Ingrown hair, a synonym for: annoying, painful, aesthetically unpleasant, but super normal. Don’t panic, we’ve got your back! So let’s go back to basics!
How does an ingrown hair occur?
An ingrown hair occurs, when the hair itself cannot grow outside of the skin and thus curls up underneath the skin's surface. It will present as a red, blemish-like bump aka a papule or a pus filled bump aka a pustule on your skin. It may become painful or itchy if it is infected. After the pustule heels, one is often left with hyper-pigmentation (darkening of the skin in this region).
This can have several reasons:
- you are epilating/waxing and thereby you are changing the hair structure and direction at its root
- you are not exfoliating the dead skin cells which cover your skin's surface, thereby trapping the hair
- You shave in regions where it's sweaty (bikini area, armpits)
- Your clothes are too tight, leading to rubbing and irritation (legs and skinny jeans)
- You genetically have a lot of thick, curly hair
What can you do if you have ingrown hair?
- Place warm compresses on the affected area and use a sterile needle to open the region.
- Gently pull out the hair, if it has reached the surface. Do not penetrate your skin with your tweezers, as they might cause an infection or cause scars.
- Remove dead skin by using exfoliation lotion with alpha hydroxy acid, such as our Smooth Lotion, which contains lactic acid.
- Use creams to reduce inflammation, such as our Hydration Gel, that calms redness and heals irritated skin. It contains powerful ingredients such as organic aloe vera and panthenol.
- Use Vitamin A to increase cell turnover, such as our Better Aging Lotion.
- If you cannot remove the hair, or you feel like the region has become red, swollen or painful, please see a doctor to remove the infected ingrown hair.
What can you do to prevent ingrown hair?
- Wear loose, breathable clothing, if possible
- Dry brush before showering to remove dead skin cells
- Always use a sharp razor and shave in the direction of growth & add a shaving cream.
- Laser therapy to reduce/eliminate hair growth, however this is a pricey endeavor.
If you have any questions about ingrown hair or any other skin concern, feel free to contact us!
- Dr. med. univ. Natalie Lindner