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July 17, 2014

Say no to ingrown hairs!

Say no to ingrown hairs!

Summer means tank tops, short skirts, open shirts and bikinis. Don’t let unsightly ingrown hairs be a problem for you.  

Understanding ingrown hair

An ingrown hair is a hair that grows underneath the skin instead of coming up through it. It is generally visible from the surface of the epidermis, where it causes swelling, redness and, at times, infection (folliculitis). 

What causes them?

While anyone can develop ingrown hairs, certain factors are more likely to cause them. For example:

  • Hair type. Curly hair that grows in a corkscrew pattern.
  • Type of hair removal. Waxing, since it pulls out the lining that guides hair growth.
  • Shaving technique. Shaving against the grain using a razor with multiple blades.
  • Clogged pores.
  • Friction. Clothing against skin, for example. In men, frequent, prolonged friction of a cell phone or shirt collar against skin can cause ingrown facial hairs.

Prevention

Follow these few tips and you have a good chance of avoiding these pesky little bumps!

  • Exfoliate your face and body once a week, especially the day before you shave or wax.  
  • Shave in the direction of hair. Avoid dry shaving and try to space it out as much as possible.  
  • Moisturize your skin. Look for a cream with vitamin A or fruit acids (AHA), which help eliminate dead skin cells and make it easier for hair to break through the skin.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.

What about removal?

When you can see the hair beneath the surface of the skin, you can remove it. Use a sterilized needle or tweezers to break the skin where there is swelling. This will release the hair. Once it is out, lightly press the skin to eliminate any pus. Disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol or peroxide.

Pharmacy services

If ingrown hairs are causing your problems or pain, talk to your dermo-cosmetic consultant or family pharmacist for advice.