How to remove ingrown hair, home remedies, and treat infected ingrown hair that is either at the skin surface or deeply rooted in the skin are some of the issues discussed in detail below. Ingrown hair may be infected and sometimes cause painful bumps. Ingrown hair on face, neck, armpits, vagina, legs or scrotum is an issue every adult has to deal with, especially when you start grooming or shaving.
Among other several causes, shaving is one of the major causes of ingrown hair. Shaving comes with its own challenges. The best way to go around the challenges of shaving such as razor bumps and ingrown hair is to learn the removal procedure for different parts of the body.
What is an Ingrown Hair?
Hair follicles may sometimes curve back into the skin instead of protruding or growing out of the skin surface. This may sometimes be itchy or irritated especially when infected.
The bumps or pimples, in this case, tend to have hair in them and may be filled with a white discharge or pus. Depending on the area, care and special attention should be given to them to avoid pain and discomfort.
Symptoms of Ingrown Hair
Some of the common symptoms of ingrown hairs include irritated skin and itch. Ingrown hair on the vagina, scrotum, or bikini area may sometimes be confused with sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
Most of these symptoms may relate to some of these infections. If in doubt, seek medical advice to run a proper check. Below are some of the symptoms of ingrown hair on the skin.
- Bumps like those of razor bumps, itchiness around the area with ingrown hair
- An accompanied light-red halo, painful acne-like eruptions, and abscesses
- Pimples or bumps that may be having pus in them
- A bump on the skin that may be itchy and irritated with an urge to scratch
- Discolored skin at the affected area
- Embedded hair on the skin that may be visible in people with light skin
What are the Causes of Ingrown Hair?
While shaving remains a leading cause of ingrown hair, waxing, or plucking still will cause them in some cases. The type of hair on an individual’s skin may also influence ingrown hair occurrence.
Basically, after shaving or when new hair is growing on the skin, the stem is expected to grow outside the skin. When it fails to appear outside the skin and remains inside, it is then called an ingrown hair. The skin will treat it as a foreign body and will react against it. This reaction is what results in bumps, a painful itch, or other symptoms as listed above.
Below are some causes of ingrown hair on the face, neck, armpit, vagina or scrotum;
1. Type of hair on the skin
Individuals with thick hair tend to have them remain in the skin instead of growing outwards. Curly hair on the skin also has a tendency of growing back into the skin. People who have fine hair tend to suffer fewer episodes of ingrown hair since the thin hair will penetrate the skin and grow without any problems.
2. Dead skin
Dead skin cells that normally develop on the skin surface may block the pores and make it difficult for new growing hair to appear outside the skin as required. It is therefore important to keep removing them especially if you are a regular shaver.
3. Blunt blade
Always insist on using a sharp razor blade as a blunt blade will only cause you several ingrown hairs after shaving. A blunt blade will push the hair back into the soft skin instead of removing them as expected. It will also leave a lot of soft hair lying against the skin resulting in ingrown hair.
4. Poor shaving techniques
Shaving is the most popular way of removing hair on the skin. It is always advisable to shave along the grains. Before shaving, simply identify the direction of the hair growth and shave towards that direction.
Shaving against the direction will only push some of the hair back into the skin especially when using a blunt razor blade. Always use a sharp razor blade and don’t start by shaving too close to the skin. Be gentle and avoid over pressing the blade against the skin while shaving.
5. Dry skin
A dry skin will increase the chances of preventing new growing hair form the skin surface. The skin becomes tough and the soft and tender hair may not be able to penetrate. Dry skin will also block the pores causing ingrown hair especially after shaving. Try and keep moisturized skin after shaving to avoid ingrown hair.
How to Remove Ingrown Hair at home
The difficulty of the process on how to remove ingrown hair will depend on a number of things. The one I note all the time is the place you are going to remove the ingrown hairs. The following are the most common areas where the procedure will apply.
- The pubic region, vagina or scrotum – removing ingrown hair here may be a bit difficult but can still be done.
- Legs – this should be simple because you can work at different angles just fine.
- Face – sometimes ingrown hairs on the face can be very painful, but removing them should not be a problem if you follow the treatment steps carefully.
- Neck – Just like the face, you will need all the tools listed below to go through the guide.
Below is a step-by-step guide for ingrown hair removal and getting rid of ingrown hair. You will also find the best product to use such as Razor Burn Freedom and 1% Hydrocortisone Cream to prevent bumps and infection.
Things You Will Need:
Collect the following in order to be able to go through the procedure on how to remove ingrown hair smoothly. If you have a makeup table with a good mirror just in front of it, you will find the process very easy.
- Have a very clean washcloth
- Some warm water
- Sterilized needle-nose tweezers
- A small needle (sterile) can also do instead of the tweezers, but you might need both. A toothpick can also do.
- Topical antiseptic and antibiotic
- Moisturizing lotion
- You might need 1% hydrocortisone
- A hot compress
Procedure and steps to follow
Follow the following steps to remove deep ingrown hair at home.
- Take the 1% hydrocortisone cream and apply it to the area with ingrown hair. Follow the instruction son the creams package on how to apply. Hydrocortisone cream will help minimize inflammation and make it possible for you to go through the entire process on how to remove ingrown hair successfully. Apply this procedure two to three times a day.
- Place a hot compress on the area with ingrown hair two to three times a day. It is normally recommended that you do this about 3 times a day, leaving the hot compress on for about 15 minutes.
- The third step is to wash the area with antibacterial soap or anti-acne every morning. A slightly rough washcloth will be of good use for this step. Wash in circular motions so that you slowly tease the hair out of the skin.
- This step is more of a keen observation. Inspect the ingrown hair daily to see whether you can see it above the skin surface.
- The day you notice the ingrown hair above the skin, take an alcohol sterilized needle and use it to lift the curved hair. For this step, carefully slip the needle under the hair loop and pull it up gently. A toothpick or the end of the tweezers can also do this.
- Treat area after ingrown hair removal. Topical antibiotics and ointments for this can be found over-the-counter for this step. If need be, contact your doctor for a stronger antibiotic.
Home Remedies for Ingrown Hair
Home remedies are the best way of dealing with ingrown hairs in most cases since it is not a disease but just a skin condition that in some cases may subside on its own with proper care.
In some cases, the symptoms may persist and this will indicate an infection on the ingrown hair. It is in these cases that you should seek treatment, especially on the vagina and scrotum to avoid confusion with an STD or STI.
1. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is known for its anti-bacterial properties. It will also help in reducing the ingrown hair bumps and its anti-fungal component will keep away infections.
- Add some tree oil in a clean container
- Add a few drops of water to dilute it in the ratio of water: tea tree oil 1:3. The aim is just to dilute it.
- Clean the affected area and pat dry
- Apply the tea tree oil mixture using a cotton bud
- You may wash it off after 10-30 minutes or just let it settle until your next bath
2. Baby soap scrub
How to remove ingrown hair-use some mild soap and a brush with soft bristles. Baby soap is recommended and is readily available in any pharmacy near you as it is gentle on the skin. Soaps or shampoos that have high chemical concentrations may irritate the skin and the bumps.
- Identify the affected area and leather some baby soap on it with the aim of having a good foam on it
- Use a soft-bristled brush, to gently scrub the ingrown hair as you also keep massaging it with your hands
- Continue for about 10-20 minutes depending on how deep the ingrown hair is on the skin
- Pat dry and incase it is visible you may pull it off using a pair of tweezers
3. Tweezers or a needle
How to remove ingrown hair-tweezers or needle-If there is a need to manually pull off ingrown hair that has its tip visible on the skin surface, using tweezers is much better. Using your nails may only bruise or even infect the ingrown hair.
- Clean the affected area with warm water and pat dry to help in making the hair and skin around it soft
- Use clean sterilized tweezers to pull the hair off the skin from its visible tip
- Wipe the area with some methylated spirit to avoid any infections after pulling the hair
4. Baking soda
How to remove ingrown hair-baking soda. Baking soda is well known for its many healing properties and its ability to reduce swelling, itching, and infections. U may use this, especially on infected ingrown hair to reduce swelling of bumps and the redskin around it.
- Add a tablespoon of baking soda in a clean container
- Add a few drops of water just enough to form a thick paste
- Use clean cotton to apply the mixture on the affected area
- Let it settle for about 20-30 minutes before you consider cleaning it off.
- Don’t forget to apply some recommended moisturizer after washing it off in case you are going out.
5. Black tea bags
How to remove ingrown Hair-Black tea bags. Black tea bags contain tannic acid which will help in soothing the skin and reducing the swollen bumps caused by the ingrown hair.
- Soak two bags of black tea in warm water and let it mix properly
- Use a clean cotton bud to apply it on the skin
- You may also gently place the tea bags directly on the affected area for about 15-20 minutes
- Repeat often for better results
6. Warm water compress
How to remove ingrown hair- warm water compress. A warm water compress will help in making the skin and the area around the ingrown hair soft. This, in some cases, may even make the ingrown hair grow out of the skin by itself.
- A warm water compress will also help in reducing the swollen bumps and pain since it will increase the blood circulation on the area.
- Fill a bucket with some warm water (NOT HOT) and dub a washcloth to soak in it
- Carefully place the washcloth on the ingrown hair. You may gently press and massage it with the cloth
- Hold in intervals of 5-10 minutes and take breaks.
- Repeat the same procedure about 4-5 times depending on how deep the ingrown hair is on the skin.
7. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one leading home remedies to many skin ailments. It is a sure way of reducing the inflammations and pimples caused by an ingrown hair.
It will reduce the itching and the best part is that Apple cider vinegar will also help in clearing and removing ugly scars caused by the ingrown hair naturally.
- Clean the affected area with warm water
- Use clean cotton wool or the tip of a clean towel to apply the apple cider vinegar directly on the ingrown hair.
- Let its settle and continue with your daily routines.
- Repeat this as often as you can for more benefits and better results.
Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells on the skin surface. This dead skin tends to block the skin pores. Removing them by exfoliating the skin will help the ingrown hair raise easily to the skin surface and heal the bumps.
How to Prevent Ingrown Hair
Is it possible to stop ingrown hair? Well, many people advise that the best way on how to get rid of ingrown hair is to prevent it. But what does it take to stop ingrown hair? I did some digging on that part of preventing ingrown hair and the following useful tips will work well in the whole mission of how to get rid of ingrown hair.
1. Prepare Your Skin for Shaving
Always epilate, wax, or shave after a hot shower. The steam and water from the water will help soften the hair for shaving. It will also make it very easy for you to remove any dead skin, a very important part of how to get rid of ingrown hair.
This way, you will have a cleaner shave and won’t have to worry about how to remove ingrown hair all over your body.
2. Change Your Hair Removal Techniques
And here, I am not talking about shaving. No! I am talking about epilating, waxing, and tweezing. The best way to get rid of ingrown hair by prevention is to change to better ways of hair removal.
Remember that pulling hair out of the follicles is highly likely to change the direction the hair will take when growing back. If you really have to wax the hair out, ensure that you follow it up with treatments for ingrown hair.
3. Don’t Shave Too Close
Most people start looking for a solution one or two days after shaving. It means just one thing – you shaved too close to the skin. It could also mean you shave too frequently. So, reduce the number of times you shave because that is the best way to get rid of ingrown hair.
Instead of shaving too close and ending up with razor bumps, razor burn rash and ingrown hair, use new razors every time you shave and follow these guidelines on how to shave to prevent razor bumps, razor burns, and even ingrown hair.
4. Exfoliate and Moisturize
This should be the rule of thumb for both those looking for tips for removing infected ingrown hair as well as tips to get rid of the problem completely. Ensure your skin never dries up, so you will need to do a lot of moisturizing.
Well, on the other hand, loofah will do good to help you exfoliate with every bath you take. So grab one from the supermarket today and start using it. Exfoliation removes dead cells that prevent hair from penetrating to grow out, thus a good way on how to get rid of ingrown hair. Read more on the prevention of ingrown hair.
How to Avoid Ingrown Hair from Shaving
You may also consider other hair removal options that will help in reducing the chances of ingrown hair that are always caused by shaving. Some might be involving and expensed but all this depends on an individual’s take on the issue. Below are some alternatives that may be used apart from shaving.
1. Laser removal
This is an alternative hair removal proses using a laser. This process involves the removal of hair from its roots and it is considered to be a permanent solution for people with a constant issue of ingrown hair. It is a tiresome involving and expensive process that tends to damage the hair follicle to prevent them from growing back again. Though it is semi-permanent in case you need to grow the hair in the future.
This can also be used as a permanent way of getting rid of hair and to avoid shaving every time. Electrolysis involves the removal of hair at its roots and the electrodes used to aim at destroying the hair roots as well. The doctor keeps a constant check since it is a process that may last up to a month but it is considered to be a permanent solution to ingrown hair issues.
3. Hair removers and creams
There are chemicals that may be used in hair removal and this should be best prescribed by a dermatologist. Some of these chemicals may react to the skin especially to these with extra sensitive skin but in some, they may work just fine in getting rid of hair instead of shaving. There are also dermal creams that may be used especially after shaving that will aid in reducing the rate of hair growth.
What is the difference between an ingrown hair and a cyst?
According to treat cure fast, “Both cysts and ingrown hairs, and even sebaceous cysts form lumps that may be visible on the skin and can also be felt as hard lumps. Here are a few differences between ingrown hairs and cysts. Embedded hairs form when hair curves and grows downward into the skin. The reason why it is confused with a cyst is the fluid that forms around the hair follicle that looks like a pimple or a blister sometimes called a hair bump.”
Ingrown hair on vagina
The best way of keeping ingrown hair away from the groin, bikini line, or vagina is to first treat it before using any razor or blade to shave the areas. It is as simple as washing the skin before shaving and using lubricants that are recommended for shaving sensitive areas.
The hair found on the genitals will always tend to be thick and tough compared to those that are found on other parts of the body.
Tips for Ingrown Hair Removal on Legs
- The hot or warm compress will help bring the hair to the surface quickly. Read more here Ingrown hair on legs
- Do not dig for the hair if you cannot see it. You will be tempted to dig deep into the papule to get the bending hair. This will leave you injured and even bleeding.
- Acne medication such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help remove the ingrown hair as it will reduce the swelling of the ingrown hair papule. You can also use the aspirin paste method of reducing razor bumps to shrink the papule and leave room for the hair to grow out.
- After removing the ingrown hair, the next important thing on for removing superficial down-turning hair follicles is to exfoliate the area regularly.
Removing Ingrown Hair from the Face
The procedure of how to remove ingrown hair from the face is almost the same as the one described above. Follow the following simple tips and steps to ensure you go through the guide for deep ingrown hair removal with success.
- You will need to have a very good mirror for removing ingrown hair on the face. The same will apply for pubic ingrown hair.
- Try using a soft-bristled brush over the ingrown hair to create enough friction that will free the embedded hair tip.
- Do not worry so much about the papules after the treatment process. They will disappear after a day or two. However, treat them with antibiotics or antiseptic to avoid infection.
Ingrown hair removal
As soon as you develop the embedded hair, you can remove it, but some scars may form. These are called ingrown hair scars. Laser hair removal ingrown hair may be one of the procedures to get rid of ingrown hair scars.
There are also best creams for removing ingrown hair as the option you could use. Other than that, some people opt to buy ingrown hair removers to get rid of the problem. This may be very useful when it comes to facial ingrown hairs. If you are composed enough, you can use the simple procedures listed below to remove ingrown hair.
How to Treat Ingrown Hair
Ingrown hair treatment is yet another area of discussion worth considering if you are prone to the problem of ingrown hair. What if you have so many of those ingrown hairs on various parts of the skin?
You cannot spend the whole day in front of the mirror trying to get rid of ingrown hairs. Well, the best solution is not exactly ingrown hair removal. It is to find ingrown hair treatment.
So, what are the treatment problems for ingrown hair? Yes, there are treatment options such as Retin A, Neet, Nair, and many other chemical depilatories that you can be used as treatments for ingrown hair.
- Some steroid creams may be recommended in case of bumps that are persistent. This creams will also help with treating the itch and aid in fast healing
- In cases of infected ingrown hairs, antibiotics may be prescribed to help in treating any bacterial infections. Bumps may be infected severely and even lead to other infections like yeast infections or even sexually transmitted diseases.
- A dermatologist will always advise quick and urgent attention to open sores, especially around the genitals to avoid putting you and your partner against any risks of other infections.
According to the health line “The ingrown hairs have become chronic. If you are having trouble with frequently recurring ingrown hairs, your doctor can help you find a treatment that will hopefully prevent future problems”
When looking for how to remove ingrown hair, it is important to avoid the following for better and quick healing. Some ingrown hair may also clear up on their own if treated well.
- Avoid picking and scratching the affected area
- Do not shave or wax on the area with ingrown hair until it is removed
- Try and leave the itchy bumps alone. Touching them may only make them worse.
- If ingrown hair on the pubic area has persistent symptoms like pus or constant discharge, don’t just treat them at home, seek medical advice.