What could possibly be worse than ingrown hairs? Ding, ding, ding, you've got it — the scars and dark spots they leave behind. Not only do they cause discomfort, but they aren't the most appealing sight, especially when they get infected.
However, they're nothing to be ashamed of; everyone gets them! Granted, some are worse than others, but that's why we're here. We want to free you of your ingrown hair dilemma and help you get rid of those unwanted dark spots.
What Is An Ingrown Hair
There are only a few people that have never experienced ingrown hair. However, if you have, we're sure you know what it is — or feels like, at least.
Ingrown hairs can occur when the hair on your body's shaved rough, rigid, or at all. When hair grows back, it can sometimes be thicker and more coarse, resulting in the hair growing into the skin.
Ingrown hairs commonly occur after hair removal processes. The hair and armpits are two very common areas. The discomfort can vary, as it depends somewhat on the person's tolerance.
Signs of an Ingrown Hair
Spotting ingrown hairs is more difficult than you'd think —- you'll most likely feel it before you see it. However, here are some surefire signs that you may have an ingrown in need of some TLC.
- Small solid, round bumps
- Small, puss-filled bumps
- Skin darkening
- Visually embedded hairs
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms in the areas you shave, you may be victim to a few ingrown hairs. But trust us, there is no need to panic. Ingrown hairs are usually an easy fix and result in immediate relief from the discomfort they can cause.
Ways To Help Alleviate Discomfort
Dealing with ingrown hairs can be a process, but it's so worth it. Nobody has time to deal with itchy pits all day!
Certain skins or hair types are naturally prone to ingrown hairs. If you have curly, coarse hair, you're more likely to get ingrown hairs where you shave. The reason is that your hair doesn't grow in one direction or just simply out. It curls and grows into itself.
Therefore, causing the hair to grow into the skin.
While these tips may help a little, that's not to say this will be the last of your ingrown hairs forever. After all, they are natural, and no matter how careful you are, they can be inevitable. Enough small talk, let's figure out how to get these ingrown hairs growing out, as they should be.
Don’t Pick at It
An infected ingrown hair is far worse than an ingrown hair on its own. The best way to avoid infecting it is by leaving it alone. We know it can be irritating, but try not to pick or dig at it.
In some cases Infecting your ingrown hair can lead to scarring and even more discomfort.
Let It Breathe
If your ingrown hair is in an area clothed in tight clothing, we suggest steering clear from these pieces for a few days, no matter how good you look in them. Allow the ingrown hair to air out.
The last thing you want is tight clothing rubbing against it, causing more discomfort to the area.
Keep It Sanitized and Moisturized
To best avoid infection, your best bet is to keep the area as sanitized and clean as possible. Keep the skin around the hair moisturized; this can help the hair pop out independently.
Avoid shaving or Plucking for a Little
Considering shaving or plucking is usually the culprit behind your ingrown hairs, maybe consider taking a break for a little — a week or two max.
We know that shaving is probably a part of your daily or every-other-day routine but trust us, sometimes your skin just needs a little break.
Epsom Salt Bath
Who doesn't want an excuse to take a warm bath? Well, we're giving you one. If your ingrown hairs are exceptionally uncomfortable this evening, we suggest plopping down in a nice warm Epsom salt bath. Grab your favorite book, maybe a glass of wine (or two), and let your body soak in all the warm Epsom salt goodness.
Epsom salt is known to help with many skin discomforts, and warm water often helps those ingrown hairs loosen up a bit.
While ingrown hairs are rarely painful enough to require medication, Ibuprofen may help with the discomfort when an infection gets bad enough.
Putting a warm compress or warm washcloth over the area may help alleviate some discomfort and help the ingrown hair loosen up. Once moisture is involved, it allows the ingrown hair to wiggle out from under your skin.
It's important to remember not to touch ingrown hairs. The more you touch them, the more likely they will become infected. The hair releasing from the skin is a process you should allow to happen naturally.
Can You Prevent Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hairs are more to blame on genetics than your efforts to prevent them. Yes, if you're prone to them, taking more initiative to avoid them is crucial. However, chances are you'll still get some occasionally.
Here are some tricks you can try to possibly avoid more ingrown hairs.
Moisturize Before and After
If you have a post-shave routine, we suggest it consists of many moisturizers. Ensuring that everywhere you shave is very moisturized is key to avoiding unwanted friends. Make sure to moisturize with our Moisturizing Body Lotion before and after you shave.
Use a Sharp Razor
Using a dull old razor may result in razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and unwanted infections. Razors are getting unclose and personal with your skin; ensuring your razors are sanitized is super important.
A good rule of thumb is to store your razor in a dry environment and always throw it out after a maximum of ten shaves.
When you exfoliate in the shower or bath before shaving is essential to prevent ingrown hairs, it gives the razor an even and clean canvas to work its magic. Not to mention, it makes your skin extra soft.
Getting Rid of The Dark Spots
Now that you know everything about ingrown hairs – how to spot them, treat them, and avoid them; let's talk about if you've already had them. If you've had bad ingrown hairs in the past that have gotten infected, they may have left behind little dark spots. They're a total pain and can feel impossible to get off.
If you're suffering from dark spots caused by ingrown hairs, here's the section for you – read closely.
Know Your Products
Using products that accelerate cell turnover can help disperse pigment from the skin's surface. Anything with Vitamin A, mandelic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid may give you your desired results.
Products that can work at brightening your skin are optimal as well. Focus these products on the dark spots in hopes they may lighten them up. Look for any products that contain vitamin C, kojic acid, or hydroquinone.
Retinal may lessen the appearance of your dark spots as it has brightening agents. It can aid in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and help even out skin.
Wear Sunscreen Daily
If your dark spots are in an area of the body that sees the sun often, we suggest applying sunscreen daily. Yes, even if you don't have any aquatic activities planned.
Sun can cause your already dark spots to appear even darker.
While this will not lessen the appearance of your dark spots, it will prevent them from getting worse. If you pair the two practices above and incorporate them into your daily routine, you may see a change in your dark spots.
Dark Spots, Be Gone
Here at Nourishing Biologicals, we know how frustrating and uncomfortable ingrown hairs can get. But the only thing worse than ingrown hair is the scar that feels like it will be there forever.
Yes, some people are more prone to ingrown hairs considering their genetics, but that doesn't have to be all negative. All it takes is knowing how to treat the area and prevent the risk of future ingrown hairs.