How To Treat Infected Ingrown Hair

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Question: What Can I Do About Infected Ingrown Hair?

Ingrown hairs and razor bumps are the results of the hair growing back into the skin instead of pointing out and growing in the correct direction. This happens most commonly after hair removal- especially shaving and waxing. A razor will leave a sharp tip after being shaved. And hair often breaks below or above the skin's surface instead of the hair being completely from the follicle when waxed, resulting in a sharper edge.

Hair naturally has a feathery or beveled edge. Although it's possible for hair to grow into skin when it has this feathery edge, it's not very likely. When the end is sharper, it's now more prone for it to grow into the skin.

If that isn't bad enough when hair pierces the skin where it shouldn't, an infection often comes with the territory. At first glance, you may not realize that you have an ingrown hair. It may simply look like a pimple- especially if it has a whitehead. Pimples, by themselves, are a common side effect of hair removal.

On a closer look, you should be able to tell if it's ingrown.  See if there is any hair growing in the surrounding areas but not by the pimple.

To help clear the ingrown hair and infection you to get the hair to point back out of the skin, kill the bacteria and then continue to prevent the bumps and redness before they strike again.

Once you see the area is infected, don't remove hair from the root (like waxing or tweezing) or pick at the skin with your fingers.

Also, avoid shaving if at all possible. All of these things can spread the bacteria and make matters worse. Instead, take action with these suggestions below:

  • Mud mask. Mud works well in drawing impurities out the skin, fighting inflammation and has exfoliating properties. Of course you'll want to apply it to the infected ingrown hair. But it will also help the overall look of your complexion if you have a normal to oily skin type. It might be a good idea to use on your entire face.
  • Homemade sugar scrub. Using a natural scrub and essential oils can gently help hair point out of the skin and heal skin faster.
  • Neosporin. When the hair is removed from the follicle, it's more open to infection. This first-aid antibiotic can be applied right after hair removal to help get rid of the bacteria that may cause an infection. It may be helpful to use on areas prone to pimples after removing hair as well as for treatment on infected ingrown hair.
  • Ingrown hair fighters. Many products are on the market to help you rid the redness, bumps, and infection in a hurry. They will help fight the pimples and hair growing back into the skin.
  • Tea Tree oil. If you're into more natural options, apply a very small amount to the area. Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties to fight the bacteria, inflammation, and redness. It's one of the essential oils that be applied directly A small amount can be used alone, or it can be mixed with jojoba oil or another carrier oil to help the tea tree become absorbed into skin.
  • Pimple-killers. Often products that are made to fight off pimples and acne work very well because they exfoliate the skin and are made to ward off bacteria. Now is the time to raid products from your teenager!


    Stop Them Before They Start

    You won't have to deal with the infection or the other annoying issues from ingrown hairs by preventing them from forming in the first place. Simple adjustments to your shaving routine, adjusting how you wax, exfoliating regularly or turning to another hair removal option can help keep you bump-free.