How do you get ingrown hairs?
Everybody at some point in their life will experience ingrown hairs. They can be annoying, sometimes painful and if they swell up and become tender are not nice to look at to put it mildly.
Ingrown hairs happen when the hair curls round and grows back into the skin. That’s it. That’s all it takes. After the hair curls round and grows back it may produce raised red spots which can sometimes become infected resulting into painful pus-filled sores, which many of us would have experienced at least once in our lives.
They mostly appear where you have shaved or waxed. Common areas are the beard, legs, armpits and pubic region but they can suddenly appear anywhere on both men and women.
Ingrown hairs can be serious
Ingrown hairs can seem trivial to many, but did you know some people have actually been hospitalised because of serious bacterial infections due to an ingrown hair? Leading to parts of the body tissue being removed because of infection. So no laughing matter.
If your ingrown hair is on your face, it can be very distressing. However, you no longer need to suffer in silence. Laser hair removal can now be used to treat ingrown hairs. Laser hair removal is an innovative technology that uses very fine lasers to beam a high concentrated light into the skin, which can remove hair at its root and solving the ingrown hair problem. The technology has been around for over twenty years and is tried and tested so if ingrown hairs are getting you down speak to someone that can help.
What causes ingrown hairs?
Although anyone can get ingrown hairs they can be more of a problem for people with :
- Curly hair
- Coarse or thick hair
- Wirey hair
- If hairs become broken off
- If hairs are left uneven with sharp tips
- For people who shave or wax
- If you wear tight clothing
A main cause also tends to be an accumulation of dead skin cells blocking the follicle and changing the angle at which hair grows. Shaved hairs are coarser and sharper too, so much more likely to re-enter the skin. This has turned many people towards investigating laser hair removal as a solution to ingrown hairs, looking to switch to laser hair and ditching the razor!.
If your ingrown hairs persist not only can they become infected, they can darken the skin and leave behind scars.
Word of warning if you have woken up to an ingrown hair, try not to scratch or pick the area because bacteria from your finger and fingernails could spread bacteria deeper into the area.
Advice if you have an ingrown hair
If you have ever had ingrown hairs you know they can be can be itchy and embarrassing. A lot of the time they will go away on their own without any intervention.
Preventing ingrown hairs
Avoiding shaving to prevent ingrown hairs would be one solution – but not very practical. Especially for men who are used to being clean shaven suddenly growing a beard is not an option. That is again where laser hair removal could come into play.
There are a few things that you can do to try and prevent ingrown hairs in the future.
- Don’t shave as soon as you go into the shower. Let your pores open fully because If you start shaving early when your skin is colder then there is more risk of nicks and ingrown hairs.
- Don’t ever shave without soap or gel and always use a good quality product specially designed for the task in hand.
- Make sure your shaving technique goes in the direction of hair growth and not against.
- Use a good quality shaving moisturiser gel rather then a shaving cream
- Use a fresh razor either single blade razor or multiple blade.
Treatments or ingrown hair removal
Laser Hair Removal is one solution for ingrown hairs. It works by targeting and destroying the hair and weakens the hair follicles their ability to produce hairs long-term.
Laser hair removal will not work on white, red or light blonde hair and works best on dark, coarse hair which are the types to suffer more ingrown hairs then people with lighter, fairer and thinner hair.
Some blonde hair can be treated so if you have blonde hair and are not sure you can always speak to a practitioner and have a patch test during a free consultation that many clinics offer.
The good news is that laser treatment for ingrown hairs works very fast. It is a proven, effective and safe method to prevent ingrown hairs and from them coming back.
If you are currently suffering from ingrown hairs – you can fight back against them. There are also some practical everyday steps that you can take to lower the risk of getting ingrown hairs in the first place.
Often ingrown hair occur because there is a build up of dead skin cells. The dead skin cells cause a blockage that prevents the hair from growing properly and causes the hair to bend as it grows as previously highlighted.
We’ve always been told that prevention is better then cure so the most effective way of preventing them in the first place is to exfoliate the skin properly.
Removing dead skin cells will reduce the chances of ingrown hairs growing in the first place making it a great way to keep ahead ingrown hairs.
If you have never exfoliated before then the best way to start by using a cotton flannel and warm water. Things like loofahs are breeding ground for germs so use a cotton flannel that can be thrown into the washing machine after every use.
Gently scrub your face in a circular motion and avoid the eyes as the skin there is very thin. For the rest of your body you can dry scrub your body with a dry brush – you can oil your body before beginning brushing and then jump in the shower and use salts to slough of all debris.
How to remove ingrown hairs
If you are suffering from ingrown hairs and desperately want to remove them, here is a quick tip to remove them before they get inflamed. Firstly you will need to bring them to the surface of the skin.
The trick is to remember that they’re very similar to pimples. They’re prone to infection too so always ensure your hands are clean!
One way of doing this is to use hot a compressor with tweezers. Using a clean cloth soak it in hot water and then press it against the affected area. To really soften the area leave it pressed against your skin for a few minutes.
This should then cause the hair to be more flexible and come to the to surface, and then you can remove it fairly easy with tweezers – make sure the tweezers are sterilised first though!. This can be done by soaking them in boiling water.
A dab of antiseptic cream will discourage germs from making things worse.
Tweezers and Aloe Vera – your new best friend
Having a good pair of tweezers in your bathroom and Aloe Vera gel in your fridge are the perfect combo for tackling your irritating ingrown hairs.
Make sure they are sterilised before they go anywhere you face or body. Also get a good grip of the hair and don’t try to dig around for the hair as this will aggravate and inflame the area further and could lead to an infection.
Applying Aloe Vera gel twice a day can work wonders. If you keep it in the fridge the cold sensation will bring instant relief. It has long been known that Aloe Vera is particularly good for burns and skin problems with great preventative properties too.
Salicylic acid for ingrown hairs
If your ingrown hairs are quite bad and pus-filled then maybe you may need to medicate. Aspirin contains salicylic acid which can be used to combat ingrown hairs. If you crush the Aspirin and combine it with oil and apply it over the ingrown hair this will go to work and tackle the problem area. It is a cheap effective solution as aspirin is widely available and can cost as little as twenty pence a pack.
Benzoyl peroxide for ingrown hairs
This is actually an acne medication but can also alleviate infected areas such as ingrown hair that have become pus-filled as they then become much like spots. The result should be that swelling should go down and they will become much less painful.
Benzoyl peroxide is available from chemists in gel or cream form. It is very strong and has bleaching properties so be careful when your using it as it is concentrated – also make sure you don’t get it on your clothes.
As ever with applying creams and medications speak to your skin consultant or a qualified dermatologist before applying anything to your skin.
Fed up of ingrown hairs and are thinking about laser hair removal ?
This is a very quick procedure and for many people, they feel no pain or discomfort at all. Some people report that it feels like an elastic band snapping against the skin, and nothing more. So definitely worth the ‘pain’ and effort.
You can have laser hair removal at any time of the year but many laser hair removal clinics recommend that you have laser hair removal on your ingrown hair during the winter months.
This is because skin is less tanned and easier to work with as there is less sunlight around also so that you can be ready for the summer months.
Typically depending on what are you are having treated you would need to have a few sessions to make sure that all the hairs are destroyed as one visit to the clinic will not destroy all the hairs.
To prepare, you should not have recently been in the sun or have a fake tan because the laser will not be able to tell the between what is skin and what is hair if the skin is too dark; so avoid sun beds before the treatment.
If you have any concerns about your ingrown hair, contact a reputable professional laser hair removal clinic who you will be able to give you honest and free advice.
If you would like to book a free consultation with Premier Laser then please click on the ‘book a consultation’ button on our website or call our call centre on the numbers listed.