Ingrown hairs are one of the most common skin concerns we treat at Victorian Cosmetic Dermal Clinics. They can occur at any age and are not limited by race or gender making them one of the most common skin concerns amongst adults.
Generally ingrown hairs occur because the hair shaft cannot penetrate the final top layer of skin (called the epidermis) and this hair becomes trapped under the skin layer. Once these hairs become trapped they form red inflamed and painful irritations around the lodged hair. In many cases these ingrown hairs take on the appearance of acne which if left untreated can potentially lead to scarring especially in those skin types who are prone to hyper-pigmentation.
What are they?
Ingrown hairs are bodily or facial hairs that have not been able to fully penetrate the epidermis causing irritated and inflamed pustules. Our body senses these ingrown hairs as a type of trauma or foreign object and automatically sends inflammatory chemicals and fluids to surround the ‘injury’. Unfortunately these pustules can become inflamed, itchy and painful and can cause mild to even severe discomfort particularly around more sensitive areas such as the genitals and anus. Not only can these ingrown hairs be quite painful to live with on a daily basis, they are the source of much embarrassment and discomfort for many of us.
What causes them?
There are a few factors that influence the frequency and occurrence of ingrown hairs. Perhaps the main factor is the type of hairs that we have. Typically we note that clients who have predominantly curly or wavy hair are more susceptible to these ingrown hairs because rather than the hair shaft staying rigid and straight, they tend to burrow, curl and grow in and around the skin layers. Often the state of the skin can influence the severity and occurrence of ingrown hairs for example in those who tend to have oily skin or who do not exfoliate regularly.
Am I the only one who gets them?
Ingrown hairs are one of those skin and hair concerns that are not limited by age, race or gender. The curlier or thicker the hair you have, generally the more prone to ingrown hairs you will be, but there are solutions to ingrown hairs.
Are ingrown hairs ever serious?
Ingrown hairs are rarely serious. They can however cause serious discomfort and pain. One of the more common diagnoses of ingrown hairs are called Pilonidal Cysts. These often occur around the genitals and anus and can cause serious pain, discomfort and embarrassment.
How about depilatory creams for ingrown hairs?
Depilatory creams and lotions designed to soften/thin unwanted hair are not effective methods for preventing or removing ingrown hairs. The reason for this is that the cause of the issue is the actual root of the hair itself and so an effective treatment needs to target the root or hair follicle and prevent it from becoming lodged in the first place.
How do you prevent ingrown hairs?
The most effective way to prevent ingrown hairs is to regularly exfoliate your skin. This can be done in conjunction with a scrub or cleanser to help nourish and soften your skin at the same time. The reason this works so well is twofold. First, by exfoliating your skin regularly you are removing the top dead layer of skin making it far easier for your hair to penetrate the skin without becoming trapped under excess or dead skin layers. Second, by using product with your exfoliation routine you are softening the skin and allowing the hair to push through even easier. Not only will these two methods significantly prevent the occurrence of ingrown hairs but they will also leave your skin glowing, revitalised and refreshed.
What is the best treatment for ingrown hairs?
Permanent laser hair removal is by far the most effective remedy for ingrown hairs. By removing and destroying the root of the hair, it simply does not grow back therefore you eliminate the hairs becoming trapped and lodged in the first place. The beauty about laser hair removal is that it can be used on even the most sensitive areas such as the genitals and anus which are very common areas of concern for many adults. If you are fed up and tired of enduring the pain, discomfort and embarrassment of ingrown hairs, we highly recommend you give laser hair removal a try. Our results truly do speak for themselves.
For more details on how we can help you live your life hair free, please get in touch via telephone or fill in the form below to send us an email.
We look forward to seeing you soon.