Ingrown hair refers to hair which has curled around and grown back into the skin instead of growing and rising above the skin especially after shaving. It causes skin irritation and it looks like an elevated red bump. Painful boils can also form due to ingrown hair which may get filled with pus. Ingrown hair is more prevalent in people having curly or coarse hair which has the tendency to curl back and re-enter the skin. People with excessive hormones, African-Americans and Latinos who have thick curly hair tend to develop ingrown hair. After shaving, waxing or tweezing a bunch of bumps can appear in the area and they are commonly called razor bumps. Ingrown hair is found on the cheeks or neck of men after they shave and in women it is found on the legs, armpits and pubic area. Ingrown hair can become infected, cause skin darkening or scarring. It can be treated and removed using certain home remedies.
Shaving the hair leads to sharp edges which encourages the hair to re-enter the skin and grow. Stretching the skin during shaving can also cause it to re-enter the skin without growing out. Tweezing may leave some hair within the skin which can grow back as ingrown hair. When hair enters the skin, it is a foreign body penetrating it and hence the skin becomes inflamed. Bacterial infection can result due to scratching the ingrown hair. Hyperpigmentation of the skin, permanent scarring and bumps can also appear on the skin due to ingrown hair.
Home remedies for Ingrown hair:
Home remedies can help in removal of the ingrown hair and also speed up healing, reduction of inflammation and redness.
- Place a warm moist compress over the skin. When it cools down re-apply again. This can soften the hair and bring it nearer the surface so that it can be removed.
- Using sterile tweezers gently pull out the ingrown hair.
- Place an egg membrane on the affected area. Leave it till it dries and shrinks. Then peel it off from the skin. The ingrown hair can come out along with the membrane.
- Sugar can be very helpful as a scrub to get rid of ingrown hair. Mix some white sugar with olive oil. Add a few drops of tea tree oil or lavender oil. Apply it on the affected area and gently scrub. Wash off. This is very effective for exfoliation and for removing dead cells and ingrown hair.
- Baking soda is also a very useful remedy. It has anti-inflammatory properties and relieves itching on the skin and reduces redness caused by ingrown hair. Mix some baking soda in water along with some ground oatmeal. Apply for some time on the skin and then wash off. Use twice a day.
- Tea tree oil has healing properties and prevents infection. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to water and apply on the affected area. Leave for some time and rinse off. Also tea tree oil can be added to olive oil and massaged on the affected skin. Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Aspirin is also helpful in reducing redness and inflammation due to ingrown hair. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties it combats swelling, inflammation and infection. It contains salicylic acid which can scrub away the dead skin to remove the ingrown hair. Soak two aspirin tablets in water and add a teaspoon of honey. Apply to the affected area leave for some time and wash off.
- Salt is highly effective for exfoliation. It also promotes circulation, is useful in healing and reduces swelling. Dip a cotton ball in water and rub over the affected area. Wash off after sometime to clear the ingrown hair.
- Black tea has tannic acid which is useful in reducing inflammation, redness and soothes the skin. Place a moist tea bag on the affected skin or mix black tea with coconut water and apply on the affected skin for healing.
- Apply aloe vera gel on the irritated skin and rinse off after some time. This is very helpful for treating ingrown hair as it speeds up the healing process.
- Honey can also be applied on the affected skin as it moisturizes the skin and reduces swelling and inflammation.
- Apple cider vinegar can destroy the bacteria and yeast on the skin and reduce infections. It can be applied on the infected area with a cotton ball and washed off later.
- Cucumber is very hydrating and has vitamin-C which can prevent itchiness. Place fresh cucumber on the affected skin several times daily.
Ingrown hair is a very irritating skin condition. By using home remedies this hair can be removed and the inflammation, redness and irritation can be considerably reduced.