When it comes to hair removal, ingrown hairs are perhaps the main reason you’ll want to remove them. Not just for cosmetic reasons but because they can get quite painful and even infected if not properly treated. The above articles specifically answer some of the detailed questions you may have about the skin condition. However here we will quickly answer some of the main questions people have and look at some of the key facts.
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How are Razor Bumps Different to Ingrown Hair?
They are both very similar but with a slight difference. With ingrown hair the hair doesn’t exit the surface of the skin properly. Instead it curls around and goes back into the skin. Razor bumps on the other hand do exit the skin properly. But then they curl around and go back into the skin from the outside. So both involve the hairs growing into the skin and causing irritation.
Who Can Get Them?
Anyone can get them regardless of age, sex or race. Most commonly people get them after shaving or waxing. Some people are more prone to getting them than others.
Where Can You Get Them?
You can get them anywhere there’s hair! They are common on certain areas more than others. Especially areas frequently shaved or waxed. So the face, legs and bikini area are the most commonly affected areas.
What do Ingrown Hairs Look Like?
They can actually be quite hard to identify. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between them and a pimple. One key element to look for is how long it has been there. If it continues to look like a red bump with no real change then chances are it’s an ingrown hair. They also tend to be found in groups around recently shaved areas.
How Can They Be Stopped?
There are several methods you can use to get rid of them. We look at some of these methods above. These methods usually involve either destroying the hair follicle or relieving the hair so it’s no longer stuck into the skin. Preventing ingrown is possible if you properly prepare before hair removal. It should at least be possible to reduce the amount of ingrown hairs you get.
How Long Do They Last?
If the hairs aren’t treated then they can last a long time. They usually need at least some action in order to relieve them quickly. However there is a chance that the hair may go itself within a few weeks or months. The hair needs to be able to grow out naturally. A short term solution is to just pluck the hair out normally – in this situation there’s a good chance the hair will regrown ingrown too.
They can get infected and start producing puss. If they get infected they become inflamed and result in a condition called folliculitis.
People with curly hair tend to get them more frequently than those with straight hair. This makes sense really – curly hairs are more likely to curl back on themselves and grow into the skin. Straight hair has a better chance of growing straight up from the follicle resulting in fewer problems. Because of this people with dark skin who are of African origin tend to be more susceptible since they have curlier hair. Especially men.
60-80% of African Americans, and 20% of all men are especially susceptible.
People with coarse hair types are also more susceptible, regardless of sex.
Hormones heavily influence hair growth. This means that you could potentially see more during pregnancy or the menstrual cycle. This will heavily depend on the individual in question. Some people are more predisposed to getting them than others.
If ingrown hairs are a major problem then permanent / semi permanent solutions like electrolysis or laser hair removal could be beneficial. No follicles = no chance the hair can grow inwards.
Diet doesn’t have any impact on your chance of getting them.
People who don’t shave often can still get them. Our hair still goes through a standard life cycle even if we don’t shave. This means hair will still fall out and need to regrow.