An ingrown hair is an extremely thin hair that curls back on itself and protrudes out of small eruptions or blisters on the skin. Also known razor bumps, these are ingrowths that result from wrong hair removal methods. They often occur in the form of skin irritations. If left untreated, they can cause the development of ingrown hair infection. People with curly hair are more susceptible to this condition, but it can affect anyone particularly if you regularly shave. Got one now? Here are tips on how to remove ingrown hair.
Exfoliate the affected area
Gently scrubbing the ingrown hair twice a day will help get rid of any dirt, oils and dead skin cells that may be trapping the hair. It can also physically push the ingrown hair tip out of the skin. Hit the hair from different directions. Using an ingrown hair brush or exfoliating glove, exfoliate your skin with salt or a mixture of sugar and olive oil. While it is important to exfoliate enough to get the desired results, you should do it more gently to prevent the surrounding area from bleeding.
Apply acne medication
Ingrown hair bears a close resemblance to pimples, particularly when the hair has a pus. Apply salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide several times per day for a couple of days. This, coupled with regular exfoliation is enough to get rid of the ingrown hair because it will reduce the swelling, allowing the hair to grow out (instead of in). Alternatively, you can use aspirin or add a dab of toothpaste in place of acne medication.
Applying a warm compress to the ingrown hair for a couple of minutes will soften your skin. Simply dip a washcloth in hot water, and then wring it out before pressing it against the affected area. When the cloth cools down, dip it in hot water again. This treatment works by softening the ingrown hair and bringing it closer to the skin surface. So leave the compress on till the ingrown hair rises to the surface, and you can see it. If you use the compress for about 10 minutes, and still there is no sign of hair, you can try another method.
Use a sharp device
Using a sterile needle, special medical device or tweezers, gently tease the ingrown hair out of your skin. Start by using the warm compress to bring the ingrown hair to the skin surface. Don’t draw the ingrown hair out completely; once the ingrown tip is out of your skin, you are good to go. It might take a little more time to pull the hair out, therefore, persevere and avoid cutting the skin. If you see a loop of the ingrown hair close to the skin surface, get the sterile needle in that loop and then tug gently; the tip will come loose. If you decide to use tweezers, choose a pointy-tipped type rather than a flat-tipped one because the former might cause less damage to the area around the hair as long as it is used carefully.
Use milk and bread compress
Warm up some milk but make sure it is not too hot. Dip a slice of bread into the warm milk and place it on the ingrown hair. Leave the bread on until it feels cool; that’s about 2 minutes. Repeat the dip until you can see the pore opening. Using a needle, pull up the hair loop and free it. If the pore fails to open, try another method.
Use egg membrane
Remove the membrane from the eggshell and use it to cover the affected area. Allow it to dry and then shrink the surrounding area. Once it has dried, pull it off, and it will come out with the ingrown hair.
Keep ingrown hair at bay
Wash the surrounding area with warm water and a quality moisturizing soap. Apply a strong antiseptic to prevent any infection. Exfoliate regularly and avoid wear wearing tight clothes on that area to prevent the formation of new ingrown hair. Another way to prevent further development of ingrown hair is to apply topical solution daily.
Sometimes, the ingrown hair might remain stubborn even after using all the methods mentioned above because it might be placed in too deep. In that case, talk to your dermatologist to get prescription medications.