Ingrown hairs also known as razor bumps, razor burn, hair bumps, shaving bumps, shaving rash or Psuedofolliculitis Barbae (PFB), is a condition where the hair does not grow out properly, but curls back or grows sideways into the skin causing irritation and inflammation. This often leads to sore, painful bumps which can become infected and leave scars on the skin.
While ingrown hair most commonly appears in areas where the skin is shaved (beard, legs, pubic region), it can appear anywhere on the body. Ingrown hairs are more common among people with very curly hair. Most ingrown hairs occur in the beard area and this condition is very common in dark skin types.
The most common symptom of an ingrown hair is inflammation of the skin, followed by pus formation which often causes severe irritation. This causes people to try and remove the pus by squeezing or scratching and this can lead to leaving dark marks and even scars on the skin. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. The symptoms of an ingrown hair may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
The very best way to combat this problem is to remove the cause, i.e. remove the hair with Laser Hair removal.
In some cases, it may however be a better idea to first get the skin inflammation under control with treatments such as:
- Laser Genesis
- Contact ND:Yag
When needed, ingrown hair removal treatment may include:
- Topical antiseptics
- Antibiotics, if an infection is present
- Permanent hair removal with Laser Hair Removal, in stubborn cases
Shaving tips that may help prevent ingrown hairs on the face include:
- Avoid repeated razor strokes over the same area
- Shave only in one direction and in the direction of hair growth
- Use a moisturiser to soften the beard/ hair before shaving or shave after showering to make shaving easier
Skin Renewal Tip
After 2 or 3 Laser hair removal treatments to improve and treat ingrown hairs, the post Inflammatory hyperpigmentation that remains can be treated with topical skin lighteners and/or in office Alpha hydroxy or Beta Hydroxy peels.