Ingrown hair can also be known as razor bumps or in medical terms pseudofolliculitis barbae. Common symptoms of this skin care problem are inflammation of the skin in localized small bumps with a small hair visible in the bump, redness, mild pain, and itchiness. A small infection may be present leading to the presence of puss in the inflamed area.
Ingrown hairs are closely associated with the act of shaving and therefore, the beard and neck areas in men are prime locations for ingrown hair to occur. However, women also commonly shave certain body areas and therefore, like men, women are concerned about ingrown-hair. For women, the legs, underarms, and bikini area are all usually affected by these razor bumps.
An ingrown hair is created when a hair shaft is cut too deep. As this hair strand grows, it might curl back into the same hair follicle, is trapped underneath the skin surface, and grows back into the skin. In addition, this skin problem may also appear when new hair gets caught under the skin surface without ever being cut.
Often ingrown hairs disappear on their own by growing out from beneath the skin’s surface. In addition, ingrown hairs can be removed by carefully lifting them out of the skin with tweezers. The hairs should not be plucked.
However, for many individuals this chronic skin problem does require more sophisticated action to be taken to alleviate the discomfort. Possible treatments for individuals with chronic ingrown hair problems are the use of depilatory creams or electrolysis in order to remove the hair. Depilatory creams are used for the short-term removal of the hair. For a more permanent hair removal method, then electrolysis is the way to go. A dermatologist, depending on the severity of the condition, can prescribe other treatments. Topical antiseptics may be used to prevent infections from occurring or when there is infection, antibiotics may be required.
Although it is not always possible to stop ingrown hairs from occurring, the best treatment is prevention. Because shaving is one of the major causes of ingrown hair, one should take note of proper shaving techniques and follow some practical shaving tips. These shaving tips include using an electric razor, using shave gel instead of foam, washing the skin before shaving, shaving in the direction of hair growth and using the same direction every time the hair is shaved, and avoiding repeated shaving strokes in the same area.