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How to Handle Ingrown Hairs and Prevent Scarring

How to Handle Ingrown Hairs and Prevent Scarring

Experiencing a ingrown hair is not rare. For the most part, everyone will have an ingrown hair at some point in their life. What is difficult is knowing for sure if the bump on your skin is an ingrown hair or something else. Many people have a very hard time distinguishing between ingrown hairs and other skin rashes and bumps that might occur.


Ingrown hairs are a very common skin condition and occur when the hair curls back underneath the skin as opposed to up and out of the skin. As a result, the affected area will most likely become a red and usually painful bump. Ingrown hairs most often occur after shaving, waxing or other hair removal processes. There are two common types of ingrown hairs. The first is a papule, which is just a small, round bump on your skin. The second is pustule, which now means that the small bump has become pus-filled. Depending on your skin type and ingrown hair condition, you may even experience some discoloring in the affected area which is known as hyperpigmentation. Usually ingrown hairs are either itchy or a bit painful.

Ingrown hairs are typically non-serious conditions, however, if you pick and scratch at them they could become infected. They may also become infected by improperly removing the hair stuck beneath the skin. If the area becomes severely infected you may have to take antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. On top of infections you are now also putting yourself at risk for scarring or discoloration. Usually an ingrown hair is a small red or darkly colored bump on the skin. However, when infected, that bump becomes larger, more inflamed, and pus-filled. If an infection occurs and does not seem to be going away, consider visiting your doctor.


In some cases, an ingrown hair can be left alone to heal on its own. You should always try to leave the area alone rather than picking or scratching at it to prevent infection and scars. If the hair must be plucked, try natural hair removal options first. These procedures include simple things such as topical creams or soaking the skin in warm water. If the ingrown hair is still relatively close to the surface of the skin you may easily be able to pluck the hair.

Once the hair is removed, inflammation and swelling should drastically reduce. If you choose to pluck, you should be cautious and use the proper techniques to do so. Some quick steps to plucking would be to soak the area in warm water to soften the skin, apply a dollop of tea tree, coconut, or similar oils, and use clean sterilized tweezers to gently pull the hair up and away from the area. Ignoring these tips may lead to repeated ingrown hairs or infection.


There is currently no known course of action to permanently prevent an ingrown hair, however, there are some home remedies that you can try to at least reduce your risk. Such techniques can include hydrating and softening the skin before shaving, using a new sharp razor, shave in the direction of your hair growth, waiting an ample amount of time between shaving, or exfoliating with salts and sugars.

Outside of preparations to include when shaving, other remedies to prevent and treat existing ingrown hairs are to avoid tight clothes, exfoliate the skin, or depending on the individual, just simply leaving them alone. Some ingrown hairs and scars tend to fade away on their own over time.

For longer lasting prevention procedures you can consult with your doctor about potential hair removal options such as laser hair removal treatments or prescription topicals to safely remove hair over time. Note that these treatments are usually not permanent and results vary per individual.


Consult with your doctor if you have scars from ingrown hairs that you want to reduce. Also, if you have tried several remedies and have yet to find something that works for you, there are over the counter options that will be able to help.

If you have already developed scarring from an ingrown hair or just cannot seem to get rid of those bumps and discolorations, you have plenty of options to try. Newgel+ is a leading brand in scar reduction treatment. They have a proven record with patients that you can see in case studies and customer testimonials on their website. The brand offers several different options that will work to reduce the appearance of any scar or discoloration left behind by an ingrown hair.


Danny Kim

Best tips I’ve found on ingrown hair management online. Thank you.

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