Ingrown hairs can be a pain, literally! They occur when hair curls around and grows back into your skin instead of rising up from it or when the hair follicle is clogged so the hair is forced to grow sideways under the skin instead of up and out. Ingrown hairs irritate the skin as they’re treated as foreign objects under your skin and usually result in painful, itchy red bumps that can get infected.
Usually ingrown hairs do not require any treatment because they will eventually clear up on their own but they can be uncomfortable and unsightly especially since us women are prone to getting them on our legs, underarms and bikini area so there are ways to remove ingrown hairs yourself at home without having to visit a doctor.
Twice daily, exfoliate the skin around the ingrown hair to clear away any dead skin cells, dirt and oil that may be blocking the hair, to try to coax it out. Scrub in all directions around the hair and then rinse off the debris with warm water. You can use a store-bought exfoliator or make one yourself using this homemade exfoliating scrub recipe for ingrown hairs or by mixing 1 cup of white or brown sugar with 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
Baking soda can also be used as an exfoliator and it also helps to soothe inflammation, relieve itching and reduce redness. Just mix 1 tablespoon of baking powder with 1 tablespoon of water to make a thick paste and then rub it gently onto the skin and leave it on for five minutes. Afterwards. rinse if off with warm water.
Use a Hot Compress
Hold a hot washcloth over the ingrown hair for around 10 minutes twice a day. You may need to run the washcloth under hot water again when it cools down. This will soften the skin and hair and help bring it closer to the surface as well as minimize irritation in the area until it can be removed.
Apply Acne Medication
Acne medication can be used to treat ingrown hairs as they are quite similar to pimples. Apply one that contains either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid twice a day to reduce the swelling and give the hair more room to grow out rather than in. If you don’t have any acne medication you could use a toner that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid or use toothpaste.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has powerful antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent infection and quicken the healing process. Apply it twice daily and always make sure to dilute it before applying it to your skin to prevent irritation. Mix 5 drops of tea tree oil with 1 tablespoon of water and then dab the mixture on gently with a cotton pad.
Use Tweezers to Remove the Hair
After using one or a combination of the various methods above, once you’re able to see the hair, use a sharp pair of tweezers to pluck and remove it. Preferably a pointed tweezer should be used as it can accurately target the hair without nipping the skin and you should sterilize it beforehand using rubbing alcohol. After removing the hair, apply an antiseptic cream or dab diluted tea tree oil on the area to help bring down inflammation and protect against infection.
We hope that you’ve found these methods of removing ingrown hairs useful, please feel free to leave a comment below to let us know which method works best for you or if you’d like to share any of your own tips! Also check out our 4 Effective Tips on How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs and our recommendations for the Best Ingrown Hair Products For Getting Rid Of Ingrown Hairs Fast.