One uses various methods to get rid of hair on the skin. This is because all wish to have clear, clean, and beautiful-looking skin. Waxing, tweezing, depilation, or shaving, are some methods that are commonly used to remove the unwanted hair. This results in removal of hair below the level of the skin and after this procedure, the hair ends are left with pointed tips. When these tips begin to re-grow, they might grow within the surrounding tissue of the same hair follicle instead of growing outwards.
The hair that curls back or grows sideways into the skin is known as ingrown hair. It is medically termed as pseudofolliculitis barbae or PFB. Also, sometimes hair can be seen beneath the raised skin area, like a black spot, this is 'ingrown' hair that does not penetrate the dermis to grow, as it should.
Such a hair irritates the skin and may lead to an infection, redness, and swelling at the hair follicle. It might be an annoying occurrence on the skin. The intensity of the inflammation and infection may vary in each case.
Recognizing an Infected Ingrown Hair
Inflammation may manifest in the form of tiny red bumps around the affected site. Sometimes, the hair that has curled back can be seen beneath the inflamed skin. Redness, tenderness, and swelling, may be followed by pus formation. Also, one might experience mild bleeding, itching, and mild or severe pain in the affected area.
# 1: The most important part of infected hair follicle treatment is not to meddle or squeeze the infected area. First, use alcohol or toner and disinfect the area. Take a clean towel which has been dipped in boiling water, allow it to cool down before using it. Now, gently pat it on the infected area. Repeat this procedure twice. One would see that the hair rises to the surface of the skin. Now, using a cotton ball, disinfect a pair of tweezers with alcohol. This would remove any dirt and germs from the tweezers. Now, remove the hair using this tweezers. Once done, dab alcohol on the area to prevent infection.
# 2: One can also use tea tree oil on the affected area. Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties. Lavender oil can also be used which fights inflammation and prevents redness of skin. Use this infected ingrown hair treatment daily for one week, and then use it twice a week to prevent this problem.
# 3: Exfoliating the skin after bath might also prove beneficial. Using an exfoliant would remove the dead skin cells and open up the pores. This allows the hair to come above the skin layer and not get back into it. Any body exfoliant or body scrub would work best when applied after taking a shower, because this is when the skin is moist and they show the best results. Sugar is a very gentle exfoliant that removes dead skin cells and helps the hair point back out of the skin.
# 4: A homemade scrub can also be used. Mix one cup white cane sugar and half cup extra virgin olive oil or jojoba oil together. Add ten drops each of tea tree and lavender essential oil. One can add twenty drops of just one essential oil instead of using two different oils. Mix these ingredients well by stirring thoroughly. Now, wet the skin and take a small amount of this scrub and apply it in circular motions using a washcloth or with the hands. Rinse off any leftover residue with warm water. One can store this homemade scrub in an airtight container away from heat and use it for the next six months.
The aforementioned treatment options might prove beneficial to get rid of the problem and thereby give one a soft and smooth skin texture. Moisturizing the skin regularly with olive oil or jojoba oil might also help. Also, exfoliating the skin before one opts for body hair removal is the good way to avoid this problem. Moreover, the best way to prevent this problem is to follow the right method of hair removal. One should keep the affected area clean. Regular skin care is the key to smooth, soft, and flawless skin.
Disclaimer: This BeautiSecrets article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.