ways to treat an infected ingrown hair
A hair incarnates when it grows below the skin surface rather than outside. It is a common disorder in young people, as well as in older ones, but it is more common in those who have very frizzy hair since the hair tends to curl naturally and penetrate under the skin. The areas most affected are those subjected to shaving, depilation with tweezers or waxing. These hairs can cause itchy and infected jaws, which can be painful and also cause scars, especially if they are pierced with needles, pins or other objects in an attempt to remove them. The next time an ingrown hair is formed, instead of trying to “pull it out”, try other solutions.
Take Care of the Ingrown Hairs
1) Never try to cut an ingrown hair.
If you suffer from this disorder often and try to extract the hair with objects, you can cause scars. Avoid any kind of “do-it-yourself surgery” and do not use tweezers, needles, pins or any other tool to “dig out” the hair, otherwise it increases the risk of scarring and spreading an infection.
2) Stop shaving, using tweezers, waxing or other methods to remove hair from the affected area.
You must resist the temptation to shave until the infection has disappeared. The ingrown hairs develop when they are cut at skin level or just below the surface, leaving a sharp edge that can grow sideways in the epidermis. If you continue to remove the affected area hairs, the number of ingrown ones may increase or further irritation may occur, both of which you need to avoid.
3) Keep your skin hydrated.
Make sure it is not too dry; apply a little ’emollient product on the hair infected after each treatment, so as to soften the area and reduce the risk of damage or scarring.
4) Soak your infected hair.
Dip a clean towel in very hot water and place it on the affected skin; let it act for 3-5 minutes or until the cloth cools. Repeat the procedure at least three or four times a day; with heat, the infection can “ripen” and expel the purulent material.
This remedy also offers the advantage of minimizing the likelihood of scarring.
Use a new clean towel at each application and always wash your hands before and after treatment; this precaution prevents other bacteria from contaminating the skin.
5) Use a topical antibiotic.
Before proceeding, however, wash and dry the surrounding skin carefully. Usually, this type of drug contains three different active ingredients and you can find it for sale in the form of the gel, cream or lotion. The specific antibiotic may contain different active agents but is generally based on bacitracin, neomycin and polymyxin.
Respect the methods of use indicated on the leaflet and wash your hands well before and after application.
You can do a small dermal test first because some people experience adverse reactions to topical antibiotics. Apply the ointment on a small area of the skin (if you have to spread it on a particularly delicate area, such as the pubic region, it is a good idea to try it on the wrist first) and check for some rash or some other negative effect.
6) Contact your doctor if the situation gets worse.
If you do not notice improvements within five to seven days or if the infection seems to be getting worse or spread, you should call your family doctor or dermatologist for an appointment; it may be necessary to make an incision to drain the infected pumps.
Do not attempt to open the infected skin alone at home; the doctor knows how to cut it correctly, using sterile instrumentation – for example, a clean scalpel – and proceeding in an equally sterile environment.
7) Follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding care.
He can advise you to let the infection heal spontaneously or he can give you medication; could consider the possibility of prescribing antibiotics for oral use, a retinoid to eliminate dead skin and hyperpigmentation surrounding the ingrown hair or even a topical steroid to be applied directly on the infected area.
Follow the instructions given on the leaflet scrupulously. Continue to use the medicine for as long as it is indicated to you, even if the problem is reduced before you have finished the treatment.
Your doctor can also offer you advice to prevent possible recurrences.
Use Unverified Natural Products
8) Use essential oils to treat skin infections.
You can use a cotton swab or a cotton swab to apply one of your choices directly on the infected hair; however, if you have sensitive skin, you must dilute it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil (especially if you have chosen melaleuca oil, which is particularly aggressive on the skin). You can let it act on the epidermis or rinse it with warm water after at least half an hour. Ask a homoeopath to get advice on the most suitable oil for your specific situation.
Here are some suggestions:
9) Perform a localized exfoliation to remove ingrown hair.
Mix a pinch of sodium bicarbonate or sea salt with 15-30 ml of olive oil, which has antibacterial properties, and apply the mixture on the infected hair using a cotton bud.
Use the tip of a finger or two to gently rub the exfoliating compound by making circular movements; proceed initially with three to five movements in a clockwise direction and then do as many anti-clockwise movements. In the end, rinse with warm water and dry the skin by dabbing. Wash your hands and put the towel in the washing machine to avoid the risk of spreading the infection; you can repeat twice a day.
Remember to be very delicate and to make light circular movements to remove the hair; if you do not notice progress, contact your doctor.
10) Use honey, both for its antibacterial properties and to try to drain the infection.
Manuka honey is the one that has been tested most, but the other organic varieties are just as effective. Use a cotton swab to apply it to the infected hair and let it act for 5-10 minutes; at the end, rinse with warm water and pat dry. Again, at the end wash your hands and put the towel in the washing machine to avoid the risk of spreading the infection; repeat the procedure twice a day.
If you have honey sensitivity, you should not use this remedy.
Men of African descent are at greater risk of developing ingrown hair on the face or scalp, especially after shaving.
In women, they mainly form in the axillary, pubic area and on the legs.