We speak of ingrown hair when a hair curls and grows inwards or when dead skin clogs the follicle and forces the hair to grow to the side under the skin. Ingrown hairs are often itchy and painful. They form small acne-like bumps on the skin and can become infected. Ingrown hairs often go away naturally, but if you have one that refuses to come out, try softening the area with an exfoliator and a warm compress before plucking the hair out using tweezers.
Method 1 of 3: Help the hair emerge naturally
Step 1. Wait
Wait about a week for the ingrown hair to come out. In most cases, ingrown hairs go away without any intervention. They usually end up finding a way out through the skin that is blocking them. While you wait, avoid scratching and fiddling with the ingrown hair.
While waiting for the hair to emerge, do not shave the skin where the bump is. If you cut it, the ingrown hair may get worse and the area may become infected
Step 2. Apply acne cream
Ingrown hairs are quite similar to acne pimples, especially when accompanied by pus. Apply benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid several times a day for a few days. Combined with daily exfoliation, this method is often sufficient to remove ingrown hairs as it reduces swelling in the skin, leaving more room for the hair to grow outward rather than inward.
You can buy acne cream at any drugstore
Step 3. Treat the infections
Apply steroid cream. If the pimple containing the ingrown hair fills with white or yellow pus, it is infected. In this case, you must treat the infection before extracting the hair. Apply a dot of steroid cream to the surface of the infected skin. It will reduce the swelling and cure the infection.
Some steroid products, such as low-strength cortisone cream, are available over the counter. If you want a more powerful treatment, you will need to be prescribed one by your doctor
Method 2 of 3: Extract the hair
Step 1. Exfoliate the area
The goal is to remove the skin covering the ingrown hair. Gently rub the bump with a commercial scrub or exfoliating glove twice a day. This will remove dead skin, dirt and oils that could prevent the hair from coming out. It is also possible that the process physically pushes the end of the hair towards the surface of your skin. Try rubbing the pimple in several different directions to loosen as much dead skin as possible.
You can buy an exfoliating glove or vegetable sponge at the supermarket or at a beauty store
Step 2. Do not damage your skin
You should exfoliate the area enough to remove the dead skin covering the ingrown hair, but don't rub it hard enough to damage your skin. If the area around the hair hurts, is red, or starts to bleed, stop exfoliating immediately.
If in doubt, rub less hard, but for longer (about ten minutes)
Step 3. Apply a warm compress
Place a warm washcloth over the area for a few minutes. Soak the item in hot water, wring it out and lay it on the ingrown hair, pressing gently for 3-4 min. When it cools, soak it again in hot water. The heat will soften your skin and attract the hair to the surface so that you can extract it more easily.
If you see the hair locked in your skin, this process will soften it and draw it closer to the surface. If you don't see it at first, leave the warm washcloth in place until the hair is close to the surface
Step 4. Extract the hair
Squeeze it out using a sterilized needle and tweezers. It may take some time to gently pull it out. Be patient and be careful not to cut your skin. Once you have managed to extract the end of the hair using the needle, grab it with the tweezers and pull on it so that the hair comes out. If possible, avoid pulling it off. Just make sure its tip comes out of your skin.
- Ingrown hairs can sometimes form a curl. This happens when the top of the hair curls up and pushes inward or to the side instead of out of the skin. If you see a curl, it means the hair is growing inside your skin. Try to thread the tip of the needle through the top of the loop and gently pull on it to bring out the end.
- If you cannot see the ingrown hair curl after exfoliating your skin and applying the warm washcloth, do not try to search for it with the needle, as you may damage your skin or cause you to bleed.
- To sterilize tools, boil them in water, rub them with 70 ° alcohol or heat them in a hot flame until they turn red. If you heat them, let them cool completely before using them.
- Wash your hands before touching the ingrown hair. You can even wear nitrile gloves to avoid spreading bacteria.
Method 3 of 3: Prevent ingrown hairs
Step 1. Wash the shaved parts
Wash areas you shave often with lukewarm water and moisturizing soap. Ingrown hairs are most common on areas that are often shaved. Keep them clean by washing them frequently. If you often have ingrown hairs, you can also apply an antiseptic product to better protect your skin against infections.
You can also apply a topical solution every day to prevent ingrown hairs from forming
Step 2. Prepare for shaving
Before shaving, rinse the area with lukewarm water. If you shave your face when it is dry, you are more likely to have ingrown hairs. Rinse your skin with lukewarm water 2-3 minutes before shaving. You can also wash it with a gentle face wash. When you apply the shaving cream, let it sit for 2-3 minutes to soften your skin before you start shaving.
You can also just shave right out of the shower, as your skin will already be warm and moist
Step 3. Shave the right way
Always follow the direction in which your hair grows. You will certainly cut them more closely by shaving them against the grain, but you will be less likely to have ingrown hairs by following their direction of growth. Also, avoid shaving them too close. Closely shaved hairs are more likely to grow back under the skin and incarnate.
The longer and straighter your hair, the less likely it is to curl under your skin. So try to shave less closely by using a single-blade razor or electric trimmer instead of a multi-blade razor
- Ingrown hairs sometimes go deep into the skin and cannot be pulled out at all. If the above extraction methods don't work, see a doctor or dermatologist for treatment.
- Ingrown hairs are most common in people with curly hair, but virtually everyone has it at one time or another.
- Always make sure your razor is clean before using it. Buy good quality shaving cream. Some formulas are even supposed to prevent ingrown hairs.
- Apply non-comedogenic moisturizer to any area prone to ingrown hairs. Non-comedogenic products are formulated to not clog pores.
- If the inflammation extends farther than the area just around the follicle or does not go away within a few days after removing the ingrown hair, see a dermatologist or your doctor.
- Avoid squeezing the small bump containing the ingrown hair or piercing it like an acne pimple. This can damage or open your skin and the follicle can become infected.