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What Are the Different Types of Ingrown Hair Removal?

Exfoliating with a wet sponge may help prevent ingrown hairs.
Ingrown hairs can be plucked with clean tweezers.
An ingrown hair.
One way to remove ingrown hairs is by using exfoliating scrubs.
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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2014
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The methods of ingrown hair removal vary according to how deeply the hair has grown back into the skin and whether the pore or the skin surrounding the pore has become infected. Ingrown hair removal methods include exfoliation, the use of creams and ointments that are intended for the treatment of acne, tweezing and — in the most severe cases — squeezing the ingrown hair out of the skin. It is important when removing ingrown hairs to avoid breaking or cutting the skin as this can lead to more ingrown hairs as well as infection. It is also important to make sure that any tools that are used, such as tweezers, are sanitized before they are used to extract ingrown hairs. In some cases, the various ingrown hair removal methods will not work immediately and the skin must be given time to heal on its own.

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The two least invasive forms of ingrown hair removal include the use of exfoliating scrubs and the use of lotions that are made with alphahydroxy acids (AHAs). Exfoliating can be easily done in the shower or bath on a daily basis. There are exfoliating scrubs that can be used all over the body as well as exfoliating products that can be used on the face. This latter category of exfoliating products is best to use for people who are having trouble with ingrown hairs on the face or neck. They can also be used on sensitive areas of skin that are affected by ingrown hairs.

Simply rubbing the exfoliant over skin that has been soaking in warm water can loosen ingrown hairs. This is especially true for hairs that are trapped under just a thin layer of dead skin cells. Some skin will require regular application of exfoliants. Products with alphahydroxy acids will also help to remove dead skin cells and bring an ingrown hair to the surface. AHAs are the kinds of acids that are used in light chemical peels.

In some cases, exfoliating and using lotions with AHAs is not sufficient for ingrown hair removal. For hairs that are deeply embedded in the skin, it may be necessary to use tweezers to pull the hair out from under the skin. This form of ingrown hair removal must be done gently. Also, the hair should be pulled out in the same direction in which it is growing. In the case of ingrown hairs that have become infected, the hair might have to be squeezed out the the skin along with any pus that has formed around it.

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candyquilt
Post 3

@feruze-- Exfoliation is also the best and only way to prevent ingrown hairs in the first place. Most of us have ingrown hairs because we shave or wax but forget to exfoliate the dead skin afterward. As the new hair grows, it gets caught under this dead skin and cannot make it to the surface.

Everyone who shaves, has to exfoliate their skin on a regular basis. I realize some people have sensitive skin but a washcloth will do the job too!

bear78
Post 2

@ddljohn-- I could never remove an ingrown hair with a needle. You're very courageous!

The way I remove mine is by exfoliation. I use a loofah regularly in the bath. It takes longer for the ingrown hairs to come out but I think it's the best way.

ddljohn
Post 1

I'm sure these aren't the best methods for the removal of ingrown hairs, but I either squeeze them or use a sterile needle.

Squeezing works if the ingrown hair is infected. As the pus comes out, so does the hair. It's also a good opportunity to clean it to prevent the infection from getting worse.

If there isn't an infection and if I can see the ingrown hair under my skin, I use a sterile needle and slightly dig into my skin to remove it. I sterilize the needle by burning the tip. I never dig too deep, so it's not painful.

I always wash the area with soap and water and then apply an antibiotic cream on it afterward.

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