Ingrown Hairs: The In’s & Out’s And How You Fix It

The Ins And Outs Of Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs also known as razor bumps and when talking about a more technical nature they are actually called Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB).


What are ingrown hairs?

This is a condition where the hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin and back downwards, instead of growing up and out of the surface the skin. The problem is that this misguided hair in essence wreaks havoc on the skin causing inflammation, festering and inevitably scarring.


What causes ingrown hairs?

Whilst ingrown hair most commonly appears in areas where the skin is shaved, however, they can actually appear anywhere on the body.


Ingrown hairs are often caused by:

– very curly hair

– a predisposition for people with darker skins in people of colour

– shaving

– continued friction (areas such as behind the legs, from rubbing on chairs)


What are the symptoms of ingrown hairs?

The most common symptom of an ingrown hair is inflammation of the skin, followed by pus formation. 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.


What are the most common treatments used for ingrown hairs?

Many ingrown hairs will eventually grow out by themselves and don’t need treatment. See a skin doctor if you get ingrown hairs all the time or if the pain of an ingrown hair persists for more than a few days.


When needed, treatment may include:

– Topical antiseptics

– Antibiotics, if an infection is present

– Permanent 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


For areas that are prone to ingrowns and are resistant to topical treatment, Laser hair removal with the Nd Yag laser dramatically improves the problem within 2 to 3 treatments. This treatment is indicated for any skin type, especially in people of colour who are more prone to this problem.


Always consult your doctor for the best advice and treatment to suit your body.


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