Have you ever shaved your armpits, groin, or face and later found yourself with some itchy bumps? If you have, these are what are referred to as ingrown hairs.


Ingrown hair is a condition where hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin. Sometimes they are accompanied by an infection of the hair follicle. While ingrown hair mostly appears in areas that have been shaved, pulled, or waxed where the skin is shaved or waxed, it can appear anywhere. Anything which causes the hair to be broken off unevenly with a sharp tip can cause ingrown hairs.


Ingrown hairs can affect the face, neck, legs, armpits, chest back, or pubic areas and are very common primarily after puberty.


People sometimes refer to ingrown hairs as razor bumps but these are just one type of ingrown hair. Razor bumps often appear on the face and legs due to repetitive shaving.


What are some of the symptoms?

Symptoms of ingrown hair include a rash, itching skin, and hair that remains in spite of shaving. Sometimes the area will also form a reddish, raised bump, similar to a pimple.


In-grown hairs can get infected causing them to have pus and become very painful.


What causes ingrown hairs?

– When hair is cut close to the follicular opening using a sharp tip, this can pierce the skin and cause ingrown hair.

– Improper shaving techniques are the major cause of ingrown hairs.

– Hair-removal techniques like waxing, as well as friction from tight clothing, may worsen the situation

– Although ingrown hair is primarily caused by improper or aggressive hair removal, it sometimes occurs naturally as too much dead skin debris blocks the hair follicle opening, causing the hair to grow sideways.


So, how can you prevent ingrown hairs?

One of the best ways to prevent ingrown hair is to find out whether shaving or waxing irritates your skin. When shaving, there are a few precautions that can be taken to prevent ingrown hairs, like proper shaving techniques and preparation of the skin before shaving.


It is important to apply some lubrication before shaving-like shaving cream, gel, or soap. This will prevent the hair from being forced underneath the surface of the skin and also, avoid using too much force with a razor. If you have the means, ingrown hair can be prevented by removing the hair permanently.


It is important to note that ingrown hairs or what some people like to call them, razor bumps are not Sexually Transmitted Diseases or infections though they can be mistaken to be especially because of how they appear and the fact that once infected they can have puss and become painful. If the tips of prevention shared do not help, please seek medical advice.

Photo credit: Healthline

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