Everybody loves to have hair-free skin, and waxing and shaving are the easiest ways to achieve it. But, for some people, these processes are followed by an itchy bumpy skin resulting due to the ingrown hair. It is a problem that both females and males may experience. And, if you are wondering what ingrown hair is, what its causes are, and how you should deal with it or avoid it, think no further. Read on to learn all about it.
How Does Ingrown Hair Occur?
An ingrown hair occurs when the hair, instead of growing out of the skin, grows inside the skin. It could also happen if the pore of the hair follicle gets clogged due to the dead skin cells. This causes bumps on the skin with irritation and itching. The most commonly affected areas are where the hair is coarse, such as legs, beard area, underarms, pubic area, chest, and arms.
Causes of Ingrown Hair:
Here are some reasons that explain why one may develop ingrown hair. They include:
- Having coarse and curly hair
- Shaving in the direction opposite to the hair growth
- Using a razor which is too old and lost its sharpness
- While waxing, if the strip is pulled in a wrong direction
- Certain hormonal issues make the hair coarser than normal and make a person prone to get it. It is commonly observed in females with PCOS and people with high levels of androgen.
- Sometimes, wearing too tight clothes could also cause friction and, hence, leads to the development of ingrown hair.
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What Not to do When You Have Ingrown Hair?
Here are a few tips which you should not do when you have developed ingrown hair.
- Do not squeeze the bump
- Do not poke it with tweezers to remove the ingrown hair.
- Do not try to pick out the hair with your nails.
Doing all these could lead to infection and may cause scarring.
Home Remedies and Helpful Tips to Prevent Ingrown Hair:
Here are some home remedies and helpful tips to prevent the development of ingrown hair.
- Exfoliate the skin regularly. You can try a mixture of fine sugar and lemon juice if your skin is oily and a mixture of sugar and olive oil if your skin is dry. Rub it gently in a circular motion on your skin twice a week. Sugar is a natural exfoliator.
- Priming the skin: Make sure you prime the skin before shaving it. Wash the skin with warm water to soften the hair, and then you may apply the shaving cream.
- Use a razor with sharp edges and a single blade. Change the razor if you feel it is tugging at your skin while shaving or you start getting bumps after several uses.
- Use small strokes while shaving and shave in the direction of hair growth.
- Rinse the blade often.
- Before waxing, make sure you exfoliate the skin so that the dead skin is removed.
- Pull the wax strips in the opposite direction of hair growth and move your hand horizontally while pulling the strips rather than pulling it up.
- If the ingrown hair persists despite taking all the precautions, visit a doctor who could prescribe you certain tests to rule out the chance of hormonal imbalance. Also, the doctor may prescribe you external applications that will help to exfoliate the skin to facilitate hair growth.
DIY Scrubs and Packs for Skin with Ingrown Hair.
- Tea tree oil compress: Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, so it can be used when there are bumps on the skin that could cause infection. Put 10 drops of tea tree oil in a mug filled with warm water. Soak a washcloth in it and apply it to the affected parts. Keep it for 10 minutes.
- Baking soda: It is known to soothe the inflamed skin and reduce the redness. Also, it has exfoliative properties. You could add 1 tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup of water. Apply it over the skin with the help of cotton. Keep for 10 min and wash it off
- Aspirin: It helps to reduce inflammation and redness. Crush 2 tablets of aspirin and dissolve them in 1-spoon of water. Add 1 tbsp of honey. Apply this paste to the skin. Keep for 10 min and rinse it off. However, certain people could be sensitive to aspirin. Hence, they must do a skin sensitivity test before using this.
- Oatmeal scrub: Oatmeal is soothing for the skin. Apply the ground oatmeal paste to the affected areas for 10 min and wash it off.
Homeopathic Medicines for Ingrown Hair
Homeopathy has a good role to play in treating folliculitis in individuals experiencing ingrown hair. The treatment helps for healing and obtaining relief in other symptoms, such as itching, redness, and pain. It also prevents the formation of pus. Calcarea Sulph, Graphites, Mezereum, Belladonna, Hepar Sulph, Silicea, etc. are excellent homeopathic medicines for the skin condition. Belladonna could be given in the initial stages when you experience redness and throbbing pain. Graphites, a homeopathic remedy, is indicated for the folliculitis that happens in the beard area. Hepar Sulph could be given when there is pricking pain and to prevent the formation of pus in the lesions. Calcarea Sulph is indicated when the pus is thick, lumpy, and yellow. Silicea is indicated for patients with delayed wound healing.
Now that you know how to manage ingrown hair and how effective is homeopathy, make sure you follow these helpful tips and count on homeopathy if any time you happen to experience ingrown hair.