Ingrown hairs can be bothersome and frustrating skin problems to contend with, especially if you’re not sure what’s causing them in the first place. Although they are sometimes mistaken for pimples, ingrown hairs have nothing to do with acne. Here is everything you need to know about ingrown hair and how to rid yourself of this skin issue once and for all.
What Causes Ingrown Hair?
Anyone can get an ingrown hair, but they are most common among people with very curly or coarse hair. When the hair curls back toward the skin and begins to grow back inward, you get an ingrown hair. This often happens right after shaving, as the cut edge of the hair can be sharp enough to pierce the skin when the hair bends backward . The result can be as mild as a small painless bump on the skin or as severe as a boil-like sore that is irritating or painful. If you have a severely ingrown hair, you may need to consult your doctor.
How to Prevent Ingrown Hair
Because shaving is often the primary cause of ingrown hair, keep these tips in mind for getting a smoother shave and preventing ingrown hairs.
• Cleanse and exfoliate your skin before you shave. Removing dead skin cells, dirt, and other debris that can clog pores and prevent hair from growing smoothly out of the follicle can help to keep ingrown hair at bay. Use a gentle, nourishing facial cleanser such as AminoGenesis Really, Really Clean, and exfoliate your skin based on your skin type .
• Always shave with the grain. It’s tempting to shave in the opposite direction of your hair growth to get a “closer” shave, but this habit is practically setting yourself up for frequently ingrown hairs. Instead, follow the direction of your hair’s growth with your razor.
• Never use a dull or dirty razor. A dull blade will cause you to place more pressure on your skin, which can cause irritation, razor burn, and ingrown hair. Similarly, shaving with a dirty razor can contribute to clogged pores and the same unwanted skin conditions.
• Don’t dry shave. Running a razor over dry skin will create unnecessary friction, which can lead to razor burn and ingrown hairs.
What to Do about an Ingrown Hair
If you’re already battling an ingrown hair or two, don’t worry. Follow these steps to help alleviate discomfort and treat a mild ingrown hair:
• Apply a warm compress to the affected area to soften the skin. You may need to do this as much as three times a day for 15 minutes at a time before moving to the next step .
• Use sterilized tweezers to gently lift the tip of the hair from the skin.
• Apply a nourishing cream such as AminoGenesis HEFF, which contains a powerful blend of amino acids to aid in wound healing and reduce skin irritation.
Note that if your ingrown hair has formed a pus-filled bump, avoid squeezing or popping it. This can further aggravate the skin and may make matters worse. Instead, avoid shaving this area for a few days and give the ingrown hair a chance to work itself out. If symptoms persist or worsen, check with your doctor.
While ingrown hairs are typically nothing to worry about, they can be bothersome and unsightly. Follow the above tips to help prevent and alleviate them when they do happen. You can also use skin care products that contain amino acids to help nourish, hydrate, and defend your skin against potentially harmful bacteria to maintain a healthy-looking complexion and smooth, soft skin.
 NHS UK