Hair which grows from the scalp is always welcome, but many of us also face the problem of ingrown hair, i.e., hair that has curled up and grown back into the skin instead of rising up.
Commonly known as razor bump, the ingrown hair looks like a pimple, a small red bump which is raised on the skin. In fact, sometimes there is even puss inside that bump. Irritating and embarrassing, ingrown hair, however, demands immediate attention; as they could cause harm to our skin.
But what causes the growth of ingrown hair? And, what are the possible symptoms of such growth? Moreover, how could we reduce ingrown hair? These are certain questions that we would be answering in the article below.
Causes of Ingrown Hair
To begin with, ingrown hair is not just a problem that occurs with women. Men too can have this problem. In fact, the growth of such hair usually occurs in the face of men and other areas like armpits, groin, legs, eyelashes, and inner thighs,in both men and women! Not just does this become embarrassing for both, but it also can be very painful.
Here are four major causes of ingrown hair:
1. When you are wearing tight clothing. Tight clothing may make you stay in the fashion role, but it is a wrong notion. Clothing like skinny jeans, nylon pants, polyester-based innerwear can breed some serious infection. So make you sure you wear soft cotton clothing, especially in private parts, which are easily breathable and won’t rub against the skin.
2. When you are scraping your skin while shaving. Many-a-times while shaving, you might hold the razor too close to your skin. This can happen when your razor is dull and worn out, which can stimulate irritation and lead to ingrown hair. One best way to overcome this problem, is to use a fresh blade. A razor blade should not be used for more than 3-4 times. Also, make sure that you use a good and thick shaving gel. Besides, women should always consider waxing, rather than shaving their legs.
3. When you are shaving or waxing in the wrong direction. Sometimes shaving in the opposite direction of your hair growth, could also cause ingrown hair. So be sure to lather the shaving area well in the direction of the hair growth before you shave or get the area shaved by salon professionals. You can also use a pre-shave cream or gel to soften the stubble.
4. When you are scratching or picking at the ingrown hair in the public area. Avoid doing this at all costs, as it will end up aggravating the sensitive area all the more, by causing an infection or leaving a scar.
Symptoms of Ingrown Hair
1. Here’s how you can know if you have ingrown hair:
2. Formation of small, rounded bumps, called papules.
3. Appearance of small, pus-filled, blister-like lesions, called pustules.
4. Pain in the affected ingrown area.
5. Itching in the affected place.
6. Increase of skin darkening, or hyperpigmentation.
7. Growth of embedded hairs.
Though the above pointers might sound nasty, but these are perhaps, the best symptoms of ingrown hair. However, you can get rid of this pesky problem by adopting one of the following remedies.
Remedies for Ingrown Hair
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a very good element in reducing ingrown hair, as it has certain antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Therefore, a good soak will reduce inflammation, open the pores and eliminate ingrown hair.
Remedy: Mix around 20 drops of tea tree oil with warm water. Dip a washcloth and press gently on the skin. Wait a few minutes and repeat the procedure as may times as you think it is necessary.
Honey is blessed with anti-bacterial properties which prevent the affected part from getting further infected. Also, it has moisturizing properties which reduce the swelling and pain caused by ingrown hair. Besides, honey also does not cause any adverse side effects when applied topically on the skin and is quite safe. Thus, making it one of the best remedies for ingrown hair.
Remedy: Apply 2-3 tsps of raw, unprocessed honey to the affected areas. Let it set for about 20-30 minutes and rinse later with cold water. Repeat this process two to three times daily, for a week, for better results.
3. Lemon Juice
Loaded with vitamins C, B6 and A, and E, lemon juice is a natural antioxidant. It also has strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help cure ingrown hair. However, should you be having sensitive skin, then do not try this remedy as lemon juice might cause skin reactions.
Remedy: Take a fresh lemon and cut it into two halves. Remove the seeds, and squeeze the juice. Apply the lemon juice on the affected areas. Allow it to sit for an hour or an hour and a half. Wash with cool water and dab dry. Repeat the process twice daily for a week, for better results.
4. Cucumber and Milk
Cucumber is a natural, skin-friendly vegetable that is loaded with useful minerals that have the power to hydrate the skin and keep it fresh and glowing. Moreover, it also has anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural exfoliating agent. Milk, on the other hand, can do wonders to the skin. It can help remove the minutest blemish left behind by ingrown hair. And if combined together, cucumber and milk can make one of the best home remedies for an ingrown hair. Besides, neither cucumber nor milk, cause any side effects when applied on the skin.
Remedy: Grate 2 fresh cucumbers and add 2 tablespoons of milk to it. Refrigerate this mixture for about 30 to 45 minutes. Then apply the puree on the affected parts, and let it sit for an hour or so. Wash with warm water and dab dry. Repeat the process daily for a week, for complete results.
Turmeric or haldi, is a tried and tested remedy to reduce any pain or infection on the skin. In fact, it’s known to kill any bacteria growing on the skin. Also, it helps reduce any marks on the skin and painful, small bumps, which are caused by ingrown hair.
Remedy: Mix turmeric with water and apply it on the ingrown hair. Let it sit for about a few minutes and wash it later.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is one of the most useful medicinal herbs that has multiple therapeutic benefits and is used extensively to treat skin afflictions and various hair problems. Applying Aloe Vera on ingrown hair has a soothing effect and helps get relief from the itching and irritation. Besides it also has antiseptic qualities that help with the healing process.
Remedy: Cut 1-2 thick leaves of Aloe Vera, and remove the thorny spikes. Peel the skin on the rounded side and remove the gooey gel. Apply the gel on the ingrown hair and let it sit for a couple of hours. Wash off the gel with cold water, and dab dry gently. For complete results, repeat process twice daily for a week.