Hair deviating from its normal growth pattern; hairs that curl inwards or grows sideways deeper into the skin present embarrassing acne-like bumps that become an eyesore. Ingrown hairs also bring pain and infection in their wake.
Medical treatments cover the entire spectrum from symptom alleviating antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicines to hair removing chemical exfoliants and more advanced solutions such as electrolysis and laser therapy. But not all instances of ingrown hair require medical treatment. Many ingrowths of a recurring nature can be overcome with home remedies that are not only easier to follow but involve lower expenses and have little or no side effects.
First and foremost – the warm compress and gentle plucking
- Get hold of a soft white cloth and dip it in warm (not scalding) water.
- Hold the soft moist cloth against the affected skin for a couple of minutes.
- Let the heat warm the skin, and soften it till the tips of the erect bumps show the concealed hair.
- Use sterilized needles and tweezers to grasp the curled hair, being careful only to remove only the curled portion and not the root.
- Disinfect the exposed follicles and apply a cooling moisturizer to prevent the skin from drying up.
Shave correctly and with greater respect for your skin
Shaving over a dry skin or shaving against the normal layout of the hair can not only damage skin but encourage ingrowths to occur with increasing frequency. Consider the following tips.
- Shave after a hot bath or warm shower. The skin will be softer and there will be less of a tugging sensation when the hair is cut.
- Always choose a shaving cream or gel that contains natural moisturizers and properly lubricates the shave. Keep applying cream after each shave stroke.
- If you are prone to stringy, curly or coarser hair avoid shaving too close to the skin to prevent hair growing inwards.
- Moisturize the skin regularly at least two times – once after the morning shave and just before you prepare for bed, which can be preceded by a skin cleaning routine to remove oils, grease, and cosmetics.
Follow the exfoliation routine with due diligence
The greatest service you can do to skin prone to ingrown hairs is to practice a good exfoliation routine. If you are prone to ingrowths the least you can do is to cut back severely on shaving and to exfoliate the area at least twice daily. This is what you do.
- Take a spoon each of baking soda, pure honey (preferably organic) and powdered nutmeg.
- On a dry surface apply the mixture of raw honey and baking soda ensuring to rub the paste gently between palms to impart warmth. After application, massage the skin gently till you feel the paste drying.
- Leave the face mask on for at least ten to fifteen minutes.
- Then wipe the mask off using a warm and moist towel.
Baking soda is actually a strong exfoliant and it ensures that a layer of dead cells peels off, exposing fresh new skin. Honey protects the new skin from bacterial action. Nutmeg does a great job exfoliating dead cells with its abrasive action while preserving the strength and resilience of skin.
Tackling inflammation naturally and normally without side effects
Perhaps the most irritating aspect of ingrown hairs is inflammation and the burning sensation that destroys our mental equilibrium. Therefore, bringing down the sense of irritation ought to be our immediate goal. Tea tree oil is one of the most potent sources of Vitamin E and anti-inflammatory agents that not only soothes burning, but also aids healing in a big way.
Source common ingredients Aloe Vera, rose water witch hazel and tea tree oil in equal parts, keeping them stored in the fridge for maximizing its cooling impact.
- Mix the ingredients in equal quantities, the volume depending on the area of skin you are targeting and the size of the follicles and their chronic nature.
- Apply the cooling paste and leave on the skin for at least fifteen minutes.
- Wash away with warm water and pluck out the exposed hairs carefully using sterilized tweezers.
- Follow up with a deep pore cleansing routine and a good moisturizer.
The beauty of this treatment is that it defoliates the dry upper layer of skin, thereby exposing hair follicles and their curled hair contents. The exfoliation of skin leaves the cells rejuvenated and fresh, reducing recurrence of ingrowths.
Ingrown hair cannot be considered as a medical emergency. Yes, it can be absolutely uncomfortable and may cause irritation and inflammation. There are simple home remedies which will either help prevent ingrown hair or reduce the discomfort caused because of it.
Some of these easy measures are discussed below:
Before shaving or waxing, you can use a pair of sterile tweezers and lift out the ingrown hair. Use a simple method, by just bringing them out to the surface of the skin. This is a very safe method, to just lift the hair, instead of plucking it from. The root. Nevertheless, if you have sensitive skin it might be best to stay away from this method. Sensitive skin heals over a long period of time, so you might get some scars if you’re using the tweezer.
Aspirin helps to reduce the symptoms of redness and inflammation, which are the two most common form of symptoms in ingrown hair. The anti-inflammatory property of aspirin reduces swelling, fights inflammation and treats mild infection. Plus, the salicylic acid present in aspirin scrubs away dead skin to loosen the offending hair. There is a way to consume it. First , you take two aspirin tablets in one teaspoon of warm water until it forms a paste like consistency. Add a little, that is about one teaspoon of honey. Now, apply this paste to the effected area. Let the paste remain for about ten minutes. Now , wash it off with warm water and gently pat the skin dry. Repeat this procedure for about two to three times a week.