Ingrown hairs also known as razor bumps, razor burn, hair bumps, shaving bumps or pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB), is a condition where the hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin causing inflammation.
It may or may not be accompanied by an infection of the hair follicle, or razor bumps which vary in size. While ingrown hair most commonly appears in areas where the skin is shaved viz beard, legs, pubic region, it can appear anywhere on the body.
Ingrown hairs are more common among people with very curly hair. Most ingrown hairs occur in the beard area and ingrown hairs are very common in people of colour
The most common symptom of an ingrown hair is inflammation of the skin, followed by pus formation. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. The symptoms of an ingrown hair may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
Many ingrown hairs will eventually grow out by themselves and don't need treatment. See a dermatologist if you get ingrown hairs all the time or if the pain of an ingrown hair persists for more than a few days.
When needed, treatment may include:
- Topical antiseptics
- Antibiotics, if an infection is present
- Permanent hair removal, in stubborn cases
- Shaving tips that may help prevent ingrown hairs on the face include:
- Avoid repeated razor strokes over the same area
- Shave only in one direction and in the direction of hair growth
- Use a moisturizer to soften the beard/ hair before shaving or shave after showering to make shaving easier
At Body Renewal we offer exfoliating lotions such NeoStrata Ultra Smoothing Lotion which is formulated with AHAs, and is ideal moisturizing and exfoliating therapy for dry, rough skin on the body and is great for areas that are prone to ingrown hairs.
In office therapies:
For areas that are prone to ingrown hairs and are resistant to topical treatment, Laser hair removal with the NdYag laser dramatically improves the problem within 2 to 3 treatments. This treatment is indicated for any skin type especially in people of colour who are more prone to this problem.
Body Renewal Tip:
After 2 or 3 Laser hair removal treatments to improve and treat ingrown hairs, the post Inflammatory hyperpigmentation that remains can be treated with topical skin lighteners such as the Luminesce brightening range and/or in office Alpha hydroxy or Beta Hydroxy peels .