How to Get Rid of Ingrown Hair

Published: 29th July 2008
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Painful and irritating, many have experienced the discomfort of having an ingrown hair. They are a common nuisance that results from a variety of reasons. You may or may not know the cause of ingrown hairs - but do you know how to get rid of ingrown hairs?

Removal of an ingrown hair is dependent on a few things. If it's a newly formed hair, you can probably remove it yourself with the aid of tweezers. You'll have to poke through the top layer of skin to reach the hair. Gently pull it up through the skin. You can remove it now or allow it to continue to grow in a normal fashion. It's important before you do this to sterilize the area you'll be removing the hair from as well as the tweezers.

Why Ingrown Hair Happens

When you shave, cutting the hair leaves its ends sharp. If the hairs curl as they grow, that sharp end can re-enter the skin instead of growing outward. The ingrowing hair irritates the skin and causes the bump that you see. Skin irritation caused by close shaving or tight clothing seems to make the problem more likely.

Ingrown hair can also happen with other methods of hair removal, including waxing, tweezing, and sugaring. Although these methods remove below the surface of the skin, the hair can curl back on itself as it grows.

If the hair has been growing under the skin for some time it may have become long and twisted. The hair has continued to grow despite the fact that it's not growing straight out. Instead it's grown in a circular fashion beneath the skin's surface.

Apply a warm, damp towel to the affected area and leave until the towel cools. This will help soften the skin so the ingrown hair can more easily be lifted.

Pat the skin dry.

Carefully lift the ingrown end of the hair out with tweezers, but don't pluck the hair all the way out from the root; this will only make the hair grow back deeper. Be sure to only free the ingrown end of the hair from your skin.

Once you are able to see a tiny bit of the ingrown hair on the surface of your skin, use a pair of sterilized tweezers to get rid of the hair. Clean your pubic region, towel dry and apply some antiseptic cream to prevent infections.

Another method of removing ingrown pubic hair is the use of a hair removal lotion that is certified safe to use on your pubic region by your dermatologist or pharmacist. These creams help to dissolve the ingrown pubic hairs underneath your skin without causing further skin irritation.

Use a sterile needle or tweezers to gently tease the hair out of the skin. The warm compress should have brought the hair to the surface--don't dig for the hair if you can't easily get at it. Don't pluck the hair out completely if you can avoid doing so; just make sure that the ingrown end is out of the skin. It may take a little time to coax the hair out: be patient, and do not cut the skin. If you choose to use tweezers, remember that tweezers can be bought either pointy, or flat tipped. A pointy tipped pair may cause less damage to the skin around the hair if used carefully.

Wash the area around the (formerly) ingrown hair with warm water and a moisturizing soap. Gentle washing helps prevent infection, but soap that dries out the skin and the hair can make it easier for the hair to become ingrown again. The solution: use a moisturizing soap, or apply a separate moisturizer after you apply antiseptic.

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