Ingrown hairs are a literal pain. While they can be mild and work themselves out naturally, some are more serious and can leave you with an itchy, red bump that can possibly get infected. Take a few simple steps to get a pesky ingrown hair out from under your skin.
Cleanliness Is Important
Keeping the area clean is integral to healing an ingrown hair. Infected ingrown hairs can increase pain and discomfort and even require medical attention. Wash the area two to three times a day with soap and water.
Exfoliate Dead Skin
Exfoliate once or twice a day to help remove dead skin and let the ingrown hair come to the surface. You can make your own scrub with 2 cups sea salt and 1/2 cup almond oil. Rinse off with warm water to help draw the hair closer to the surface.
Treat Redness and Swelling
Reduce redness and swelling by applying hydrocortisone cream to the area three times a day. The cream also helps soothe irritated skin, and by reducing swelling, it makes it easier for the ingrown hair to emerge.
If All Else Fails
If the ingrown hair doesn't clear up after a few days, try this final effort, which is best used after a few days of treatment using the above methods. Apply a hot compress onto the area for five minutes. Disinfect a pair of tweezers using hydrogen peroxide. Stretch out the skin around the ingrown hair and use the tweezers to grab the part of hair that is most visible, then gently pull it out without plucking the hair out completely—just pull out the hair trapped under the skin.
If you have a severely painful ingrown hair that won’t go away or becomes infected, see your dermatologist immediately.
Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.