When the base of the hair follicles get infected, it tends to grow in the reverse direction into the skin. This forms boils on the surface, that are filled with pus. This condition is known as ingrown hair or razor bumps. It is caused mostly by shaving or skin allergies. The infected area starts appearing pink or red initially, followed by formation of boils along with pain and swelling, making your face look ugly.
You need to scrub the affected area gently using a sponge or a piece of cotton cloth, at least twice a day. This process removes the dirt, oils, or any traces of dead skin present inside the boil. Do not scrub the skin too hard, as it may cause bleeding and then it becomes very difficult to remove the ingrown hair.
When there is formation of pus, the protrusion resembles a pimple and you can use acne medication to cure it. Applying salicylic acid for a few days, along with exfoliation, should be enough to remove ingrown hair.
Applying Warm Water
Take a piece of cloth and dip it in warm water for a few seconds. Now apply this to the infected area for around 10 to 15 minutes. This makes the ingrown hair as well as the skin on the surface soft, bringing the hair closer to the surface, making it possible for you to remove them easily. This method has proven to be very effective.
Tweezers and Needles
Normally, after applying warm water on the infected area, the ingrown hair on face tends to come up to the surface. Before trying to remove it, ensure that the tip of the hair is at the surface. Do not try and remove it with your fingers, in case you have long nails. It is always advisable to use a pair of tweezers or a sterilized needle for the same. Apply more warm water and gently cajole the surface till the hair is out.
Clean the Area
Once the hair has been removed, wash the area thoroughly, using soap and water. This keeps the affected area clean and prevents the infection from spreading to other areas of your face.
Permanent Treatment Options
There are various treatments like laser hair removal or electrolysis which permanently cure this problem. These are however, very extreme measures, as they prevent any hair growth on the surface forever. Such treatments should only be resorted to after trying out all other possible methods and after taking your dermatologist's advise on the same.
Following are some ways, which can be used to prevent ingrown facial hair:
- Shaving a lot, can be a cause of ingrown hair. You need to wait for some days for facial hair to grow on the face and then shave it off instead of shaving too often.
- If you have a habit of shaving too closely, it could also cause ingrown hair on face. Make sure that you do not shave by putting a lot of pressure on the razor blade and preferably use a single blade razor.
- When you shave, move the razor in the direction of the growth of hair and maintain this every time you shave. Also avoid using the razor in the same places again and again.
- Once you are done with the shaving, wash your face, apply after shaving lotion and a moisturizer, so that the skin doesn't dry easily, thereby reducing any chances of this condition.
- It is also believed that shaving with an electric razor prevents any ingrown hair.
- If you are allergic to any particular cream, gel, or aftershave, avoid using them on your skin.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.