An ingrown hair on the bikini line develops after hair removal methods, shaving, in most cases. Usually, you will experience tingling or itchiness for a day or two before small red bumps appear.
This condition is not serious. In fact, it resolves on its own within 2-4 weeks. The problem is that ingrown hairs can become infected or cause scarring after recovery. Continued irritation may also lead to chronic ingrown hairs. Luckily, there are several treatment and prevention options available. This article discusses causes, treatment and how to prevent ingrown hairs on the bikini area.
Pictures, causes and symptoms of ingrown hairs around bikini line
What is an ingrown hair and what does it look like? How do you know if you have an ingrown hair? On pictures, ingrown hairs around the bikini line resemble small red pimples. In most cases, they form in clusters. When infected, the skin around the affected follicle swells and may turn yellow, green or white. This indicates the presence of pus. Note that ingrown hairs appear some time after hair removal. If you notice similar bumps not related to hair removal, you might want to see your doctor.
Ingrown hairs around the bikini line that keep coming back may be caused by the following:
Poor shaving skills
The fact that most women shave their bikini lines doesn’t mean that most know how to do it right. The fact is that there is a lot to learn about shaving. For example, avoid shaving against the grain, use shaving creams instead of regular soap, only stroke once when shaving, and so on. Search for more details on how to shave your bikini area appropriately. It will really help in regards to getting rid of and preventing ingrown hairs.
Failing to exfoliate
Accumulated dead skin cells end up clogging your follicles. As a result, hair is forced to grow sideways into follicle walls. Maintain a regular exfoliation routine, especially after shaving. You can achieve this with body scrubs, salicylic acid lotions, hydrocortisone creams or home remedies such as sugar scrubs.
Waxing short hair
Waxing keeps your bikini area smooth much longer than regular shaving. The problem is that it can lead to deep ingrown hairs when done on short hair. When waxing, the entire hair is removed from a follicle. This requires significant pulling force. Short hair breaks easily during this process. Broken hairs almost guarantee ingrown hair bumps.
Taking it too fast
Hair on the skin serves several purposes, the most obvious ones being thermal regulation and trapping dirt particles. When you remove the hair, your skin becomes more sensitive. It is therefore important to avoid possible sources of trauma such as scratching, hot baths, prolonged stays in open sun, and so on. Allow some time for the skin to adapt.
Keeping it too tight
Skinny jeans and tight underpants are a bad idea when dealing with ingrown hairs in the bikini area. For one, tight clothing forces hair to curl towards the skin. Also, tight clothing prevents sufficient air circulation. Bacteria love dark places and may end up infecting inflamed follicles.
How to get rid of ingrown hair on bikini line
Here are some tips on how to get rid of an ingrown hair on the bikini line:
Leave them alone
If ingrown hairs have popped up all over your bikini area, don’t scratch them or shave on the area. With time, the ingrown hair will break through the skin and the bump will disappear. This can take up to a month.
Scrubbing is another name for exfoliating. Basically, it is removal of dead skin cells. Exfoliation is best done immediately after shaving and regularly thereafter. A wide variety of body scrubs are available over the counter. You can check out the ones recommended for ingrown hairs. You can also try exfoliating with home remedies.
Wiping your bikini area with a toner that contains salicylic acid may be quite helpful. It will not only keep the skin soft but also get rid of dead skin cells. Avoid salicylic acid ingrown hair removal products when ingrown hair bumps have already formed.
Keep warm compressing
A warm compress draws ingrown hair closer to the surface. For severe ingrown hairs, you may be required to warm compress for weeks before the ingrown hair becomes visible. To warm compress, soak a thick washcloth in hot water. Wring it and cover the affected area for 5 minutes. Soak it again and repeat the procedure. Do this several times a day.
Pull the ingrown hair
After several sessions of warm compressing, you will be able to see a dark spot in the middle of the ingrown hair bump. Basically, that is the tip of the ingrown hair. You can use sterilized needle or tweezers to tug the hair out of the skin it has grown into. Be careful not to dig it out or force it out. Apply antibacterial ointment or tea tree oil afterwards.
Always use a moisturizer
Dry skin is very prone to ingrown hairs. Remember to wear a non-greasy and alcohol-free moisturizer. Essential oils are a good option in this case. Other than the bikini area, dry skin is also a common contributing factor to ingrown hair on scrotum and the legs.
How to stop severe ingrown hair on bikini area
Sometimes, ingrown hairs on the bikini area can become so problematic that home treatments prove ineffective. See your dermatologist in such cases. Medical attention will, among other things, help you avoid ingrown hair scars, get rid of painful bumps and may even offer a permanent solution on how to stop ingrown hairs. Below are the available medical treatment options:
Use of medications
Topical medications to fight bacterial infection and reduce swelling are commonly prescribed for ingrown hairs. Severe ingrown hairs may call for stronger medications such as retinoids and oral antibiotics.
Chemical depilatories make use of acids to weaken the structure of hairs. This ensures that no hair will pierce the skin after shaving.
Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal is a popular removal option when treating ingrown hairs in the bikini area. This technique inhibits the ability of hair to develop from a follicle. It is also often considered for recurring ingrown hair under armpit and other areas where hair is not of much importance.
If you are convinced that you no longer want to grow hair in the bikini area, ask your doctor about electrolysis. It is a rather slow but quite effective permanent hair removal method. It destroys hair follicles entirely.
Your doctor may also decide to drain infected ingrown hair. The advantage of having an infected ingrown hair drained by a doctor is the fact that you will reduce the risk of spreading infection. For painful ingrown hairs, you may be put under a local anesthesia, although this is not likely.
How to prevent ingrown hairs on bikini area
Prevention is always the better cure. The good thing is that ingrown hairs are very much avoidable. At least, infected or severe ingrown hairs can be avoided with care. Below are tips on how to prevent ingrown hairs on the bikini area:
- Use a mild cleanser to clean your bikini area before shaving. Pat dry thereafter.
- Warm compress or take a hot shower before shaving. This softens the skin and erects the hair to be shaved.
- Using a wet washcloth, dislodge the hair to be shaved by rubbing in clockwise motion. This also goes for when preventing the symptoms of ingrown hair on the vagina and the pubic area.
- Consider trimming long or curly hair with a pair of scissors or electric trimmer before shaving. Short hair is easier to shave.
- Use single-edged shaving razor. Shave along grains. Apply a lubricating oil and shaving cream. Don’t stroke more than once on the same area when shaving. Wipe the shaving razor after every stroke. Avoid shaving too close to the skin. Replace the razor after 2 or 3 shaves. Exfoliate and apply a moisturizer after shaving.
- Try natural remedies for ingrown hair on the bikini area. Natural remedies such as a sugar scrub, baking soda and salt will get rid of dead skin cells. Honey, coconut oil and olive oil will keep your skin moisturized. Tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar and aloe vera will protect from infection. As for black tea and witch hazel, they will reduce inflammation and soothe irritated skin.
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