A guide to Preventing and Treating Ingrown Hairs Posted on 25 Jul 2011
What is ingrown hair?
Ingrown hair (also called razor bumps) is generally not a serious skincare problem, but it can be unsightly, painful, and very bothersome for men and even for women. They result when the shaved hair gets trapped inside the follicle or grows back into the skin causing a bump or papule. It can cause scarring, redness, and swelling (its medical term is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae or PFB). Beard and neck areas in men are prime locations for ingrown hair to occur and for women, the legs, underarms, and bikini areas are all usually affected by these razor bumps.
How to treat ingrown hair
There are several products that claim to help treat ingrown hairs, but the reality is that Salicylic acid is the one active substance that can visibly improve razor bumps. It is a dermatological-grade ingredient that exfoliates, moisturises, clears pores, and can help prevent infection. After shaving apply a skincare product that contains salicylic acid.
PFB Vanish is a unique answer to PFB (Pseudo Folliculitis Barbae). The inventive roll-on gel uses impressive exfoliants to discard and relieve ingrown hairs, razor burns and lumps that have formed after shaving, waxing and laser hair removal sessions. Skin swiftly feels moisturized and soothed after using PFB Vanish.
Zenmed AHA/BHA Complex - contains a combination of Salicylic & Glycolic Acid.
Sesderma Azelac Body Lotion - contains a combination of 2% salicylic acid and 5% azelaic acid (great exfoliate for discolouration & reducing inflammation)
Both products come in a spray, so ideal for easy application on the body.
PAPULEX products are especially suitable for the care of the skin during shaving (Folliculitis). After shaving put the cream/gel immediately on the shaved parts. This way, irritating shaving spots do not even appear.
How to prevent ingrown hair
How to stop ingrown hairs and get rid of ingrown hairs
Regularly Exfoliating (removing the upper layers of dead skin) is key to managing ingrown hairs and ingrown hair prevention. Daily use of a cleanser with glycolic acid or salicylic acid is particularly effective. Also, Twice weekly microdermabrasion treatments offer a deeper exfoliation to help remove the dead skin cells and clear follicles to allow hairs to surface. The DermaTx Clarify microdermabrasion is very effective because the microdermabrasion cream contains salicylic acid and also the system contains a soft-bristle cleansing brush attachment tool you can use to give the skin a deep daily cleanse. This process will remove the barriers that prevent the hair from growing out of the skin.
Use these exfoliating products (Glycolic Acid) from NeoStrata:
Light, non-greasy, extra-strength exfoliating gel
Light, extra-strength, exfoliating lotion
A potent, pH-balanced, soap-free deep cleansing wash. Formulated with 18% Glycolic acid and 2% Lactobionic acid.
Lightweight exfoliating lotion. Contains 12% gluconolactone, 3% lactobionic acid, and Vitamin E.
(if sensitive, this is great for after shaving)
- Wash and rinse your skin well before shaving to remove skin bacteria.
- Always shave in the direction of hair growth, using a shaving foam for a close, clean shave. And always rinse your blade between strokes.
- Swap the blade regularly
- Exfoliate regularly
- Choose the right razor - Using a razor with three or more blades can prevent razor burn and bumps because the blades are spaced more tightly together on the razor head and will glide easier across your skin. More blades also allow for a closer shave in fewer strokes, which helps prevent skin irritation.
- Always shave with shaving gel - Shaving dry skin can cause razor burn, irritation, and ingrown hairs
- Treat ingrown hairs after shaving
- Do not pick at, scratch or try to pop ingrown hairs. This may lead to scarring and increased risk of infection.
- Don't pull the skin tight when you shave
- Rinse skin with cool water after shaving to reduce skin inflammation from shaving.
- Apply SPF daily - When ingrown hairs occur, protect the skin from the sun to prevent hyperpigmentation (called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation).
Ingrown hair symptoms may resemble other skincare problems. One such problem is known as keratosis pilaris. This is a non-contagious skin condition that produces symptoms similar to ingrown hairs and it's commonly found on the upper arms, thighs, and occasionally on other body areas. Old shedding skin cells that get trapped in hair follicles cause this condition.