shaving cream and shave the hair.

– Shave in the direction or grain of the hair growth. Doing so helps avoid shaving too closely. Also shave in the same direction every time. This will train the hair to grow straighter.

– Do not go over the same area more than twice.

– Apply an aloe vera cortisone cream, an aftershave, or a cream designed to treat the shaving area such as Bikini Zone after shaving to soothe the skin.

– Replace your blade regularly. A dull blade cuts hair unevenly.

– Shave less often. Shaving every other day, rather than daily will help prevent razor bumps.

– Use a depilatory. Instead of using a razor to get rid of your hair, consider using a depilatory. A depilatory reacts with the protein structure of the hair, causing the hair to dissolve.

– Exfoliate the area once a day. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells that trap ingrown hair underneath the skin’s surface.

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2 Responses

  1. June 26, 2010

    […] – Shaving. The friction of the blade’s edge against your skin causes it to darken. Excessive shaving can also thicken the hair. Your armpits will look dark when the thick hair comes near the surface of the skin and when you have ingrown hair. […]

  2. July 4, 2010

    […] hyperpigmentation caused by acne lesions or scarring as well as irritation caused by shaving, ingrown hair, harsh skin care products, or chemical cosmetics. These scarring and irritation stimulate the […]

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