Treating ingrown hair bumps, blemishes, and boils is just the worst. You can get an ingrown hair wherever you shave, really, although they seem to favor darker, moister areas, such as your inner thighs, your bikini line, and under your arms – ouch! They occur in shaved areas where the hair either grows back into the skin (hence the name) or the hair somehow finds its way back into the follicle and gets trapped. When they occur, they're typically red, swollen, and painful – and if you don't treat them or do it improperly, they can lead to infections. Rather than dealing with pain or scarring, check out these soothing tips for treating ingrown hair problems!
1. Prevention is the Best Cure
The best tip I have for treating ingrown hair problems is to prevent them, of course. This article is filled with tips for how to do that, but keep in mind that you can also try to remove hair without shaving it, since shaving is more likely to cause ingrown hairs. Try waxing or sugaring or even laser hair removal, if that's something you're interested in. If not, these tips will help a lot as well!
2. Use Smart Shaving Techniques
You have to make smart decisions when you shave. For instance, never use a dull razor, and definitely never use a blade that has any rust on it. Think about going over your bikini line and your thighs with an electric razor first, especially if the hairs are quite long. Giving them a buzz decreases your chances of missing or damaging the hairs or follicles when you shave with a razor. When you do, make sure that you don't shave too close – those little stubby hairs are far more likely to become ingrown. Never pull or tighten your skin, don't press down too hard, and try to stick to single blades. As well, make sure you shave with the right products, such as shaving creams that work for sensitive skin, have no alcohol, and are classified as non-acnegenic. Also, avoid anything that leaves your skin dry.
3. Exfoliate Your Skin
Hairs are less likely to get trapped inside the follicle or start growing inward or sideways when your skin is a nice, smooth surface. Exfoliating gives you that surface by getting rid of damaging dead skin. Try to exfoliate at least twice a week, although if you're shaving often, such as in the summer, then try to use a gentle exfoliating scrub every other day.
4. Tweeze but Don't Pluck
Once you have an ingrown hair, there are several ways to get rid of it. Take your tweezers but DO NOT pluck the ingrown hair! Instead, simply lift the end of it out of the follicle in which it's buried. That gives it the opportunity to heal.
5. Soothe with Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is one of the best ingredients for soothing and treating ingrown hairs. It makes them look better and feel better, so look for products that contain it. You can find lots of helpful products that contain salicylic acid while cleaning your pores, moisturizing your skin, exfoliating it, and preventing any infection.
6. Try the Wonders of Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is very soothing as well, plus it's generally handy around the house. Keep it as a back up to the salicylic acid and dab it onto ingrown hairs after dousing a cotton ball or pad with it. You can also look for soothing agents that contain allantoin or azulene.
7. Always Moisturize
Try to keep the skin of your inner thighs and your bikini line moisturized, but not greasy. Always make sure there's no extra moisture hiding around down there, but be certain to moisturize with a lightweight lotion – preferably one that contains salicylic acid – after showering and shaving.
Prevention is the best way to treat ingrown hairs, of course, but that's not always possible. However, if you follow these tips, you'll either be able to avoid getting an ingrown hair or you'll be able to treat it quickly. Have you ever had one? Let me know how you got rid of it!