Ingrown hair: How to Remove and Prevent

Stanly Lawrence

Ingrown Hair

When a hair that has been cut grows back and curves into the skin, it is known as an ingrown hair. This can occur from waxing, tweezing, or shaving. Tiny, painful, swollen bumps on the skin may be the result of an ingrown hair. People of African American descent with curly hair who shave are most commonly affected. Most ingrown hair cases resolve on their own without medical intervention. By not shaving too close to the skin or removing hair, you can prevent this condition. If it's not an option, you could try other hair removal techniques that reduce the chance of ingrown hairs growing back.

What are ingrown hairs?

A cut hair may curl back under the skin and begin to grow beneath the surface after you shave. An ingrown hair can cause a small, skin-colored or red pimple-like bump on your skin. It can be itchy, cause redness, swelling, and pain, and it may or may not contain pus.

Symptoms of Ingrown Hair

Do you suspect that you may have ingrown hairs? The following are the primary signs of ingrown hairs to be aware of:

1. Tiny, round pimples that appear on the skin

2. Tiny, blister-like pimples that occasionally contain pus

3. Hairs embedded in

4. Darkening of the skin

5. Itching

6. Anguish

Steer clear of hair removal until the area clears up if you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms. See your dermatologist if the symptoms persist after two weeks.

Cause of Ingrown Hair

When a hair that has been cut grows back and curves into the skin, it is known as an ingrown hair. This typically occurs following waxing, tweezing, or shaving.

Ingrown hair is influenced by the structure and growth direction of the hair. When hair is cut and begins to grow back, it is thought that a curved hair follicle, which creates tightly curled hair, encourages the hair to reenter the skin. Shaving gives hair a sharp edge that facilitates skin piercing.

Other possible causes of ingrown hairs include:

1. Tearing your skin during shaving. Hair retracts into the skin as a result of this action.

2. Tightening.

Your skin becomes irritated when a hair pierces it, just like it would with a foreign object.

Ingrown hairs grow where?

Although they can occur in other places as well, ingrown hairs typically appear in the places where you shave. Typical locations are your:

The face and neck






Public space


How Do You Get Rid of Ingrown Hairs?

Ingrown hairs usually go away on their own without any help. Keep your hands off the afflicted area to hasten the healing process of your skin. It is also possible to expedite the healing process.

1. Till the ingrown hairs have had time to heal, refrain from shaving the affected area.

2. Use a warm towel or soak the area in water for a short while.

3. Exfoliating can help get rid of any dead skin cells that are loose and may be preventing ingrown hairs from showing through the skin's surface.

4. Use a non-greasy moisturizer to help exfoliate and heal dry skin.

5. Use a pair of sterile tweezers to carefully extract any hair that breaks through.

If you have an infection from an ingrown hair, see a dermatologist to get a prescription for an antibiotic.

How Can You Prevent Ingrown Hairs When Shaving?

Every part of the body has different shaving procedures to prevent ingrown hairs, but these are the best practices to adhere to wherever you shave.

1. Regularly replace your razor blades

Ingrown hairs, razor burn, and skin irritation can result from using dull razor blades. Your blade is probably dull and needs to be replaced if it feels like it's pulling at your hair or if it's rough against your skin.

2. Give your skin moisture

Take a shower or bath and soak the area you want to shave in warm water for at least three minutes. Skin hydration facilitates easier hair cutting.

3. Frequently exfoliate

Regular exfoliation can aid in removing the dead skin cells that prevent hair follicles from emerging from the skin's surface, which is often the cause of ingrown hairs.

4. Use shaving gel every time.

Ingrown hairs can result from shaving dry skin. To keep your skin hydrated, always hydrate it before shaving, use shaving gel, and moisturize afterward.

5. Maintain coherence

It’s crucial to be methodical and proficient in shaving every single area of your body to prevent ingrown hairs.

How To Prevent Ingrown Hair?

1. Use a wet washcloth to rub your face daily to exfoliate the ingrown hairs. Use a light circular motion to rub.

2. To remove the ingrown hair, use a face scrub.

3. A few minutes prior to shaving, use a lubricating shaving cream or gel. Moreover, you can apply a warm compress.

4. Wash your skin with warm water and a light cleanser before shaving.

5. Whenever you tweeze, wax, or shave, always go in the direction that the hair grows.

6. After each swipe, clean the razor blade.

7. To relieve your face's irritation after shaving, use a damp washcloth.

8. Hold the razor just slightly away from the skin if you're using one.

9. Use a razor with a single, sharp blade.

10. Chemical hair removal products can aid in the decrease of ingrown hair. However, make sure to perform a patch test if this is your first time using it.

In addition to these, you can experiment with other hair removal techniques to treat ingrown hairs. For instance, the laser hair removal technique permanently destroys hair follicles by using laser energy.

Difference Between Pimple And Ingrown Hair

Because ingrown hair and pimples look similar, many people confuse the two. The etiology and course of treatment for each, however, differ. When oil and dead skin cells clog the hair follicles, pimples appear. This has a bumpy appearance and can become infected with bacteria that cause pain, redness, and irritation. Pimples are the outward sign of ingrown hair, which develops when hair grows incorrectly.

Recognizing pimples and ingrown hairs is essential for appropriate treatment. The location serves as a clue when attempting to identify. For instance, ingrown hair is frequently seen in areas that are waxed or shaved. Ingrown hairs are another risk for those who shave their scalp. However, pimples can appear anywhere, such as on the neck, shoulders, chin, or chest.Acne or pimples are typically the breakouts in non-shaven areas.

You can treat ingrown hair by using a different shaving method. Allowing the hair to grow can frequently help to lessen the issue. Salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and antibacterial ointments are examples of over-the-counter medications that can be used to treat acne and pimples.

What Diseases or Conditions Are Often Mistaken for Ingrown Hairs?

Ingrown hairs can occasionally be mistaken for various skin disorders and diseases. The following are a few of the more prevalent illnesses that are occasionally confused with ingrown hairs:





keratosis pilaris,


heat stroke,


dry skin

dermatitis atopic

contact dermatitis.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Ingrown Hair?

Just looking at your skin and noting where the skin lesions are located on your body will allow your doctor to diagnose an ingrown hair. To help your doctor diagnose an ingrown hair, get a detailed history of the skin rash, including information about your shaving and hair removal routine. Usually, no additional medical studies or blood tests are required.

What Are Ingrown Hair Treatments?

Using topical medication to the affected area helps reduce symptoms such as inflammation and itching when treating ingrown hairs professionally. As examples, consider:

1. Creams containing steroids, like hydrocortisone

2. Topical antimicrobials and antibiotics like clindamycin and erythromycin

3. Topical treatments for acne, like benzoyl peroxide or tretinoin

4. Oral antibiotics may also be prescribed by your healthcare provider to treat infections. Chemical peels, photodynamic therapy (light therapy), or laser therapy may be necessary in extreme situations.

5. Treatments for potential side effects of pseudofolliculitis barbae are also available. 

For instance, topical medications containing the following may be prescribed by your dermatologist or another healthcare professional to prevent and treat hyperkeratosis (thickening of the skin) caused by ingrown hairs:

Salicylic acid


Acids alpha hydroxy (AHAs)

Lastly, the following medications may be required if pseudofolliculitis barbae causes you to develop keloid scarring:

Cream corticosteroids

injections of steroids


Laser treatment

Radiation treatment

Excision through surgery

What Are Home Remedies for Ingrown Hair?

1. Yogurt and Oatmeal Mix

Combine cooling yogurt with oatmeal for a gentle exfoliation and a reduction in inflammation.Due to its natural ability to lower skin temperature, yogurt can also be used as a sunburn remedy. Furthermore, it will aid in soothing red, irritated skin, continues Ambrosen.

2. Aspirin-Honey

This recipe has two benefits. According to Dr. Shaurya, honey has antibacterial qualities in addition to salicylic acid, which can help lower the risk of infection and inflammation. Therefore, when applied to your skin, the two of them will aid in preventing infection and reducing swelling.

3. Baking Soda-Oatmeal

As a fantastic exfoliator, baking soda aids in the prevention and reduction of ingrown hairs. The calming properties of oatmeal help to lessen the redness and irritation that come with exfoliation.1. Oatmeal is a great DIY ingredient to use to reduce inflammation after ingrown hairs, according to Dr. Murphy-Rose.

4. Tea Tree Oil Soak

Tea tree oil is present in a lot of acne products because it has antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory qualities. It also aids in controlling the natural oils that your skin produces.

5. Black Tea Bag

Tea is well known for its many natural therapeutic benefits. Black tea, in particular, has anti-inflammatory qualities that help to calm skin and lessen redness. It also contains antioxidants like caffeine, which is great for preventing acne and anti-aging in addition to being a part of our morning routine. Moreover, caffeine has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a valuable remedy for ingrown hairs.

Best Products for Ingrown Hair

1. Fur Ingrown Concentrate

Apply a few drops of this concentrate—tested by gynecologists and dermatologists—to say goodbye to unsightly bumps.
Fur's Ingrown Concentrate, which is made of natural ingredients like coconut oil and tea tree oil, moisturizes skin and lessens irritation brought on by ingrown hairs already present. The concentrate can be used once a day or as needed, and it can be applied before or after bathing.
Online customers claimed that the product produced smoother skin in as little as one week, and many of them applied the concentrate to their face, legs, and pubic region.
White mentioned that people with sensitive skin and pubic hair should use the product because of its mild ingredients. Even with natural ingredients, some people may react negatively to them, so always perform a patch test on your arm first.

2. PFB Vanish + Chromabright

If you're looking to brighten your skin and prevent ingrown hairs, add this multipurpose beauty product to your collection.
Use PFB Vanish + Chromabright, a roll-on product that brightens areas of scarring from shaving nicks and previous ingrown hairs, after taking a shower. Its ingredients include glycolic acid and salicylic acid.
Although the product has received positive reviews online for treating dark scarring, some users have cautioned that it may take some time to see any benefits. A few people also claimed to have seen a reduction in skin bumps in a matter of weeks, while others claimed that skin changes took several months to manifest.
As always, do a patch test and use caution when applying near your pubic area. According to White, this is the product that she advises her clients to use the most because it is safe enough to use on all skin types.

3. Gurin GF-110 Face and Body Ultra Clean Brush

Enjoy the silkiness of the Gurin GF-110 Face and Body Brush for yourself and your skin.
This brush is ideal for unclogging follicles before shaving, as this can prevent ingrown hairs. Furthermore, scarring from ingrown hairs can be removed from the skin using the microdermabrasion brush.
Furthermore, this brush works wonders for lessening wrinkles and pore size in addition to ingrown hairs.
Be advised that while some internet reviewers thought the brush lacked sufficient power, others praised the softness and gentle speed of the brush heads. After using it, you ought to feel renewed and exfoliated.

4. Earth Therapeutics Charcoal Exfoliating Gloves

Preventing ingrown hairs requires proper skin exfoliation.
Before shaving, lather up these gloves with your preferred soap, remove any dead skin, and open your pores. "Keeping skin exfoliated prevents skin from growing over ingrown hairs," says White. Hair that grows sideways into the skin or curls back can be avoided by exfoliating the skin.
The gloves' reasonable price alone makes them worth adding to your cart, but other reviews on the internet mentioned the gloves' durability and how their skin felt softer after just one wear.

What skincare is good for ingrown hairs?

Utilize products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which act as chemical exfoliants to remove dead skin from the area surrounding and above ingrown hairs, allowing the hair to come out on its own, according to Weinstein. Twice daily is when she suggests applying spot treatments.

When to see a doctor for Ingrown Hair?

Medical attention is not necessary for ingrown hairs unless they become infected. Ingrown hair infection symptoms include:

a lot of pus

Seeping out of the lump

growth of the lump, or heightened inflammation and redness

discomfort and agony

if the scarring caused by the ingrown hairs

Ingrown hairs may be treated with topical or oral antibiotics. Also useful in lowering discomfort and swelling are steroid creams.

If the bump isn't infected but is still very bothersome and hasn't gone down with home remedies, you might also think about seeing a doctor for ingrown hair treatment. In these situations, a physician might be able to relieve the hair trapping and provide you with some relief.
If you frequently get infections from ingrown hairs, your physician might suggest seeing a dermatologist for hair removal assistance. Electrolysis and laser hair removal are two longer-term options for hair removal.

FAQ about Ingrown Hair

1. Is it OK to pop an ingrown hair?

No, there may be more harm than good from this. You run a higher risk of an infection when you pop an ingrown hair.

2. How do you tell if a bump is an ingrown hair?

Small hairy bumps may appear on the hairy areas of your body, such as the middle of your face and neck. Little swollen bumps where you tweeze, wax, or shave can be what they are.

3. Should I remove an ingrown hair or leave it?

When you have ingrown hairs, it's best to stop shaving, tweezing, plucking, or waxing the affected area because these hairs usually fall out on their own in a few weeks. It could take weeks in severe cases. Sometimes attempting to remove them prolongs their duration by interfering with the healing process. See your doctor, though, if you exhibit any infection-related signs.

4. Can Ingrown Hair Cause Acne?

Acne can result from irritation and inflammation brought on by ingrown hairs. Usually, this results from an infection of the ingrown hair, which can cause swelling and redness. It is crucial to use products made especially for ingrown hairs and to exfoliate your skin frequently to avoid this from happening.

5. How Should I Safely Extract an Ingrown Hair at Home?

To make the skin softer, wash the affected area with warm water. Use rubbing alcohol to sterilize tweezers. Without completely plucking the ingrown hair, gently pull the skin taut. After extraction, apply antiseptic. See a dermatologist if the area looks infected or if the irritation doesn't go away. Do not repeatedly tweeze.

6. What Is an Ingrown Hair and How Does It Form?

When a shaved or tweezed hair grows back into the skin, it can lead to inflammation and become an ingrown hair. It usually develops as a result of dead skin plugging a hair follicle, which forces the hair to grow under the skin instead of upward and outward. It affects people with curly hair more frequently.

7. Can Improper Shaving Technique Lead to Ingrown Hairs?

Indeed, ingrown hairs can result from improper shaving. Razor bumps, also known as ingrown hairs, are red bumps that appear when hair retracts beneath the skin and grows inward due to shaving too closely, using a blunt blade, or shaving against the direction of hair growth.

Bottom Line

Those who shave frequently get ingrown hairs, especially those with curly hair. Staying away from shaving is the best way to avoid ingrown hairs. If that isn't an option, experiment with various shaving methods to see if they work. Most of the time, ingrown hairs don't result in significant issues or health risks. But if they return, it could lower your self-worth and quality of life. Consult a dermatologist for advice on treating and preventing ingrown hairs, as well as about other hair removal options.

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