Have you ever woken up to the horror of a scar on your face? Most of us have. The first thing that comes to your mind is that it may be a pimple or a blackhead.
But when you realize it’s not one among the two options mentioned above, you may suspect it as ingrown hair. This relatively common condition can leave behind deep scars which render many people self-conscious.
Although it does no harm and most scars are self-limiting and fade without any intervention, there are a few options by which you can reduce the appearance of ingrown hairs scars. However, it may be wise to consult a dermatologist regarding the scars if they persist for a longer time.
Do you know that the hair curls upon itself and grows inside the skin is known as ingrown hair ?. It is more common in those people whose hair is coarse hair and curly hair.
Sometimes the ingrown hair follicle may get infected, it is also known as folliculitis. They may vary in size from a small pin-head to a first size ball growing inside the skin.
The most common areas where the ingrown hairs are seen are mostly the areas where a razor is applied to shave the hair. It may also appear in places where you wax out your hair. Although it can appear anywhere, the most common sites are:
- Pubic region
Ingrown Hair On Chin
Why Does It Happen?
Ingrown Hairs – 2D Animation
- Ingrown hairs are not a serious condition. It can happen to anyone. But curly hair is prone to bend backward and re-enter the skin, specifically after it has been shaved or cut.
- Whenever the hair is broken using a sharp tip, unevenly, it causes the hair to curl upon itself and grow in the opposite direction inside the skin. The causes include Shaving, waxing, and wearing tight clothes.
- Also, if your body produces increased levels of certain sex hormones, it can result in excessive growth of hair, leading to ingrowths especially after shaving.
- Many ethnic groups like Latinos, African Americans, or even people with thick and curly hair develop a certain type of ingrowths called ‘pseudofolliculitis’. They are commonly known as “razor bumps,” they present as a collection of little bumps on the area after shaving, waxing, or tweezing to get rid of unwanted hair. The set of hairs that grow afterward have a sharper edge, thus making it very easy to poke back into the skin.
- At times, the dead skin may clog up the hair follicle. This forces the hair inside to grow sideways underneath the skin, rather than in its normal direction. Sometimes, when you cut the naturally curly hair too closely, the sharpened end of the hair pierces the skin, which will result in ingrown hair.
How to Remove Ingrown Hairs-Pre-Electrolysis Care
What Is An Ingrown Hair Scar?
It a small scar that may be red and inflamed, almost the size of a pin-head which remains on the skin even after the hair growth is removed.
What Does It Look Like?
An ingrown hair tends to irritate the skin. It results in a red, raised bump or group of bumps that look similar to a pimple. Sometimes it can produce a painful, boil-like sore.
If there are multiple ingrowths, they may become itchy and uncomfortable. Sometimes there may be a formation of pus inside these bumps. You may see the hair which has grown inside.
How Long The Ingrown Hair Scars Last?
The scars of ingrown hair may last up to years especially if they are associated with hormonal imbalance. The sharpened hair ends may remain stationary or may continue to grow inwards. It may be self-limiting, or it may continue to grow and accumulate more hair.
What Is The Treatment?
You can remove these ingrowths quickly with several methods. Some of them have been listed below:
- Tweezers can be used to remove the hair but this method may be painful. Few medical devices rotate, they are applied to the skin and can remove the trapped hair.
- For people who get repeated attacks of ingrown hair, treatments like laser or electrolysis of the hair roots can be performed. This destroys the hair follicles.
- Many new creams and ointments have been developed to stop or cure these ingrown hairs. In some individuals show that alcohol may because irritation to the skin. Hence alcohol-free preparations are preferred for such patients.
- The application of salicylic acid is also a very common method to get rid of troublesome ingrown hairs.
- It is advisable to use an exfoliating agent every day to exfoliate the space where ingrowths occur. It will prevent the formation of new ingrowths. You can also exfoliate using scrubs, creams or sponges, and towels.
- To prevent them from re-occurring, you can apply a topical solution of diluted glycolic acid twice a day.
If none of these methods help in getting rid of the ingrown hair or if it lasts for more than 3 months it is advisable to visit a dermatologist. Also, if it gets infected with oozing of pus, or causes a considerable amount of pain, it is better to get treated by a specialist.
The doctor will make a small cut on the affected area with a sterile scalpel or needle to release the tension and drain the pus. They may even prescribe few medications like
- Steroids – A topical ointment that reduces swelling and irritation.
- Retinoid – They remove the dead skin cells as well as reduce the pigment changes.
- Antibiotics – Either oral or ointments are given to treat a secondary infection.
8 Ways to Prevent Ingrown Hairs
The most effective way to prevent ingrown hairs is to abstain from shaving, waxing, or using any hash methods for the removal of extra growth. Both men and women should as far as possible avoid the razor.
However, there are a few tips to reduce the chances of occurrence even while you shave.
- Use an exfoliating agent to rub your face in a circular motion to remove the stubborn ingrown hairs.
- Always shave with a single-handed sharp razor.
- First, ensure that you have applied enough lubrication to the area you are about to shave.• Shave in the direction of your hair growth.
- Stroke the razor a few times on the skin. This prevents the incurring of small stumps.
- Rinse the blade after every stroke.
- Don’t shave very close to your skin. If you use an electric razor; remember to hold it slightly away from the surface of your skin.
- Try to be gentle on your skin and do not harshly haphazardly rub the razor.
- Use a clean damp towel to wipe the area.
- Apply moisturizing cream to smoothen the new hair.
- Use a trimmer instead of a razor
- You can also go for laser treatment or electrolysis to permanently stop the growth of hair in that particular region.
Home Remedies For Ingrown Hair Scars
Lemon juice helps to lighten the dark scars. Ingrown hairs can cause pigmentation. Vitamin C in the lemon is essential for wound healing. The bleaching property of the lemon may be useful in reducing the scars.
Soak a gauze piece or some cotton in lemon juice and apply it over the scars. Let the juice dry, and then rinse it with lukewarm water. Repeat the process every day till the scar fades away.
Aloe Vera gel
The ingrown hair clogs the skin pores due to mechanical as well as inflammatory processes. Aloe Vera helps to loosen up the skin and reduce inflammation, especially during the early stages when the scar is forming. It also helps to increase the elasticity of the new tissue
Use your fingertips to scoop out a layer of fresh Aloe. You can use pure Aloe Vera gel too. Apply it over the scar and leave it to dry. Repeat every day.
Green tea is a very reliable method to get rid of ingrown hair scars. Green tea has special antioxidant properties which aid in the healing of injured tissues. It may also be used to fade the scars that appear over the skin.
Dip a bag of green tea, preferably an organic brand, in boiling water for around 3 minutes. Then remove the bag from the water, squeeze out excess water and gently place the bag over the scar for about 10-15 minutes. You can repeat the procedure 3-4 times a day.
Alternatively, you can also dip a clean towel in a cup of hot green tea and apply it to the scar for 10-15 minutes.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil helps to heal ingrown hair scars. Lavender oil is presumed to have some anti-inflammatory properties which fasten the healing of scar tissue.
To use lavender oil, take 2-3 drops of lavender oil and mix it in 2 tablespoons of castor oil. Rub this mixture over the scars and gently massage the area. Repeat the process at least 2-3 times a day for faster results.
Ingrown hair scars can be managed effectively by the above-mentioned procedures and home remedies. If required you should consult a doctor. Most of the scars heal by themselves and do not require any treatment.
Avoid touching them or squeezing them as this may lead to infection. Also, ensure that you expose those parts to sunlight. It has anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce the scars and also prevent the formation of new scars.