What Is Ingrown Hair?
An ingrown hair is a hair strand that grows downward instead of upward and becomes trapped under the skin.
What Causes Ingrown Hair?
Ingrown hair can occur after shaving, tweezing or waxing. Improper shaving technique is one of the major causes of ingrown hair.
Sometimes, dead skin cells can clog a hair follicle which forces the hair to grow sideways or downwards under the skin, rather than up and out.
When naturally curly hair is cut too short, the sharp end of the hair can pierce the skin, also causing an ingrown hair.
Who Can Develop Ingrown Hair?
Anyone can develop an ingrown hair, however, ingrown hair is more common in people who have very curly or coarse hair especially after cutting, plucking or shaving.
Ingrown hair is most prevalent in black men and women who shave facial hair. But anyone who removes hair by shaving, tweezing or waxing can develop ingrown hairs.
Symptoms Of Ingrown Hair
An occasional ingrown hair isn’t a cause for alarm. However, you should see a doctor if your ingrown hairs become a chronic condition and symptomatic.
- Itching and discomfort
- Embedded hairs
- Small, solid, rounded bumps (papules)
- Small, pus-filled, blister-like lesions (pustules)
Complications Of Ingrown Hair
Pseudofolliculitis barbae is one of the commonest complications of ingrown hair. This is a foreign-body inflammatory reaction surrounding ingrown facial hairs, which results from shaving.
Other complications that can arise as a result of chronic ingrown hair are:
- Bacterial infection (from scratching affected area).
- Cyst formation
- Skin darkening (hyperpigmentation).
- Permanent scarring and keloid formation in the affected area.
How To Prevent Ingrown Hair
Ingrown hair can best be prevented by growing out hair and avoiding shaving, tweezing and waxing. If one must shave, best not to shave on dry skin and ensure to shave in the same direction the hair is growing.
Best Ingrown Hair Treatment
When prevention of ingrown hair fails or the occasional ingrown hair becomes chronic with symptoms, treatment would be required. Treatment options include:
- chemical depilatories (topical products that dissolve hair)
- topical antibiotics if infected
- medical removal of the ingrown hair by small incision and pulling out of the hair
- laser hair removal
Best results may be achieved with a combination of the above-listed treatment options. For example, topical antibiotics and subsequent laser hair removal method.
Laser hair removal method has been proven to be one of the best ingrown hair treatment options. The laser destroys hair from the root without affecting the surrounding skin. Laser hair removal is repeated every 4 to 6 weeks and multiple sessions are needed to permanently reduce hair by about 70-80%. This method is preferred for people with significant hair growth. For people with a few hair strands, Electrolysis may be preferred.
Electrolysis is considered a form of permanent hair removal preferred for people with fewer strands of hair. It typically requires several treatment sessions to destroy all hairs depending on the density of the hairs.
At Skin101, Laser Hair Reduction is one of our most popular and frequently used services. We have used this laser hair removal method successfully over the years with amazing results. Below is a progress before and after of one our clients still undergoing laser hair reduction.
For many clients, results are evident even from just first session, however, multiple sessions would still be required to effectively treat the hairs.
If you have hairs growing in unwanted areas or struggling with ingrown hairs, you will understand the agony that comes with shave bumps and constant shaving of these areas.
The good news is, we are here to help. If you’re struggling with ingrown hair, shave bumps, unwanted hairs, all you have to do is give us a call on 09086000001 to book an appointment or simply book an appointment online on this appointment page.