Have you ever been embarrassed by ingrown hairs?
You know you have had them. We all have had them. At least once in your life, you’ve had one. They appear when a single hair has become trapped under the surface of your skin after hair removal. The dreaded ingrown hair is what we are talking about here. Though, I do realize no one wants to talk about them.
Ingrown hairs can be itchy and uncomfortable, especially if you’ve got a lot of them. You may notice pus inside the bumps. They are not serious. It is not acne. But they are not pretty. They can be embarrassing. I mean come on they are gross!
Sometimes, dead skin can clog up a hair follicle. That forces the hair inside it to grow sideways under the skin, rather than upward and outward. Cutting naturally curly hair too close can result in the sharpened end of the hair piercing the skin.
In men, ingrown hairs often pop up as a bunch of little bumps on the chin, cheeks, or neck after shaving. And yes, if you “manscape”, you’ll get them in the pubic area also.
In women, ingrown hairs are common on the legs, as well as in the pubic area and armpits. You can also get ingrown hairs on your buttocks.
Many African-Americans, Latinos, and people with thick or curly hair may have it worse. They can develop a type of ingrown hair called pseudofolliculitis. These are best known as “razor bumps.” The little bumps are common around the beard and pubic area. They will appear after you’ve shaved, waxed, or tweezed to remove unwanted hair.
Anyone can get an ingrown hair. But the problem is more common in people who have curly or coarse hair. Curly hair is more likely to bend back and re-enter the skin, especially after shaved or cut.
But one thing we likely all have in common is the fact that out pubic hairs tend to be just that. Thick and curly right on our most sensitive of areas. We like to maintain a groomed look to our pubic area, but doing so often results in these awful bumps.
Ingrown hairs can affect anyone with curled hairs who shaves, tweezes or waxes to remove hair. Signs and symptoms include:
- Small, solid, rounded bumps (papules)
- Small, pus-filled, blister-like lesions (pustules)
- Skin darkening (hyperpigmentation)
- Embedded hairs
Often, an ingrown hair improves without treatment. Just leave it alone. Don’t try to squeeze it out! This can cause disfiguring scars! This can also cause infection. Please do NOT try to squeeze!
But you know what? You can avoid ingrown hair by not removing hair. Wait, what? Don’t remove hair? Ha!! There’s a select few in our culture who are fine with that. Sure, go ahead and stay hairy. That’s a personal choice. Maybe even a religious choice. That is understandable. I get it. Myself, and many people I’ve known in my life, actually enjoy being as smooth as silk from head to toe. Some just remove hair from the legs and underarms. Some women need to remove hair from the chin and upper lip area as well.
I’ve known many people in my life that go on stage for a living. I’ve known ballet dancers, strippers, line dancers, bodybuilders, bikini models, nude models, and even porn stars. What do they all have in common? The fear of having their audience see the ingrown’s that embarrass them.
Bodybuilders with ingrown’s on the underarms, stomach, pubic area and back. Why? They depend on a completely smooth skin surface when they apply oil. They need to be shiny on stage when they are flexing and posing. And then guess what. The oil makes them worse by clogging the pores even worse!
Ballet dancers with ingrown hairs on the pubic area? They can become irritated, inflamed and worse when tights are worn. Strippers, bikini models, lingerie models, nude models and porn stars? Well, you can just imagine. You see what I’m getting at.
An ingrown hair usually develops several days after hair removal as the hair is growing back. You can use hair removal methods that lessen the risk of developing ingrown hairs. We all know the common methods of hair removal. Most opt for shaving. Many opt for waxing either at home or in a salon. If you can afford it, you might choose laser hair removal. We’ve tried them all. But we still keep getting ingrown hairs.
Have you tried sugaring? Have you ever heard of sugaring? Most people I’ve talked to have not heard of it.
Before moving on to learning about sugaring, let me prefix with this. I’ve been sugaring for five years now. On my own, in my home with organic sugaring paste with no signs of ingrown hairs. Why? Because sugaring removes the entire hair (including the follicle) in the same direction of growth. The hairs grow back thinner and in the correct direction. With exfoliation between sugaring sessions, you will have success also.
Ingrown Hairs Frustrating? Extremely. Worth picking—even if you just shaved for a blemish-free bikini line? Absolutely not.
“Ingrown hairs occur when the hair shaft becomes trapped beneath the skin’s surface,” says Joel Schlessinger, board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf advisor. “The red bumps that follow are often itchy and inflamed, but it’s never a good idea to use tweezers or manual force to pluck them.” In fact, doing so means you’re actually breaking the skin—which can lead to further inflammation and infection, and even dangerous complications like staph infection or sepsis could occur down the road. “Squeezing ingrown hairs will only make inflammation and irritation worse,” says Schlessinger. Instead, apply hydrocortisone—which reduces redness, itchiness, and irritation—and wash the affected area with an exfoliating cleanser to help the hair reach the skin’s surface.
Source: Rodale’s Organic Life