What is hair in-growth? Why is it caused?
An ingrowing hair results due to a hair shaft deformity which makes the hair curl, penetrate back into the skin and get trapped there. In most cases, the trapped hair gets infected causing a skin condition called Pseudofolliculitis Barbae. On the surface, it appears like tiny red bumps with a characteristic black dot (the trapped hair) in the centre. On touching the skin surface feels rough and grainy like sand paper. This is commonly seen in men especially on the beard area. Women also tend to have it on their arms, underarms and legs.
Is waxing a better option if one has to avoid in-growth on the body?
Any method of hair removal that cuts the hair too short, like shaving with a double blade razor, can increase the chances of ingrowing hair. Waxing is not like a safe option as repeated waxing can cause hair follicular inflammation causing the hair shaft deformity. There is nothing like a best option, as caution and skin care is required post any procedure which involves hair removal.
What are the solutions for in-growth? Does permanent hair removal help?
Permanent hair removal through Laser treatments can be used in certain severe cases. Although it’s a good for women, I am sure men would not want permanent hair removals. In such a case, there are preventive techniques that can be used. For example, allowing the hair to grow well above the surface before shaving, using an electric razor, shaving in the direction of the growing hair and using good exfoliating agents on a regular basis helps. Women who are prone to ingrowing hair need to follow a post-waxing skin care regimen. For example, cold fomentation of the skin immediately after waxing followed by application of an antiseptic solution helps to prevent infection of the hair follicles. Using a body scrub on an ongoing basis and increasing the interval between waxing sessions is effective.
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