In normal conditions, hair grows from the follicle of the skin in the outward direction. As the name suggests, ingrown hair is one such condition where the hair starts growing backward, and gets trapped under the surface of the skin. This gives rose to an immune reaction against the hair, which is manifested in the form of pus buildup and pain. Ingrown hair in armpit is most bothersome, as the underarm area is highly sensitive. It is a common occurrence in women who shave their underarms quite often.
- This problem arises after shaving the area. Due to shaving, the tip of the existing hair becomes sharp that can penetrate easily into the skin surface.
- It is more commonly found in those people who have tightly-curled hair, as it curves naturally, and re-enters the skin instead of coming out of it.
- Shaving dry strands or pulling the skin while shaving often increases the chances of this problem.
- Sometimes, wearing of excessive tight clothing lead to breakage, and this contributes to the problem as well.
- Some people tend to get this in the same area again and again without any specific reason.
- The body assumes this kind of hair to be a foreign object, and the protective mechanisms of the immune system begin acting against it.
- As a result, the typical symptoms, like irritation and inflammation show up.
- This also causes damage to the surrounding tissue, and gives rise to a sharp pain.
- If the area gets infected, then small, red, pus-filled bumps may erupt in the underarms, which look like pimples or acne.
- Sometimes, recurrent occurrence of this problem may lead to skin darkening.
- When this condition simply causes mild discomfort, then it may not require any medicinal treatment, and it will fall off on its own after a week or two. During this time, you have to wear loose clothing so that the skin does not get irritated. You have to keep the area clean and dry to prevent any infection.
- If it becomes painful or you notice signs of infection, then you must visit a dermatologist for proper treatment.
- Initially, topical creams are used for the treatment. Hydrocortisone creams are used for controlling skin inflammation, and itching sensation. Retinoid creams are highly effective on skin darkening. It exfoliates the skin, and removes dead skin cells from the area.
- If this condition gets aggravated, it needs special care. Antibiotic ointments are often used to fight off the infection.
- In case the infection is severe, oral antibiotics are also given along with topical medicines.
- Sometimes, painkillers are also required for relieving the pain associated with it.
- Warm compression of the area also brings a lot of relief from the pain and discomfort.
- If you tend to get this problem repeatedly, the activity of the specific follicle can be disrupted with the help of laser treatment that prevents any further growth from it.
- Before shaving, soak the hair thoroughly with warm water.
- After that, apply a shaving gel instead of shaving cream, and then use an appropriate safety razor.
- While moving the razor, move it downward or in the direction of the hair growth.
- You must exfoliate the skin regularly, before and after shaving, with a washcloth to prevent accumulation of dead skin cells inside the follicle.
- If your coarse and curly hair is responsible for this recurrent problem, then it is advisable that you opt for light shaving.