Ingrown Hairs: What Are They?
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Most of us have once experienced these strange bumps perhaps on our necks, legs, or pubic areas after shaving. You can't call them pimples because they are not exactly one. Another easy suspect could be hives, but considering how and when they develop, it can be inadequate to call them hives either. So, one option is left, and that is ingrown hairs. But what exactly are ingrown hairs and how do they develop? Well, understanding what ingrown hairs are would require that you know how the hairs on your skin came into being. There are special structures down deep your skin particularly at the dermal layer called hair follicles. This is the structure from which all the hairs on your body grow. Normally, hairs should grow upward and out of the skin. But where ingrown hairs would be experienced, after shaving, the remaining hair in the follicles that are supposed to grow upward and outward become curled and start growing back into the skin. Other times, it may not even surface because of shaving; it may be that some dead skin has clogged up the hair follicles preventing the hairs from growing outward. Also, another cause of ingrown hairs can be your tight-fitted clothes. If the clothing material next to your skin is very tight, that can lead to some friction developing and pressures being mounted on your hair follicles. The result of this is your hair curling and growing back into your skin thereby leading to ingrown hairs. The immediate result of this abnormal hair growth is an irritation to your skin which can manifest in the form of itching, red and painful bumps, and sometimes sores. Also, ingrown hairs on necks and legs can do a lot of damage to your body's overall beauty. If not well handled, it can even lead to injury and scars which can, later on, prove difficult to get rid of. There are available home remedies to deal with this annoying skin condition. By following some simple shaving instructions and using certain natural things present in your home, you can effectively tackle ingrown hairs. Without much ado, let's briefly consider some home remedies to address ingrown hairs after which we'll talk about its prevention.
Home Remedies To Stop Ingrown Hairs
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These natural remedies are based on the assumption that you already have ingrown hairs. They are meant to help you put a stop to the annoyances without causing much harm to your skin. Here they are.
1. Stop Ingrown Hairs With Hot Compress
Since the hair is already trapped beneath the skin, one ingenious way to get rid of it is to look for a means to make it grow outward. One of the effective home remedies to achieve this is a hot compress. What the hot compress does is to open up your skin's pores and aid the upward and outward growth of the trapped hairs and by so doing, bringing down the symptoms. To use this method, you need warm water and a towel. Please ensure that this water is only warm and not extremely hot, so you don't end up causing more complications to your skin. Dip the towel in part into the warm water and squeeze out the water. After this, place the damp hot towel on the spot and apply pressure (compression) while doing so. Do this twice a day for a few days, and your pores would open up allowing the ingrown hairs to escape.
2. Stop Ingrown Hairs By Using Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has proven to be very useful in addressing various skin challenges including ingrown hairs. As already mentioned, you are going to experience itching and maybe pain if you have this skin condition. Using aloe vera can, however, help to soothe the pain and relieve you of the itching. That aside, aloe vera has antibacterial properties that can help you fight infections that may have been taking advantage of the situation. To use aloe vera to treat or stop ingrown hairs, all you need is the gel-like release from it. Cut a stem and extract the gel. This gel can then be applied to the troubled areas and left to stay for 30 minutes before washing off with warm water. For quick action, you can use this approach twice a day for a few days. It can even be combined with the hot compress described above only that the compress can only come up after the aloe vera has been washed off.
3. Stop Ingrown Hairs By Using Apple Cider Vinegar
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Having bumps on legs and necks can really be annoying especially when they are itchy too. With apple cider vinegar, you can pretty much deal with this inflammation and itching brought about by ingrown hairs. Apple cider vinegar is also an antiseptic which helps to deal with microorganisms that might delay the quick healing of the bumps. To use apple cider vinegar for ingrown hairs treatment, just get a cotton ball or a small, neat cloth to apply it to the troubled area. Allow it to stay there for 20 minutes or so before rinsing off. However, because apple cider vinegar is weakly acidic, you need to understand how sensitive your skin is before using it. The risk of having burns with it is lower when used on legs that on necks because facial skins are more tender. If your skin is generally sensitive, you would have to dilute it very well.
4. Use Honey To Stop Ingrown Hairs
One of the potent home remedies to stop ingrown hairs is honey. The usefulness of honey is very broad. Honey can be used on legs, necks and other body parts. It helps moisturize the skin thereby relieving you of the symptoms of ingrown hairs. Honey also has antibacterial properties to keep infections at bay. It's easy to use honey for treating and stopping ingrown hairs. Apply it to the troubled area; but before doing so, ensure that the spot is clean. Preferably, you should consider washing the area with mild soap and cool water before applying the honey to it. Let the honey stay on the spot for at least 20 minutes before washing it off.
5. Tea Tree Oil Also Helps To Stop Ingrown Hairs
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If you have access to the tea tree, it's one of the excellent home remedies for treating ingrown hairs too. The oil comes naturally with the tea tree, and there is no need of adding any additive. Tea tree oil is strongly bactericidal, and that feature is needed to deal with any opportunistic bacteria that might want to elongate the healing process. The oil also has astringent properties which help to tighten up your pores and prevent you from having ingrown hairs in the future. Extract the oil from the leave and use a cotton ball or cloth to apply it to the troubled area. Please be informed that tea tree oil can be potent and as such, before applying it to your legs, neck or other body parts, you should do well to dilute it and use a small quantity on your skin. You can even bathe with it to aid quick relief from the symptoms. When applied at least twice a week, the healing would be hastened, and it would also prevent a future occurrence of it.
6. Baking Soda Also Helps To Stop Ingrown Hairs
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Almost everyone uses baking soda at home for one thing or the other. This handy substance has proven to be one of the potent home remedies to tackle ingrown hairs. The usefulness of baking soda lies in the fact that it can fight against inflammation and itching. To get rid of those reddish bumps quickly, baking soda is one of the best home remedies to achieve that. Since it comes in powder form, you would have to mix it with water and ensure that a consistent paste-like mixture is obtained before applying it to your legs or wherever the ingrown hair is. Once you get the paste, apply to the spot and allow it to stay there for 20 minutes. After the twenty minutes, rinse off the paste with water, and then pat dry. Do this every day for three days to get a quick result.
7. Use The Witch Hazel Plant To Stop Ingrown Hairs
The witch hazel plant has been used medically used for decades to address various skin conditions including bumps arising from ingrown hairs. This is because the witch hazel plant has strong anti-stringent and antibacterial properties. Use caution when fighting ingrown hairs because it can be powerful. If you have a tender skin, endeavor to dilute very well before using it. In using the witch hazel plant to stop ingrown hairs, you would have to first extract the juice either from its leaves or back. Simply get some of the leaves, wash them with water and soak in another clean water for some hours. You can boil the water a bit to hasten the extraction. Once you finish extracting, you can now apply it to your legs or neck with a cotton ball. Allow for some minutes before washing off and pat dry.
8. Use Cucumber
Cucumber is also among the proven home remedies to help combat the symptoms of ingrown hairs. Cucumber possesses healing properties for some skin conditions. So, to address the itching problem that comes with ingrown hairs, you can make use of cucumber. To use, you need a chilled cucumber for the best result. Slice and place it on the troubled area for up to 5 minutes at a time. If you guess the cucumber is no longer chilled, you can get another slice to replace it. This remedy gives a fast soothing effect from the accompanying symptoms of ingrown hairs. Another way you can use cucumber is to blend it and mix a small quantity of milk with it. After that, apply the mixture to your legs or wherever the ingrown hair is allowing it to stay there for some minutes. After this, you can rinse off with cold water and allow it to dry.
9. Battling With Ingrown Hairs? Use Coconut Oil
The usage of coconut oil in combating ingrown hairs lies in the fact that it is a good moisturizer. Coconut oil also has a lot of nutrients to keep your skin shining, healthy, and smelling good. When applied to the troubled area, apart from it bringing a soothing effect, it can equally aid in the quick healing of skin bruises or blemishes. If you can lay your hand on organic coconut oil, that would be better. Endeavor to first of all was the troubled spot with water and a mild soap before applying the coconut oil. If possible, let the oil be there overnight for a speedy result. By adding a bit of sugar to the oil to make a scrub can make a good exfoliating product and help relieve the number of ingrown hairs.
10. Use Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is apt for addressing the reddish inflammation and also in preventing infections. Lemon juice helps reduce the inflammation because of its acidic properties. Lemon juice is weakly acidic and as such, should be used with caution on sensitive a skin. You can consider diluting it with water before using it to stop ingrown hairs. To use lemon juice, you need to get the ripe one because an unripe lemon can be slightly acidic than the ripe one. Squeeze the juice into a container and with a cotton ball, apply it to the troubled area. Allow the juice to stay on your skin for fifteen minutes before washing off. Apply it this way once a day for three days for relief of the symptoms.
Home Remedies To Prevent Ingrown Hairs
It is far better to prevent ingrown hairs than struggling to stop or treat it when it has happened. That's because the inconvenience it causes and the possible damage it can do to your self-esteem is better imagined than experienced. And come to think of it; ingrown hairs can be prevented. Some home remedies can be followed in shaving and taking care of your skin such that you would never have to get those reddish, annoying inflammations. These preventive measures are discussed in the following sections.
1. Try A Different Hair Removal Method
Apart from shaving, there are some other ways of getting rid of hairs from any part of your body without having to run the risk of ingrown hairs. Some of these methods include waxing, threading, using hair-removing creams, and epilation. Perhaps we should briefly consider each so you can decide which one suits your skin type and need the most.
This is arguably the common and most popular hair removing method. It basically has to do with using a razor to cut the hair at the skin level. Many people use this method for virtually any part of the body, but as mentioned, shaving comes with the risk of triggering ingrown hairs which might be painful and cause some damage to your overall beauty. For its merit, it is cheap and relatively painless, especially when using the correct shaving method and post-shaving treatment. However, you must be ready for another shaving in the next 3 to 4 days as the hairs would have started growing back.
b) Hair-Removing Creams
These are also called depilatory creams. They contain certain chemicals capable of removing hairs from your body by simply dissolving them. Unlike shaving, this method removes hair a bit below your skin surface, and that means it'll take a longer time (say a day or two) for such hairs to grow again than what you have in shaving. Talking about its merit now, it's also on the same level with shaving regarding cost. You can get depilatory creams from drugstores from within the range of $4 to $14. The process is also relatively painless if you apply the right quantity and wash off at the right time. However, you might not like the offensive odors of some of the creams. This method can prevent ingrown hairs to a large extent too and runs no risk of razor cuts. Howbeit, apart from your legs or face, your pubic areas especially your bikini lines.
c) Hair Waxing
Waxing goes a bit deeper in removing hairs from your body than the depilatory creams in that it removes hairs from the roots. For waxing, you need a special kit of which the wax is the most important. You may want to see the wax as a plaster or bandage that is woven around your skin. You know how painful removing a sticky bandage can be when trying to remove it? That's what to expect from waxing. But you need not be deterred by the possible pain from waxing because there are numerous tips available to reduce or avoid it. Also, there are professionals who can assist you with your hair waxing to eliminate pain. Waxing is, however, a bit more expensive than shaving and using depilatory creams. Typically, waxing can cost between $6 to $50 depending on the area you are waxing. But you can rest assured that with waxing, your hairs will not grow back until 3 to 6 weeks and you can pretty prevent ingrown hairs that way because waxing removes hair from the root.
d) Hair Sugaring
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Sugaring is one of the home remedies available for removing hairs from your body which can help prevent ingrown hairs. Like waxing, it also removes hairs from their roots. It involves the use of a gel or paste which can be made at home to pull out hairs from their roots. Since the process is essentially like waxing, you can expect some degrees of pain too. However, it is said that sugaring is a bit less painful than waxing because it doesn't stick much to the skin like the hot waxes. As regards the advantage, it is similar to what you have in waxing. It would take between 3-6 weeks too before the hairs can start growing again and definitely, you can prevent ingrown hairs. However, for a professional hair sugaring, be prepared to pay from between $10 to $110. If you want to buy the kits and do it yourself, you shouldn't spend more than $40, and the cost can even come down if you can make the "sugar" at home by yourself.
Electrolysis style of hair removal differs from waxing and sugaring in that it destroys the destroys the hair roots at the follicle. That means that this hair removal method is permanent. Electrolysis is the only permanent method of hair removal that has the approval of the FDA. Regarding advantages, it can help prevent ingrown hairs, and it is relatively less painful than waxing and sugaring. The result too can be permanent although some people report that they experienced hair growth after some time. Electrolysis method of hair removal can also be time-consuming because it deals with one hair at a time. And of course, it is expensive. A single session can go for $45, and you may need between fifteen to thirty sessions to complete your hair removal.
f) Laser Hair Removal
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This involves the use of light to destroy hair roots. It differs from electrolysis method only in the means by which the hair roots are destroyed. While electrolysis uses electric current, laser involves the use of light. However, if correctly done, the result is quite similar. However, laser hair removal is best suited for people with darker hair and lighter skin. So, if your hair is blonde or white, the laser hair removal method may not be the best option for you. Similarly, if your skin is dark and you use a laser, it can burn it. With laser hair removal, you need between six to twelve sessions for a complete chance for the hair to be eradicated, and this can cost between $200 and $900.
2. Prevent Ingrown Hairs By Saying No To Tight Clothing
Sometimes, to prevent a recurrence of ingrown hairs is to review the type of clothing you wear. When your articles of clothing are too tight, you'll be placing undue pressure on your hair follicles, and the hair that naturally should have grown upward and outward can now begin to curl back. If what you wear is the cause of your ingrown hairs, waxing, sugaring, and even some other methods might not help. This is because the hairs would surely grow back and if in the process of doing so they meet a pressure, that can result in you experiencing ingrown hairs. So, always make it a duty to put on clothing that gives your body some allowances if you notice that you keep having ingrown hairs.
3. Review Your Shaving Techniques
How you shave your hair definitely goes a long way in determining if you would experience ingrown hairs or not. This is not limited to shaving alone; even in waxing and sugaring the technique employed can either help to prevent or multiply ingrown hairs. However, for shaving, observe these rules to prevent having ingrown hairs. 1. Your shaving should not be done very close to your skin because it can lead to a short hair beneath the skin which can lead to ingrown hairs. 2. Shaving should be done every other day. The more frequent you shave, the higher your chances of coming up with ingrown hairs. 3. Ensure that the blade you use for your shaving is sharp enough and clean. This would ensure that you don't have to run the blade twice or more on the same spot and you are sure that you aren't introducing bacteria to your skin. 4. Use a razor of high grade for your shaving; the investment is worth it. 5. As a rule, never shave in a direction opposite to your hair growth; that would only ensure that you have short and sharp hairs that can grow back into your skin. Rather, you should shave in the same direction to the hair growth to prevent ingrown hairs.
4. To Prevent Ingrown Hairs, Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliation is a way you take care of your skin by removing possible dead skin that may have been deposited on it. This is very important so that those dead skin cells do not block the pores that hairs are supposed to grow out through and thereby to cause ingrown hairs. It is recommended that exfoliation should be done at least once in a week to get rid of all the dead cells from your skin. There are products in this respect particularly creams that can help dissolve these dead cells and get rid of them from your skin. However, not exfoliate after you have just finished shaving or waxing. Be sure to exfoliate before shaving or waxing, as the skin is the most sensitive at this time that exfoliating again can prove harmful.
5. Keep Your Skin Moisturized
Once you've carried out exfoliation, the natural outcome is to start witnessing a dry skin. The level of dryness would depend to a large extent on the sensitivity of your skin. Once dryness is noticed, you should consider rehydrating. There are home remedies to hydrate your skin without having to empty your wallet. You can use the aloe vera gel or coconut oil, and your skin would be moisturized. Appy these daily routines to your skin, and you'd get a great result. Never shave when your skin is dry because it can lead to the hair breaking in-between your skin and thereby leading to ingrown hairs.
6. Practice Skin Cleansing To Prevent Ingrown Hairs
Skin cleansing is another good way of getting rid of dead skin cells from your body. This is similar to exfoliation, but different creams are used for the two processes. In selecting a product for your skin cleansing, you must ensure that such product isn't comedogenic. This means that while the cream may break down excess oil from your skin and dissolve dead cells, it would still leave behind essential nutrients for your skin.
7. Use A Good Post-Shave Product
How you take care of your skin after shaving can determine if you would have ingrown hairs or not. There are some post-shave products majorly in the form of creams which you can apply to the area you have just shaved to soothe and reduce skin irritation. Again, if you want a natural remedy, aloe vera and coconut oil offer great post-shave care that you need. You only need to keep applying for three or four days to assure yourself of no aftershave complications.
8. Avoid Scratching To Prevent Further Complication
Granted, ingrown hairs come with some annoying symptoms like itching, and your body may continuously urge you to scratch the spot or start picking at them; this you should strictly avoid. You know why? The process can damage your skin and lead to scarring. That aside, you can easily introduce bacteria or oil from your hand which might cause some more serious skin infection. Ideally, ingrown hairs can self-correct themselves, but if you are finding the symptoms too annoying, you can use some natural remedies earlier recommended in the first section of this article to address the annoyances. Of particular importance remember the use of a chilled cucumber; it helps. Once you are tempted to start scratching, get a cucumber to help out.
9. Never Be In Haste While Shaving
Shaving is never a competition, and you'd better note and know that. If you think you don't have the time, it's better to postpone it to a later time. When you rush to shave, you have the higher chances of making a lot of shaving errors than when you take things easy. You are even likely to cut your skin if you are in haste. So, to prevent ingrown hairs, take your time to carry out the hair removal method of your choice.
10. Change Your Razor Often
This is important if you are shaving. Using the same razor continuously would introduce bumps and even cause ingrown hairs. That's because the razor keeps losing its sharpness with each usage. That aside, the way you handle your shaving kit can go a long way in preventing ingrown hairs. Keep all razors free from rust and contamination.
There you have almost all the information you need on how to naturally treat, stop, and prevent ingrown hairs. As stated in this piece, natural remedies remain the best when it comes to safety and avoidance of side effects. It is always good to understand your skin before applying any treatment method. That's because two people with ingrown hairs can apply the same method and get different results because of the difference in their skin sensitivity. If you think your skin is very sensitive, choose the less strong remedies to combat ingrown hairs. By and large, it's better to prevent than cure when it comes to skin conditions like ingrown hairs. If you follow the advice proposed in the last section of this article, you can easily avoid getting such an annoying skin condition. Perhaps one point to remember here is to exfoliate often and avoid very tight clothing.