Ingrown HairsThe most common question we hear from our male skin care clients are regarding the ingrown hairs in their lower face/neck region. What causes them? How can I get rid of them? In this post we’ll answer your questions, and bring you tips for treating, and preventing ingrown hairs.
WHAT CAUSES INGROWN HAIRS?
Ingrown hairs are caused by trapped hairs in the hair follicle that have become weakened, diverted, or blocked during the hair growth cycle. The trapped hair continues to grow within the follicle causing painful pressure and inflammation of the follicles.
The inflamed follicles often become infected causing painful discomfort; they can also leave your skin scarred for months, and be harmful to your health.
As with any infection, if left untreated, it can spread to other areas of the system via the circulatory system. In severe cases a trip to the doctor for drainage, and a course of antibiotics, may be required.
Using a dull or low quality razor contributes to this condition by increasing the need to apply unnecessary pressure in order to achieve a clean shave. The excess pressure causes the blades to scrape along the skin and opening of the hair follicle, creating micro-tears.
Your skin reacts to this trauma by forming new cells at the site of injury which can cause hyperkeratosis, an overgrowth of skin surrounding the follicle, or blockage of the follicle opening.
Ingrown hairs will typically occur in areas of the body with a high concentration of dense coarse and/or curly hair, such as the beard, neck, back, or chest. Areas where the skin is under pressure or friction due to clothing or creases in the skin are also susceptible. When your hair attempts to break through the surface of the skin, it is pressure back into your skin, thus causing the ingrown hair to form.
Men with darker skin tones can develop a condition called psuedofolliculitis, another form of ingrown hairs. This is due to the texture of the hair being thicker, stronger, and tightly curled.
HOW CAN I GET RID OF MY INGROWN HAIRS?
Tips for Preventing Ingrown Hairs
- Replace your razor continuously. If it’s not doing the job in a couple swipes then it is time to say goodbye!
- Gently exfoliate before shaving. Start with a good exfoliation using mild AHA/BHA or enzyme based cleanser. This will gently loosen dead surface cells without the vigorous scrubbing of skin scrubs, giving you a smooth skin to glide your razor. The Daily Polishing Cleanser by Glo offers you a micro exfoliation along with the benefits of BHA- Salicylic Acid.
- Prep the hair for shaving. Press a damp-hot towel into your skin after exfoliating. This will help soften the hair and open the follicles making it easier to cut through the hair.
- Use a good quality barrier to protect your skin during the shave. Choose a shaving agent that contains less fragrance and ingredients that benefit your skin during the shave. Highly fragranced products can irritate the skin and cause unnecessary sensitivity. Shaving oils are a great addition to your shave regime.
- Seal the skin after shaving. Following a good shave your skin is left exposed and sensitized. Using a mask or protective aftershave will give your skin a protective barrier against the elements. Try the Cucumber Recovery Mask by Glo for a lightweight protection and refreshing hydration.
Tips for Treating Ingrown Hairs
- Permanent removal. For permanent treatment of this condition laser/IPL hair removal will do the trick. This process permanently reduces the amount of hair that grows in the area treated and with the right process you can also reduce scarring and inflammation. It can be performed over the entire area, targeted areas, or along your beard line for a crisp outline. Book your hair removal service with our laser/IPL expert.
- Chemical Peel. Chemicals peels are a great way to dissolve the follicle blocking layers from the skin and reveal fresh undamaged layers. They also help push the trapped hair in the follicle and debris to the surface. A Grape Enzyme Peel is the go-to when treating ingrown hair and psuedofolliculitis.
- Extraction of the hair . Unless the tip of the hair is visible, extraction should be performed by skin care pro. This will ensure that the hair is safely and effectively removed, with less discomfort and risk of scarring. This treatment is normally performed during a facial treatment and is the focus of the dermica MAN facial treatment.
- Topical Tretinoin (Retin A) and Retinol (Vit A) derivatives . This medicinal ingredient decreases the overgrowth of skin surrounding the follicle and diminishes scarring. The Tretinol .05% by Glo is excellent treating affected areas at home. It can be incorporated into any homecare routine and is has many other benefits to the skin.
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We hope these tips help you keep that jawline looking smooth and fresh for days!
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