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List: Posted: 10/04/11
An ingrown hair can be painful and can also cause infection. Ingrown hairs can happen in almost any part of the body, but are most common on the face and neck. Ingrown hairs are actually hairs that have grown back into the follicle or an embedded and stuck under the skin. If left untreated, ingrown hairs can go from a simple nuisance to an infected problem.
Prepare the Skin
It’s best to first prepare the skin before you remove the ingrown hair. This will help to clean the area and will also assist in softening the skin around the ingrown follicle. Wash the area with soap and water. Next, exfoliate the skin by using an exfoliating soap or simple drugstore cleanser. You may also try using an exfoliating glove or cloth. Gently exfoliating the skin will help to clean the area and may coax the hair out of where it is stuck.
Add Topical Medication
Place a small dab of either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to the affected area. These are over the counter preparations that are generally used for treating acne. Using one of these lotions or gels on the area will help to reduce the swelling around it. It will also slightly dry the follicle to allow more room for the hair to escape.
When you’re ready to remove the ingrown follicle, apply a warm, moist cloth for just a few moments. This will help to not only soften the area but also will help to bring the follicle to the surface so you can more easily see it. Once you can easily see the area, you can remove the ingrown hair.
Remove Ingrown Hairs safely
To remove the follicle you’ll need to use a good pair of tweezers or a sterile needle. If the area is located where you can easily work on it, you can remove it yourself. Otherwise, you may need to enlist the help of a friend or family member. You want to pull the end out of the skin without pulling out the hair entirely, as this will only aggravate the skin further. Before you begin, sterilize the needle or tweezers.
Once you see the end of the strand, try to gently grab it with the tweezers through the think layer of skin that has grown over it. If you’re using a needle, try to push it out gently by getting underneath the curled side. Try to avoid digging at the skin. If the area was properly prepared, you should be able to gently remove the hair without causing it to bleed. After you’ve successfully removed the hair, wash the area with soap and warm water, and apply some antiseptic.
Keep From Getting Ingrown Hairs
Some people are more susceptible to ingrown hairs than others. If happens once, it will likely happen again. To reduce your chances of it happening again, take special precautions with your skin. Keeping your skin clean is essential in avoiding getting ingrown hairs from occurring. Use an astringent on your face to assist in keeping your pores properly clean and closed.
Wash your face daily. Using a washcloth, rather than your hands, helps keep the skin exfoliated. Exfoliating the skin aids in keeping you from getting ingrown hairs. If you’re prone to acne, use a specially medicated acne scrub from your doctor occasionally on your skin. After shaving, use an astringent before applying lotion, since lotion can get into the pores and clog them.
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