Ingrown hair (or folliculitis) is a hair that didn’t grow out of the skin completely or one that is grown back into the skin. It is also known as razor burn or bumps, shaving bumps and Psuedofolliculitis Barbae (PFB). This condition usually causes infection and irritation of the skin, which can be seen as the bump or simply hurt when you touch it. Some 40% of young people (aging 18 to 25) have experienced some similar problems, mainly because of waxing or curly hair. The condition is not limited to happen only to women, since men could also suffer from ingrown hair.
Why Does Ingrown Hair Happen
The most common causes of ingrown hair are removing of the hairs, by shaving or waxing, or curling of the growing hair. Shaving and incorrect waxing can cut the hair diagonally, leaving a sharp edge and provoking ingrown hair. Infections of ingrown hair are mostly caused by bacteria or fungus. Mild cases need no medical help, but serious infections have to be treated and looked after by a doctor.
Wearing tight clothes is also known to cause ingrown hair. Sometimes using a hot tub or swimming pool that hasn’t been chlorinated sufficiently could also provoke folliculitis. It can happen if you are using substances that could block the hair follicles, or if the cut on your skin gets infected by some fungus or bacteria.
Although everyone could experience ingrown hair, some people are more likely to suffer from this condition. People who have acne or some other skin problems, overweight people and those who are using corticosteroids or antibiotics will probably have more ingrown hairs than the rest of the population. Living in hot and warm climate may also be the cause of folliculitis.
What to Do with Ingrown Hair
First of all prevent the situation, if you can. Use a new razor every time you shave and clean towel every time you shower or bath. Wash yourself with anti-bacterial soap and avoid tight clothes.
When you already experience pain and bumps from an ingrown hair, don’t worry. Most infection will clear on their own in a day or two. If that doesn’t happen, or the infection is really bad consult your doctor. He/she might prescribe antibiotics (tablets or cream) or antifungal tablets, depending on a cause of infection.
Do not squeeze the infected ingrown hair, and don’t pick the pimple, because it may worsen the condition. Sometimes, after you disinfected the area, it might be helpful to you use a cloth dipped in hot water and press it to the bump. When the hair is on the surface of the skin, you can use some tweezers and pull it out.