Ingrown hair can be a real irritation. You get those bumps around an area that you have shaved and it can make the skin really sore and tender. For men, this problem is mostly going to occur on the face and neck because these are the areas where they shave and for women, it is more commonly found on the legs, armpits or bikini area.
Beyond being irritating and painful, ingrown hairs are also unsightly. For people that are prone to getting ingrown hairs, the best answer to the problem is to try to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
What is an ingrown hair?
An ingrown hair is one that has started to grow through the skin instead of growing out in the way that normally should. Very commonly, they will cause these little raised bumps on the skin that are referred to as razor bumps. That being said, they can look different depending on factors like skin type, hair color and the way in which the hair has become ingrown.
While any person can get an ingrown hair, people that have course or curly hair will be much more likely to get them. This is because this type of hair is more likely to curl or bend when it is in the process of growing out from the skin.
What causes ingrown hairs?
In a basic sense, ingrown hairs are cause by hair removal. Shaving tends to be the type of hair removal that is most likely to cause ingrown hairs, but it can occur after other methods such as waxing or after the use of a hair removal cream.
When it comes to what is happening at the surface level of the skin, there are three basic things that cause a hair to become ingrown. A hair can become curled or bent before it reaches the surface, causing it to grow into the skin. Alternatively, sometimes after the hair has grown out, it can curl back and reenter the skin. In some cases, the follicle can get blocked by dead skin cells, causing the hair to grow sideways through the skin.
Preventing ingrown hairs
For a person that has problems with ingrown hairs, there are things that you can do to prevent them. Regardless of how you remove your hair, one of the best preventative steps that you can take is to regularly exfoliate the skin. Exfoliation will remove the dead skin cells that can block the follicle and it can help to get an ingrown hair to the surface.
For shaving tips, you want to make sure that you use a razor that is sufficiently sharp and apply strokes that are in the same direction as the hair’s growth. Additionally, you want to avoid dry shaving and use a good lubricating gel.
If you have issues with ingrown hairs, you want to do everything that you can to prevent them. Not only do they look bad and cause irritation, but they can get infected and result in folliculitis. For the most part, you can treat ingrown hairs on your own, but when it gets bad enough, it may require a visit to the dermatologist.