What Is An Ingrown Hair?
Ingrown hair is a condition where the hair
curls back or grows sideways into the skin.
It may or may not be accompanied by an infection of the hair
or "razor bumps" (Pseudofolliculitis
barbae), which vary in size. While ingrown hair most commonly
appears in areas where the skin is shaved (beard,
region), it can appear anywhere.
Anything which causes the hair to be broken off short with a sharp tip can cause
ingrown hair. Shaving is the leading cause, followed by tight
clothing. The embedded hair causes a localized inflammation
(sometimes painful) response in the skin. Sometimes ingrown hair
occurs naturally without shaving.
Symptoms include rash, itching skin, hair which remains in spite of shaving, and infection
and pus collecting under skin. Treatments for ingrown hairs include
putting a warm washcloth over the ingrown hair, shaving in a
different direction, exfoliating with facial scrubs, sponges, towels,
or creams containing acids, treatment with Ibuprofen
with twice daily topical
application of diluted Glycolic
acid. Ingrown hair will often fall out after a couple of weeks.
See more specific examples & information below.
Types of Ingrown Hairs
One of the most common types primarily found on the legs, more specifically on the lower
legs. I refer to this ingrown hair as superficial because the hair is
not embedded deep within the epidermis. Releasing it is relatively
Cause: Generally, the superficial ingrown occurs from a lack of exfoliation.
Solution: Regular exfoliation. Using massage gloves at shower and bath time will help
to release and prevent ingrown hairs.
Usually found on the lower legs, these types of ingrowns lay parallel to the skin and are
often too deep to remove. Generally, they dissolve in time. Dormant
ingrowns can be lanced by a physician.
Cause: The natural direction of the follicle has been disrupted and/or the skin
type has keratinized at a faster rate and in a tighter, surging
pattern. The skin tends to feel like very tight, smooth leather. This
skin type makes it more challenging to remove the hair because the
mouth of the follicle forms tightly around the hairıs shaft.
Solution: The #1 skin solution is regular exfoliation of the skin combined with
removing the hair in the natural direction of growth. (Shave in the
direction of hair growth, not against it)
The J-Peg Ingrown:
This is a hair inside the follicle, which begins to curl back down into the skin as it
grows and attempts to either pass through the accumulated dead skin
cells covering the mouth of the follicle or through an opening that
does not exist. As a direct result, it creates a bump and can cause
some discomfort until the hair is released. Generally, this type does
not become infected when it develops in areas other than the face or
Cause: Lack of exfoliation and skin softening. The reason why this ingrown becomes
infected is the natural direction of the follicle has been disrupted.
Epilating a hair in the natural direction of growth far exceeds the
benefits of removing it against the natural direction of growth. A
good home regimen of exfoliating and hydrating the skin will allow
one to free their own follicles of accumulated dead skin cells, thus
preventing the hair to become ingrown.
The Bikini Ingrown Hair:
These ingrown hairs most often look like little black dots or pinkish-red bumps. Thatıs
if they are not infected. Then there are those that look like
purplish-red bumps which can actually become cystic.
The pressure from the hair growing inside the bump along with infection
(pus and blood accumulation) can cause much discomfort until the hair
is released. Iıve seen a hair as long as 2² released from this
type of ingrown.
Cause #1: Lack of exfoliation and removing the hair in the opposite
direction of the natural pattern of growth. When hair is removed in
the opposite direction of growth, often, the hair is broken off at
the skinıs surface allowing dead skin cells to easily form over the
mouth of the follicle trapping the broken hair beneath. As the hair
continues to grow, a red bump quickly develops and can often leaves
the skin feeling itchy and uncomfortable. The one characteristic all
ingrown hairs have is dead skin cells blocking the mouth of the
Cause #2: Lack of hydrating and moisturizing the newly exfoliated
epidermis. I have seen so many women make the mistake of applying
lotion to their skin only when it has a dry sallow look to it. The
idea is to apply a good hydrating lotion when the skin looks great so
that it keeps on looking its best.
Cause #3: Some people are highly prone to ingrown hairs. Their skin
tends to keratinize at a much faster rate than the average person.
Solution: Removal of the hair in the natural growth only. Regular
exfoliation, softening the skin and hydrating on a daily basis. A
regular electrolysis regime will help to achieve maximum results.
The following are four recommendations that will help eliminate and
prevent ingrown hair problems.
Drink plenty of
water daily. We are all too familiar with this fact. Drink as much
water as you can each day for maximum hydration.
Use a hydrating
lotion everyday. Lotions containing animal or petroleum by-products
should be avoided. They can clog pores and cause many other
reflecting complications to the skin.
skin cells. Using Dead Sea salt mixed with cured sesame seed oil to
massage onto the skin is an uncomplicated exfoliating option for all
skin types. The results are excellent, lasting at least two weeks
and leave an immediately visible impression.
Epilate the hair
in the natural direction of the follicle. When hair is removed
against its natural direction, you will have hair breakage and you
will promote ingrown hairs.
If you are prone
to getting serious ingrown hairs you may need to use a
glycolic-based lotion to promote addition exfoliation.
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