Ingrown hair is a common problem for those who shave. Trying to get rid of the red, swollen lump on your skin can be a real pain.
Also called razor bumps, ingrown hair occurs when the hairs curl back and grow back into the skin. They occur on areas of the body which are shaved such as cheeks, neck, chin, legs, armpits or around the bikini area.
There are many natural remedies to prevent ingrown hair, by exfoliating the skin and preventing infections.
- Warm Compress
Heat softens the skin making it easier for the ingrown hair to reach the surface. Soak a cloth in hot water and press on the ingrown hair. Leave it for 10 minutes. Repeat twice a day. When the hair is visible under the skin, gently remove it with a sterile needle and tweezers.
- Olive Oil and Sugar Scrub
Usually, dead skin cells clog pores. That is why, by exfoliating the skin with sugar and olive oil, you can prevent ingrown hairs. Mix equal amounts of extra virgin olive oil and sugar and add a few drops of tea tree oil and lavender oil to make an anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and antibacterial scrub. Apply on the skin and gently massage, exfoliating the area. Repeat twice a week until you can remove the hair.
- Baking Soda and Coconut Oil
Mix two tablespoons of coconut oil and one tablespoon of baking soda to get a thick paste. Baking soda removes dead skin cells, while coconut oil reduces swelling and redness, also preventing bacteria from spreading.
Gently massage this paste onto the affected area and leave it for several minutes. Rinse with warm water. Repeat twice daily until the redness and swelling have disappeared.
- Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil reduces inflammation and prevents bacteria from spreading, thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Add 3-4 drops of tea tree essential oil on a cotton swab and apply on the affected area. It will reduce redness and open up pores to allow the hair to grow.
- Black Tea / Green Tea
Both black tea and green tea contain tannins, a natural astringent which reduces redness and combats bacteria. Cover a tea bag with a small quantity of warm water to extract the tannins, then gently press on the affected area for a couple of minutes. Do this every day until the bump goes away.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic, soothing irritated skin and reducing inflammation. Mix apple cider vinegar with water to dilute it and apply on the affected area using a cotton ball. Hold for about 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Repeat several times a day until the irritation is gone.
Try these natural remedies and see which one works for you. Do not squeeze the lump or try to dig to get the ingrown hair out. You will only spread the infection and damage the skin leaving you with a scar. Always use a sharp razor and shave in the direction of hair growth. When you shave, avoid pulling the skin tight and always soften the skin before.