There are different sorts of ingrown hairs. Some can easily be removed at home while others need more serious treatment from a professional. It is the latter sort of treatment we’ll look at on this page. However, it’s important to talk to your dermatologist or doctor before undertaking these treatments. Our skin is very complex so what works for one individual may not work for another.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal can severely damage your hair follicles (but don’t worry it’s meant to do this!) If they can’t produce hair then you won’t suffer from ingrown hairs. The device targets hair follicles by finding the melanin (dark pigments) in our skin and firing a burst of heat at it. The heat travels down the hair and damages / destroys the hair follicle.
However you should be aware that laser hair removal hasn’t been classified by the FDA as 100% permanent. The effects of laser hair removal will last a while – it will permanently reduce the amount of hair your body produces. However the human body is really good at repairing itself. Although hair won’t grow as quickly it may still grow a bit. And this means you still may get ingrown hair, even though you should get much less.
Electrolysis is the only real permanent form of hair removal. A needle is inserted directly into the follicle and then a strong current is passed into it. This, if done correctly, will completely destroy the hair follicle forever. However it needs to be done to every single follicle. It can potentially be expensive and painful.
So Which is Best?
Which method should you use? Electrolysis can be very time-consuming, so if you have lots of ingrown hairs over your legs, it would take absolutely ages. In that case perhaps laser hair removal would be better since it can cover large areas relatively quickly. Even though it’s not permanent, it still lasts several years, you can get top up sessions if needed too. If you decide to buy a home device you can give these top up sessions to yourself for no extra cost.
However if you’ve got just a few really stubborn deep ingrown hairs then electrolysis may be the best choice. You’ll guarantee they won’t trouble you ever again.
Be warned that sometimes laser hair removal or electrolysis can cause more ingrown hairs if the treatment isn’t properly performed.
There are lots of products available on the market which claim to help with ingrown hairs. Virtually all products involve soothing and exfoliating the skin with salicylic and glycolic acid. From this process the skin becomes less inflamed and consequently the hair has more room to move and free itself. These products are non invasive, but for deep ingrown hairs may not be effective.
Visiting a doctor or professional may be necessary in cases of bad infection, or ingrown hairs which refuse to go away. They may recommend some of the above treatments. They could also prescribe the following medicine:
- In cases of bad infection antibiotics may be used.
- Creams which manage inflammation.
- Creams which contain tretinoin which speeds up exfoliation therefore unclogging the follicles.
- Retinoid creams may also be used to reduce the thickening of skin.