As hair grows it naturally progress up through the skin and projects out the follicle opening on the skins surface. An ingrown hair occurs when a hair twists around and grows back down the hair follicle or curves and grows sideways beneath the skins surface instead of ascending up and out. This can result in the skin becoming irritated and often produces one or many red inflamed pimple like bumps. Ingrown hair can be quite painful and in some cases can develop into boil-like lesions. Ingrown hair affect both men and women most commonly in areas where temporary hair removal methods are used or areas of friction. They can also occur as a result of dead skin blocking the hair follicle causing the hair to stay trapped under the skin. In some cases ingrown hair will resolve on their own however if not self-resolving infection can occur causing pigmentation and or scarring.
There are various approaches to treating ingrown hair. The most effective method in treating ingrown hair is to use laser technologies to treat the trapped hair, the infection, inflammation and the pigmentation and/or redness. Laser hair removal results in a permanent reduction hair in the treated area. The reduction in hair will improve the skin’s condition, tone and texture.
Occasionally professional extraction of the ingrown hair may be required. This is performed by a qualified Dermal Clinician using sterile a probe and skin preparation. It is not recommended to perform extraction at home as most home extractions result in risk of infection and scarring.
Moisturising and exfoliating products can be used to keep the skin soft and supple making it easier for the hair to penetrate through the skin and preventing build-up of dead skin cells. Exfoliating products such as topical Retinol and lactic acid products can also be used to increase cell turnover, reduce build-up of dead skin cells and reduce pigment changes caused by ingrown hair.
Please refer to individual treatment options for more information.