Jul 15, 2015
Ingrown Hair - Cause and Treatment
An uncomfortable and often unsightly condition, an ingrown hair occurs as a shaved or tweezed hair grows and curls back into the skin rather than growing out of it. The result of an ingrown hair is often inflammation and irritation as well as a small to sizeable lump at the site of the hair. Any individual who shaves, tweezes, waxes or uses electrolysis to remove hair has the potential to develop and ingrown hair or hairs.
An ingrown hair can occur on any part of the body from which hair is removed; however, these hairs are most common in males around the beard area and in women in the armpits, pubic area and legs. While individual ingrown hairs may manifest differently, several signs and symptoms of ingrown hairs are common. Small, solid, rounded bumps as well as small, pus-filled, even blister-like lesions are common as a result of ingrown hairs. Additional symptoms include skin darkening, pain, itching and an actual embedded hair.
The structure and direction of growth are two factors that play the biggest role in ingrown hairs. However, several other factors may be involved as well. A curved hair follicle that produces a curled hair is often more susceptible to ingrown hairs than straight follicles. Shaving, pulling the skin taught and tweezing also contribute to the growth of ingrown hairs.
Natural Ingrown Hair Removal and Remedies
While ingrown hairs typically do not constitute a vast health concern, treatment is often necessary to restore regular growth. Common ingrown hair removal treatments include apple cider vinegar applied topically and taken orally and blackstrap molasses can eliminate ingrown hairs. Additional treatment options include garlic, oil pulling, salicylic acid, shea butter and talc. Continue reading below for tips from Earth Clinic on how to remove ingrown hair with home remedies.
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Remedies for Ingrown Hair
re: ACV for anal warts. A few months ago I was horrified to find out a huge wart in between my butt cheeks. Soon later two more appeared as well very close to my anus. This intrigued me since I had tested negative for HPV on the year before (I am VERY paranoid about safe sex and such). I couldn't tell anyone about it because I couldn't explain how a guy can get this kind of stuff. So I searched online for natural cures (I'm all against Big Pharma , so a natural solution was a must). I searched online and found about ACV to be used topically, so that night I placed a huge moist cotton ball with ACV against my anus and went to bed. The next day was a bit uncomfortable as things got swollen, but I went on with it for another night. On day 3 I woke up and took a shower, and to my surprise the big one just fell off right on my hand! It was all black and seemed very spongee. But after two nights things were burning a bit, so I waited for everything to go back to normal before proceeding with the treatment.
Results: they were all gone by the 3rd application and haven't returned. Since then I have been using ACV on my face and I no longer have ingrown hair problems or razor burns. I also take it internally, 2tbsp with water and blackstrap molasses (I love it! Beats having a pop). My skin is great, BO is not an issue anymore, and things just seem to be going well. Thank you all for posting your comments and saving me from a very embarrassing visit to the doctor that would result in expensive and ineffective burns/freezes. It's nothing short of a miracle.
Better But With Side Effects
My daughter had a nasty ingrown hair on her thigh that grew into a big red bump. I tried mashed garlic, put it into an empty tea bag, tied the tea bag with a string, and taped it over the infected area overnight. The next morning, the bump was gone, but the area where the garlic tea bag covered made the skin look like it was burned. Next time I would suggest covering a smaller area, and perhaps not keep it overnight.
I was burnt all over (3rd degree) so I have sensitive skin, I always have ingrown hairs on my inner thighs and buttocks and need a quick solution for the fact that I'm not fond of them nor is my fiance. Also, I need a way to lighten my scars asap. I'm 23 and have had my scars for 7 yrs. Yes I am fond of my unique look but really need to at least lighten them as they're on 67% of my body. Thank you.
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Posted by Jane M (Arlington, Virginia) on 01/27/2011
I love this site and I use it all the time for most smaller health problems! EarthClinic has introduced me to the usefull properties of ACV and Garlic, so benificial! I'm writing because I noticed that your section on ingrown hairs (a problem I have had in my underarms and bikini area since I started shaving, and since then) was very small. I've used a few things to help, though none have really completely fixed the problem for me, but for less severe cases the asprin may be just the trick.
the first thing I tried to get rid of my ingrown hairs was neosporin. The goshdarn things were painful. I don't know about you, but I usually have about 3-5 individual hairs coming from every follicle (is that what the pore is?) and when I get ingrown hairs it gets very inflamed and hard to extract every individual hair or even know if I've got them all. So my boyfriend suggested neosporin and I tried it. I guess it helped with the pain a bit and I'm sure it didn't hurt by preventing infection.
then I went to google, and went through thread after thread of people with the same problem. I found a lot of people had found relief with an asprin mask or tonic made with witch hazel. The same thing has worked for me in the past for stubborn acne, so I was happy to try it and had the uncoated asprin in my medcine cabinet ready to go! The first thing I did while getting ready to make the tonic was put two of the asprin in my hand and added about 5-6 drops of water till they turned into a paste. I just put that directly on all the affected spots. It gets pretty flakey as it dries and if you put it on your face be careful around your nose it REALLY irritates for some reason if you inhale it. I noticed relief right away after it came off. It seemed much calmer. I put it on (either the mask or tonic) about twice a day. This CLEARED all but the most stubborn ingrown hairs within a week and most within a few days. I was very happy, as the asprin cost a dollar from CVS.
So then I was left with a few very stubborn ingrown hairs. At this point, I was fairly desperate. Every time I shave I get lots of tiny ingrown hairs that mostly resolve themselves in about 3 days with exfoliation in the shower and such, but usually a few are left if I don't treat them with the asprin. Even with treatment when I shave I'm usually left wth at least one I have to extract manually after the area calms down, and even then- problems. Not cool.
I see with further googling that somone suggests putting deoderant on the area. I thought that was a bad idea, so many chemicals in such a delicate area (bikini) is just asking for trouble. Or something. But I was desperate, like I said so I tried it. I hate to even include this one as it's not really an "earth" remedy, but it worked. Amazingly. It got rid of all the ingrown hairs after a few days, with results right away, after 30 min no more pain, no more inflamation. The hairs just worked out of the skin so quickly. If I put some on right after shaving and right out of the shower for a day or two I can shave up to twice a week without having problems, And even then minimal! Now it makes sense to me why my armpits never had the same trouble my bikini line did, even though I shaved those every day! I also plan to try oil pulling, I'll keep an eye out for if that helps!
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Posted by Carlsbad (San Diego, Ca) on 08/09/2009
Hi. This is my third week of oil pulling, and the oddest thing has happened. I've had ingrown hairs for years. Suddenly when I woke up this morning, those ingrown hairs were no longer hidden beneath my skin. I pulled them with no problem. What in the world does oil pulling have to do with ingrown hairs?
By the way, other results so fair: the whites of my eyes are particularly white. They're usually off-white, even yellow; mucous drains at the back of my throat when I pull (this just began happening a few days ago); my skin is suddenly baby-soft; and facial pockmarks are lightening up.
Oil pulling has become a very peaceful exercise for me. Love it! Thankfuk for the knowledge!
EC: Thank you for the feedback! Would you mind telling us what type of oil you are using?
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San Diego, Ca
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Posted by Kathy (Stanwood, WA) on 07/18/2009
I used to get razor bumps and ingrown hairs along my bikini line where I shaved. I found that applying a small amount of product containing 2% salicylic acid prevented them. You can find products like this in the acne or psoriasis treatments at the local drugstore. Just read the label. I preferred a light lotion rather than liquid.
Posted by Jenny (Perth, Australia) on 11/21/2009
My whole life I have had terrible dry skin and little bumps on my legs and arms (which I later discovered are in grown hairs). I was so self conscious about it I would not wear shorts even in summer. I now dry ex-foliate regularly and apply pure shea butter over my whole body every two or three days and the results are amazing.
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Posted by Assaf (Tel-aviv, Israel) on 06/24/2012
Hello, I have had a problem with ingrown hairs on my beard area for now about 6 years. I have some scarring from that. I've found that talcum powder on the ingrown hair, resolves it in about a day. I usually use it in the morning and in the evening. I don't put in on regularly, just when I have an ingrown hair.
Talcum makes the skin smoother, and has magnesium in it, I think, which helps the skin, or something. Perhaps some drying or protecting effect, too. Anyway, this really has shown itself many times to work very well.
Replied by Nathli