How to prevent Ingrown Hair?

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How to prevent Ingrown Hair?
How to prevent Ingrown Hair?

Ingrown hair is a skin condition in which the hair instead of growing straight gets trapped into the skin. These ingrown hairs appear on the skin as small reddish pustules and are often itchy and painful. They are found in the areas that are commonly shaved such as the face, neck, armpits, legs and pubic regions - the areas that are shaved more frequently. Ingrown hairs are not harmful in general and can be treated with medicines and ointments if noticed at an early stage. But certain ingrown hairs have a tendency to become more severe and infect the skin, leaving permanent scars.

Although anybody can get ingrown hair, it is more common in Africans, American-Indians and certain people of the Mediterranean origin. This is because they have thicker and denser hair that makes it more susceptible to ingrown hair conditions. Teenagers also develop this symptom.

There are a number of ways to prevent ingrown hair. With a little caution and understanding, and education (i.e. a master in nursing), you can avoid this distressful skin condition. Let us examine some of the ways.

Use high-quality shaving products
Aloe Vera gel

When you buy shaving cream or gel, ensure that these are non-acnegenic and anti-bacterial. Good quality shaving cream contains much of lubricating agent. Generally, foam-based shaving cream tends to irritate the skin. So, you can use gel-based cream to get better results. Take care of your post-shaving products as well. To avoid ingrown hair, buy those products that have salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. These are active substances that moisturize the skin and also clean up the skin pores so as to prevent you from any infection. Shaving products that contain alcohol should be avoided. It not only makes the skin dry, but also blocks the skin pores. This makes it more vulnerable to ingrown hair. Products that contain aloe Vera are also very good for the skin and prevent such irritable skin conditions.

Take care of your skin daily

To prevent ingrown hair and other skin infection, it is important to take care of your skin everyday. This can be done by using a non-acnegenic face scrub. You should exfoliate the skin by gently rubbing it with a soft scrub/brush that contains salicylic acid. This method helps in removing the upper layers of dead skin, thereby avoiding ingrown hair. For exfoliating, dip the brush in a cleansing agent and massage the shaved area in a smooth and circular motion. This removes the dead cells and opens up the pores of the skin. Apply a moisturizer or an anti-bacterial lotion after the shave.

Use the right shaving technique

Shaving is extremely important for maintaining personal hygiene and helps a person look much neater. However, when the techniques of shaving are incorrect or somebody shaves with utter carelessness, it may lead to skin infection and irritable skin conditions such as ingrown hair. There are certain steps in shaving that should be followed in order to prevent ingrown hair.

  • Before you shave, moisturize the skin to make it smooth and easy. You need to follow the direction of the hair growth and shave accordingly. For example, the areas of legs have to be shaved in a downward course. The neck areas should be shaved with an upward stroke. Many people do not understand this and gets affected by ingrown hair.
  • The skin should remain in a calm and relaxed position. While shaving it is not advisable to put a lot of pressure of the skin. Using a sharp single-blade razor is much safer and also ensure that repeated stokes are avoided.
  • It is not advisable to shave everyday. This may terrible disturbing for hair follicle and there is a greater risk of the skin to twist back into the skin. You should shave your face may be on alternate days and armpits and pubic areas twice a week.
Immediately treat the ingrown hair

Even after taking a lot of precautionary measure, it is not unusual to still get ingrown hair. It may first appear like a pimple, but you can understand the swelling, redness and pain as well as a pus formation. The earlier you understand the symptoms the faster will be the healing. There are certain precautionary methods to not let it grow.

  • Exfoliation can be done and very gently to remove the dead and infected skin. it can be done with either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. This will reduce the redness and swelling.
  • Acne medication is often useful as the signs of ingrown hair are similar to acne and pimples.
  • Warm and moist compress on the affected area also removes the inflammation and pain. This can be applied twice a day for 10 minutes.
  • Tweezers can be used to gently tweak the hair out, but this has to be done very carefully. If not, it may lead to infection of ingrown hair, which is extremely painful.

Proper prevention and care will lead to a soft, glowing and healthy skin.