Ingrown Hair Treatment

Ingrown Hair: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention

There are a few ingrown hair treatments that can be done to help those suffering from ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are hairs on the body that have curled around, growing back down into the skin. Ingrown hairs can pop up on any individual, however, it typically occurs in individuals that have course or curly hair. Individuals that have a high level of sex hormones are also susceptible to getting ingrown hairs. Common places to get ingrown hairs include the legs, armpits and pubic region on females and in males, on the chin, cheek, and neck after shaving. Symptoms of ingrown hairs include itching skin with a rash, hair that remains on the skin after shaving, and an infection and/or pus under the skin. The area will often look like that of a pimple, being raised and red in colour.

What are some ingrown hair treatments?

Many times ingrown hairs will resolve themselves. However, if the ingrown hair does not go away, it can become infected. It may also darken the skin, or leave a scar. If the ingrown hair does become infected or it becomes bothersome, one will have to resort to an ingrown hair treatment. There are a few ways that a doctor can treat the ingrown hairs. These methods include:

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  • Steroid medication is a common used ingrown hair treatment that is rubbed into the skin to help with irritation and swelling. Applying topical treatments to the skin may also help to treat the skin bump, which will give the hair more room to grow how hair was intended to grow.
  • Antibiotics may be taken orally or applied topically to treat an infection of the ingrown hair.
  • Waxing is a common ingrown hair treatment. A patch of either hot or cold wax can be used on the skin and once dried, it is plucked off the skin, removing hair. This is a fast method, however, a disadvantage is that it could be very painful. The process only lasts about 6 weeks, giving ingrown hairs time to grow again.
  • Retin A may be prescribed to remove any dead skin cells. This will also reduce the skin’s pigmentation changes that occur in some individuals.
  • Electrolysis can be used as an ingrown hair treatment. An electric needle will pierce the hair follicle, in which case the root will be destroyed. This treatment is permanent (hair rarely grows back), and has been approved by the FDA. One of the disadvantages of this ingrown hair treatment is that electrolysis is very costly. Other disadvantages include the treatment can discolour the skin and the treatment is very time consuming.

Is there anything an individual can do to prevent having an ingrown hair treatment?

To prevent the likelihood of having an ingrown hair treatment, one can try the following:

  • Use a single use razor that is sharp. Throw away after use.
  • Men should rub the face in a circular motion everyday with a wet washcloth or a gentle exfoliant.
  • Wet the skin with warm water and apply a lubricating gel prior to shaving.
  • If an individual prefers to use an electric razor, hold the razor just above the surface of the skin.
  • Shave the hair in the shame direction as it grows.
  • After every few passes, rinse the razor blade out well with water.
  • To reduce irritation, one should use a cool wet washcloth to gently wipe the skin down after shaving.
  • Try to leave some stubble on the skin to avoid shaving too closely to the skin.
  • Use less strokes when shaving. Using less strokes will reduce the chance of the hair slipping into the skin again.


5 replies
  1. Witchita L
    Witchita L says:

    I used to suffer from ingrown hairs quite a bit. One thing that I found to be rather useful was to exfoliate my skin. Since I have been exfoliating a few days a week, I am not getting the ingrown hairs like I once did. This has been one ingrown hair treatment that I do not mind using. It is cheap and very effective. I would recommended using this as a way to prevent ingrown hairs from forming.

  2. ferline mae
    ferline mae says:

    I have an ingrown hair on my legs and it hurts so bad. I wonder for a treatment if I can use a depilatory cream? I have never used one of these as a method of hair removal but I am tired of my legs hurting. I hate to shave now, and with summer just around the corner, I am going to have to start soon. I have somewhat sensitive skin, and wonder which brand would be the best one for me to try. Does anyone else on here get ingrown hairs and use depilatory creams to help them get rid of unwanted hair?

  3. lol21
    lol21 says:

    I have been looking for an ingrown hair treatment. Bravo on this article. It really summed up some of my options. I would like to have the area treated so it does not come back. I am going to be sure to use the prevention tips as well because once I get rid of it, I want the ingrown hair gone for good.

  4. Cher
    Cher says:

    For years I have suffered with ingrown hairs. Then I finally decided to have electrolysis done. It was a long process. And yes it was very expensive. I needed to find an ingrown hair treatment though that truly worked. So far so good for this one. I had a very small area done. I would say it was not even an inch by an inch. And it costs me about $900 for electrolysis. I can say that it was worth it though. I do not have that pain associated with it anymore and I am not embarrassed now either. For me, I had a lot of options but yet none of them seemed right to me except for electrolysis.

  5. prim&prom
    prim&prom says:

    I have dealt with ingrown hairs before and I have come up with my own ingrown hair treatment and prevention. I always get ingrown hairs on my face when I shave, but I have come to the conclusion that it is best to shave after a shower. The warm water will warm up the face and the hairs making them easier to shave. Make sure you also lather up the face well with a good high quality shaving cream or gel. Never, under any circumstances, shave dry. This will only aggravate the skin and make ingrown hairs want to come. I have also had better luck with a fresh new razor each time. Some will also like to use an electric razor as this might be a better option for those that suffer with ingrown hairs. And I do shave in the same direction as my hair grows. Yes this does not get as close of a shave, but I am OK with that. I would rather have a bit of stubble then to look all mauled up with ingrown hairs or have them get infected. And one thing that I do before I shave is look at the razor if it has been used before. If it has rust on it, I will not use it. One thing that prevents rust on a razor is to dip the razor in rubbing alcohol after using it.


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