Ingrown hairs develop when the hair grows back into the skin rather than out of the skin. Individuals usually have ingrown hairs in areas where hair has been removed by shaving, tweezing, or waxing, and can be more common in people with tightly curled hair, as the natural curl will push the hair back into the skin. In women, the most common areas where ingrowns can develop are the armpits, the pubic area, and on the legs. You can relieve an ingrown hair under the skin by reducing the risk of an infection in the area and by using exfoliation to relieve any discomfort or pain.
Apply a warm washcloth to soothe and clean the area. To keep the ingrown hair clean and lower the risk of infection, you can soak a clean, cotton washcloth in warm water and rest it over the ingrown hair. Keep the washcloth on for three to five minutes and repeat this three to four times a day. Be sure to use a clean, fresh washcloth each time you do this.
- You can also do this as a way to exfoliate the area, making it easier for the hair to eventually fall out on its own.
Make a baking soda, salt, and olive oil mixture. Exfoliating the area with the ingrown hair can help to loosen and remove the hair. You can use natural ingredients like baking soda and olive oil to make a paste that will help to prevent infection and soften the area. However, be very gentle when applying the paste to the ingrown hair.
- Combine ½ teaspoon baking soda, sea salt or sugar, and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. The olive oil has antibacterial properties and will keep the ingrown hair from getting infected.
- Apply the mixture with a Q-tip or a cotton ball to the ingrown hair.
- Use the tip of your finger to softly rub in the mixture in circular motions. Do three to five clockwise motions and then three to five counterclockwise motions. Rinse the area off with warm water and pat it dry. You should also wash your hands and put the towel you used to dry the area in the laundry to reduce the risk of infection.
- Repeat the exfoliation with baking soda and olive oil at least two times a day.
Soften the hair using aspirin. Aspirin can help to dissolve the skin around the ingrown hair and soften the hair, making it more likely to loosen during exfoliation.
- Take a 325 mg tablet of aspirin and soak it in 1 tablespoon warm water. Make sure you are using an “old-fashioned” tablet that can dissolve in water, not enteric coated aspirin. Check that the tablet does not have a hard outer shell.
- Put a few drops, three to five, of honey into the dissolved aspirin. The honey will work with the acidic aspirin to help “draw out” the ingrown hair.
- Apply the mixture with a Q-tip to the ingrown hair and let it dry. You can leave the mixture on overnight so the honey can dry.
- Rinse the dry mixture off with warm water and pat it dry. Repeat the application of the mixture to the ingrown hair every night.
Draw out the hair with black tea. Black tea may help to soften and draw out the ingrown hair. Take a tea bag of black tea and soak it in warm water. Then, place the wet tea bag over the ingrown hair, leaving it on for five to ten minutes.
- Apply the wet tea bag every two hours on the first day the ingrown hair appears. Repeat the application twice a day after the first day.
Use an exfoliating pad or brush to loosen the hair. Once the hair starts to soften up and become loose, you can use an exfoliating pad or brush to gently rub the area until the ingrown hair becomes dislodged from your skin. Use gentle, circular motions on the ingrown hair with the exfoliating pad, doing three to five clockwise motions and then three to five counterclockwise motions.
- Check to see if the ingrown hair has been removed. If it has not been removed, repeat the motions again until the hair falls out. Be very gentle as you exfoliate the area to reduce the risk of infection or scarring.
Sterilize the needle before you use it. Though squeezing, poking, or prodding the ingrown hair can lead to infection, you can try to raise the ingrown with a sterilized needle. Use a loose needle, such as a safety pin or a sewing needle. You can easily disinfect a needle by soaking it in rubbing alcohol.
- Wear medical gloves if available to avoid contaminating the needle.
- Other ways to sterilize needles include steaming.
Soften the skin with a warm wash cloth. Before you use the sterilized needle on the ingrown, you should place a warm wash cloth over the ingrown hair. Leave it on for a few minutes to allow the skin around the ingrown hair to soften. This will make it easier to raise the ingrown with the needle.
Insert the needle under the hair loop to raise the ingrown hair. Hold the needle in one hand and try to pull the skin away from the ingrown hair until it is exposed. You should see a hair curled in on itself just below the surface of your skin. Use the needle to raise the ingrown hair out of your skin until the hair tip is exposed. Be very gentle as you do this, as you do not want to poke yourself or damage the area around the ingrown hair.
Do not shave, tweeze, or wax the area around the ingrown hair. If you tend to wax, shave, or tweeze the area with the ingrown hair, take a break and let your skin heal. Shaving, tweezing, or waxing the area will only irritate in the ingrown hair and could lead to the development of more ingrown hairs in the area.
Source: WikiHow https://www.wikihow.com/Remove-an-Ingrown-Hair-Under-the-Skin
Co-authored by Chris M. Matsko, MD
“THIS VIDEO MAY CONTAIN DERMATOLOGIC SURGICAL AND/OR PROCEDURAL CONTENT. THE CONTENT SEEN IN THIS VIDEO IS PROVIDED ONLY FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION PURPOSES AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT.“