Ingrown Hairs

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How do I Know if I Have Infected Ingrown Hairs?

 

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If your physician declares you got pseudofolliculitis barbae don’t faint, you’re not a victim of some exotic bird flu! It’s only an ingrown hair that’s got infected. Yes, you could have avoided it or prevented the infection, but you didn’t. Hence the appointment with the physician.

 

Had you taken timely note of the red, tender bumps on the skin surface, you may have gone in for natural treatments or even grandma’s natural remedies and prevented the area from getting infected. So, learn how the infection came about.

 

 

What causes pseudofolliculitis barbae?

Well, if you are fond of those macho men with smooth shaves or those super models with silky, sexy legs, you shouldn’t! A close shave may appear attractive, but it cuts the hair short. So short, in fact, that the dangerously pointed stub gets trapped inside the skin. And it may not grow straight to emerge out of the skin, but grow sideways or at an angle piercing and damaging the skin. Both men and women are susceptible to this problem. However, people with thicker, curlier hairs are more prone to it. What’s more it can affect any part of the skin where you shave, wax or perform any method of hair removal.

 

 

How does infection occur?

An ingrown hair damages the skin by piercing it. The damaged skin allows the entry of bacteria and other germs causing the wound to fester. The first indication of infection is the swelling and redness of the skin, leading to inflammation and pus formation. However, this condition is not always due to an ingrown hair, it could very well be keratosis pilaris. Kera…what? Well, it is a non-contagious, innocuous skin ailment appearing similar to small goose bumps. This condition is caused by old skin cells getting stuck in hair follicles on shedding. Generally the upper arms, thighs, and some other body parts are prone to it. Teenagers are most susceptible, but the condition is rare in elders.

 

 

How to treat ingrown hair?

When you approach your physician or dermatologist with an infected ingrown hair, he may put you through a physical examination. This is to correctly diagnose the condition and provide a treatment plan. Based on the observation and your medical history, your physician may simply tell you to exfoliate the region by rubbing the skin with a loofah or other types of scrub, while showering or bathing. He may tell you to moisturize the area with a lotion that will not clog the pores. This moisturizer should have the word ‘noncomedogenic’ figuring on the label. He may even advise the use of over-the-counter skin treatments creams and lotions that contain salicylic acid, that helps slough off old skin.

 

If the infection is a bit severe, he may tell you not to squeeze the infected region, since this can make the infection worse. He may apply alpha-hydroxy acid serum to dissolve the skin cells that may have built-up in the infected area. He may use an anti-bacterial balm to get rid of the redness. If the problem is keratosis pilaris, he may prescribe medicated lotions that contain urea or tretinoin.

 

So, if you want to steer clear of this painful condition, know that prevention is better than the cure. Ingrown hairs occur from close shaves by using twin-action or triple-action razors. So, use a single blade razor and apply adequate shaving cream before using it. And, more importantly, don’t shave against the grain or by pressing the razor too hard against the skin. If you take care of such simple everyday actions, you may be the rare few to not face the agony of an ingrown hair.

 

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Scrubing Legs

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