What is Infected Ingrown Hair?
It may probably sound new to you to hear something about ingrown hair. It could probably be that you hear ingrown toe nails more often than ingrown hair. Infected ingrown hair commonly occurs and this may affect each of us. However, this is more common to those with Afro-American ethnicity. This condition also has a high incidence on people in their teenage years and even a few years earlier during the adulthood.
Ingrown hair typically develops when the tip of the hair bends backward and reenters the skin. This also has the tendency to grow sideways. Ingrown hair gets infected especially when this becomes clogged with sebum, dirt and bacteria. Oftentimes, this can be commonly seen over shaved areas such as armpits, bikini sites, legs and even the beard. This is not however a serious medical condition but still infection can occur. There are a few things you should know so as to keep infected ingrown hair at bay.
Infected Ingrown Hair Symptoms
People with infected ingrown hair usually start to feel the symptoms right after shaving. These are the common symptoms which accompany infected ingrown hair:
- Pain which can be felt right after showering
- Itchiness may also be present
- The affected site may also feel tender
- There may also be a localized inflammatory reaction
- Presence of pinpoint red spots on the skin
- Curling of hair may be barely visible at the center of the bump
- Pus may also appear on the bumps
- The bumps get worse especially when the hair starts to grow back
- Milia, which are whitish bumps, may also appear on the same site along with the infected ingrown hair
- Pustules and abscesses may also be present as a result of infection
Causes of Infected Ingrown Hair
The primary cause of infected ingrown hair can be due to improper way of shaving. In fact, shaving alone can already cause ingrown hair formation. The more you try to shave your hair really short, the greater is the chance of it pinching against your skin. Though ingrown hair formation can be generally accounted from shaving, there are also other conditions which result to it and these include waxing and wearing irritating clothes which just further aggravate the condition. Ingrown hair also gets infected when there are too much dead skin cells over the area and it gets clogged up with sebum which makes it a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. This is where infection begins. However, shaving is also a contributing factor because this just further spreads the bacteria. Anyone is actually predisposed to suffer from infected ingrown hair. Nevertheless, people with African American origin have a higher risk because they have coarser hair.
Treatment & Removal
There’s not really a specific cure for ingrown hair. However, there are things you can do at home so as to treat the symptoms of infected ingrown hair. Here are some of the things that you should learn on how you can treat infected ingrown hair at home. To begin with, you should give importance to proper hygiene. No other modes of treatment can beat proper hygiene.
- Just before you shave, make it sure that you have hydrated and moisturized your hair first. This would help blunt the tips of the hair decreasing the chances pinching your skin and causing ingrown hair.
- You may also use a clean washcloth and moisten it with mild soap to clean the area right after shaving. You may use circular motion to strip off the sharp tips of the hair.
- Sugar and salt may also be used to exfoliate the area so as to loosen any hair with sharp tips.
- Keep in mind not to shave against the direction of the skin.
- Also, try not to shave very close to the skin so as to avoid any cuts.
- There are also a few razor tips that you may use. First off, when you shave put the head of the razor slightly titled upwards so as not to get too close to the skin. You can also use circular motion when shaving.
- You may also give your hair the time to grow naturally. Refrain from frequently shaving.
- If there’s a sharp tip of hair left off after shaving, you may use tweezers sterilized with alcohol. You can use this to pull out extra sharp hair tip.
Ingrown hair may just eventually fall on its own. However, there are also certain instances wherein it becomes too difficult to get rid of it. Here are some of the things that you can use to get rid of ingrown hair:
Antibiotics and creams that can be applied topically
These are especially prescribed in severe forms of ingrown hair especially when infection is present. It is also possible to have drug combination since this helps halt bacterial growth.
These should not be used regularly since these cause irritation. You may pair this with hydrocortisone to soothe the irritation.
Laser hair removal
Aside from treating infected ingrown hair, laser removal also helps permanently reduce the hair on a certain area.
The infected ingrown hair can also be removed through minor surgery, usually by making a tiny incision then pulling off the hair.
If you want your hair to be permanently removed in a specific area, you may try electrolysis. This is an effective way of hair removal and spares you from suffering from infected ingrown hair. This specifically targets individual hair. Electrolysis is a proven effective way. However, this may take some time to fully take effect and oftentimes, multiple treatment may be required.
Now that you now facts about ingrown hairs, your chance of developing infected ingrown hair is dramatically diminished. Nonetheless, before I end this article there’s something I want you to know and that is infected ingrown hair is totally preventable and there’s no secret to it. All you have to do is to allow your hair to grow naturally because shaving and using razors just trigger ingrown hair formation. If it is barely possible for you not to shave then at least observe the proper techniques when shaving. There are also hair growth inhibitors that you can apply topically to keep the hair from growing. These tips would eventually help you deal with ingrown hair before these become infected.