What causes ingrown hair on legs? Explore on causes of ingrown hair on thighs, legs, after waxing, shaving, signs and how to remove.
Ingrown Hair Meaning
What is an ingrown hair? This is a condition that occurs when shaven or tweezed hair curls or grows back into the skin. They produces a red, painful small bump that may cause inflammation on the areas where the hair was removed. It is a common condition that may occur after hair removal procedures.
Anyone who removes hair can experience this condition but it is most prevalent to individuals who have coarse and curly hair. Most of the African-American men with facial hairs experiences this problem in most cases when they shave. The common areas that experience ingrown hair when shaven includes the beards, pubic hair and legs.
Women can also experience this condition around the bikini areas and in natural body folds where the hair is removed. This condition is medically proven to be harmless, in rare cases of infected ingrown hair and cosmetic disfiguring that may lead to scarring or skin discoloration on the affected areas. According to mayoclinic.
Ingrown Hair on Legs and Thighs Causes
An ingrown hair is a condition that most people experience no matter how careful they are when shaving, waxing or tweezing to remove hair. It results into tiny red bumps on the skin that causes a lot of inflammation. It either happens when a curly and coarse hair grows back to the skin or when it grows sideways under the skin surface as a result of the following causes:
- Naturally coarse and curly hair.
Anyone can experience an ingrown hair condition but it is more common with individuals who have coarse and curly hair. Shaving leaves a curly hair with a sharper edge that can easily grow back into the skin when it curls. Most of the African-American and other people with coarse and curly hair experiences this condition.
It is more common after shaving, waxing or removing unwanted hair on the face. This condition is commonly known as razor bumps. Alcohol and tweezers can be used safely to remove such hairs that grows under the surface of your skin. Avoid scratching or penetrating your skin with unsterilized tweezers or finger nails as you may cause an infection.
- Clogged hair follicles.
Dead skin cell debris, excessive sebum and dirt can clog the hair follicles after shaving. Clogged pores forces the hair to grow sideways under the skin surface especially for people with coarse and curly hair. Two days after hair removal, you are supposed to exfoliate your skin to shed off the dead skin cells that may clog up the hair follicles hence resulting to ingrown hair on legs or skin.
Soak your skin in warm water and give the skin time to soften. Use a soft wash cloth and antibacterial soap to gently scrub your skin in a circular motion. Rinse the skin where the hair was removed with clean water. Dry your skin and apply a thin layer of a moisturizer or bikini balm under the arms or pubic areas.
- Poor hair removal techniques.
This is what causes ingrown hairs especially when wrong equipment’s and method are used. Using dull razors while shaving beards and other facial hairs may cause ingrown hair. Use sharp razor and machine, apply pre-shave gels like no-bump gel to soften the skin. Shaving in the wrong direction may also cause this condition. Shave in the direction of your hair growth.
Instead of using wax to remove the hair, use other alternatives such as sugaring which sticks on the hair alone and not skin. It works well by removing the hair at the root with less pain. Sugaring is a mixture of sugar, lemon and water. It is effective on how to prevent ingrown hairs.
- Tight clothing
Wearing of tight clothing such as underwear and skinny jeans made from synthetic fabrics, nylon leggings and polyesters plays a big role in contributing to ingrown hair on legs. They prevent free air circulation on the affected areas and suppresses the outward hair growth. Wear specious cotton clothing that does not cause friction with the skin.
- Sex hormones
There are certain sex hormones that causes excessive hair growth, people with such hormones are likely to experience ingrown hair after shaving. This condition can be experienced on the chicks, chin, neck, head, armpits, pubic areas and other areas that will have undergone hair removal. According to WebMD.
Ingrown Hair on Legs Signs and Symptoms
The main reason why people remove or shave hair is to become more attractive. This cosmetic procedure of grooming can also cause skin irritation and embarrassment when the hair ingrown starts to occur. You may also have to spend more on the various remedies and treatments on how to remove ingrown hair on legs and other affected areas.
People who are prone to what causes ingrown hairs may experience this condition after removing or shaving their hair. The hair follicles may become blocked or get infected with a bacterial resulting to sideways hair growth under the skin surface. You will start to experience the following signs of ingrown hair a few days after shaving, waxing or tweezing.
- Inflammations, red and tender
A few days after shaving, you may start to experience inflammation of the hair follicles, a condition known as folliculitis. The inflammation becomes accompanied with redness and tenderness of the affected parts. This are the initial symptoms after shaving, waxing or tweezing of the facial hairs, pubic or on the legs.
- Small, solid and rounded papules
You will later experience eruption of small and rounded bumps that develops especially on the neck, chin and cheeks for men. In women, they may appear on the pubic parts, legs and other areas where the hair was removed.
- Pain and itches
Pain may also be an indication of an infection of ingrown hair on legs, neck, head or face. You may start to feel itchiness of the bumps that brings an urge to scratch. Though you are not supposed to scratch the affected area as it may cause an infection.
Skin darkening are observed in the affected areas especially if you have a fair skin. Ingrown hair scars can also contribute to skin hyperpigmentation on the affected parts.
- Small, pus filed blisters
The small bumps on the skin can be invaded by a bacteria and become filled up with pus. Small bumps becomes raised on the top of the skin surface and you can be able to see a hair that is coiled inside or it may be a dark lesion. According to live strong.
Ingrown Hair Pictures
The various pictures are showing the results of ingrown hair on the various parts of the body after hair removal. From the picture, you will be able to see that the most affected areas includes cheeks, chin, neck, head, belly, legs and buttocks.
You can also be able to see the various symptoms of ingrown hairs on the affected areas. Some of them that are visible from the pictures includes ingrown hair cyst, redness, swellings and presence of pus from infected bumps. An infected ingrown hair causes severe skin irritation and oozes a yellowing or greenish pus. You need to see your doctor for treatment in case of an infection.
Ingrown Hair on Legs
Ingrown hair on legs causes a lot of discomfort and irritations just like any other part of the body that is affected by this condition after hair removal. This condition is experienced by many women and some men who remove hair on their legs to look more attractive.
What causes ingrown hairs on other parts of the body are the same factors that may also cause this condition on the legs, various measures can be used to reduce its occurrences.
Exfoliating your skin sometime after shaving or waxing helps to get rid of dead cells, excessive oil and dirty that may block the hair follicles on the legs. It helps to reduce the occurrence of ingrown hair on the legs. Regular exfoliation helps the hair to grow outwards instead of curling inside the skin surface. According to multi-cultural beauty.
You are not supposed to shave your legs in the morning after waking up. Give yourself 15 to 30 minutes for the blood flow to circulate into the legs. Shaving or waxing while the legs are still puffy can contribute to ingrown hairs.
The right time to shave is after having a warm bath or shower. Ingrown hair on legs home remedies can also be employed to reduce the occurrence of this condition.
How to Remove Ingrown Hair on legs
Ingrown hairs may cause skin irritation and swelling and therefore creating an urge to remove them. Before removing, you have to free and bring them closer to the skin surface for easier removal. The following ways may be employed to free the ingrown hair prior to removal:
Exfoliate the affected areas twice a day using a gentle scrub. It helps to get rid of dead skin cell debris, excessive oil and dirt that might be clogging the hair follicles. Soak the affected area in warm water for some time. Use a rough wash cloth to gently scrub over the affected areas, don’t be so rough to cause bleeding as it may be too difficult to remove the hair in a scab.
Other scrubs such as salt or a mixture of olive oil and sugar are also effective on how to get rid of ingrown hair on legs fast. You simply apply the scrub gently in a circular motion. You may take a bit longer while exfoliating to be sure with the results.
- Use benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
Acne medications such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid are also effective in removing ingrown hairs. Applying this medication twice a day after exfoliation helps to get rid of the bumps and hence making the ingrown hair free to grow out of the skin. Other remedies that are used to control acne can also be used especially in cases of infected ingrown hair. According to Wikihow.
- Apply warm compress
Apply a warm moist compress over the areas helps to soften the skin. It helps to bring the ingrown hair closer to the skin surface for easy removal. Simply place a wash cloth in hot water, wring it out to and place it over the affected areas. When it cools down, place it again in hot water and repeat the procedure for several times.
After a duration of 10 minutes, you will be able to see the hair closer to the skin surface. If you can’t see any sign of the hair, you may be required to visit a professional to remove it or it may be another skin condition.
- Use a sharp object to remove an ingrown hair
After bringing the ingrown hair close to the surface, use a sharp object to remove it out of the skin. Sharp pointed tweezers, needle or rotable medical device are effective on how to remove ingrown hair as compared flat-tipped tweezers. They remove the hair without causing more damage on the skin tissues.
Make sure that the tools are sterilized before using them. Boil them in hot water or you may clean them using alcohol. Use your hand to stretch the skin tightly, use your tweezers or rotable medical device to grab the ingrown hair by the root and pluck it out.
If the hair is growing downwards inside the bump, you may use a needle to pierce through the blister and bring it on the surface. Apply antiseptic ointment on the areas to prevent bacterial infection. Tea tree oil can also be used in guarding against infection as well as treating ingrown hair scars.
Infected Ingrown Hair on legs
Ingrown hair normally heals on its own without any specific treatment. In some cases, the ingrown hair may get a secondary bacterial infection which requires various treatments to heal. You family or clinical doctor can help you to determine the type of treatment that you require depending with the type of infection. The various treatment options includes:
- Wash the infected ingrown hair cyst twice daily using antibacterial soap. Use a clean water and wash cloth every time you do the cleaning. Do not apply much pressure or scrub the infected areas while cleaning.
- Apply a warm compress. Place a clean washcloth in warm water, wring it to get rid of excess water and place it over the affected area until it cools. It helps to remove ingrown hair on legs by promoting the hair to move closer to the surface. Repeat this procedure five to ten times a day.
- Stop shaving for some time. Severe ingrown hair infection is treated by avoiding hair removal procedures for at least three month. Sufficient hair length prevents curling of the hair back to the skin.
- Use drying agents. Application of antiseptic lotions such as aluminum chlorhydrate helps to reduce inflammations by drying the draining bumps and hence facilitating the healing process. According to live strong.
- Oral antibiotics. Take oral antibiotics and apply oral creams on the affected areas as directed by your doctor or dermatologist. They help in alleviating the itching sensation while promoting the healing process.
- Use topical retinoid creams. They help to make the skin above the ingrown hair to thin by exfoliating the layer of dead skin cells. This helps to remove dead skin cell debris, excessive oil and dirty that blocks the hair follicles.
- Use of sterile needle and scalpel. Make a small piercing on the infected ingrown hair bump and pull out the hair that curls inside the skin surface. This treatment is effective on how to treat an ingrown hair cyst.
How to Get Rid of Ingrown Hair on Legs Naturally – Home Remedies
Ingrown hair usually disappears after some time. However, severe ingrown hair is a serious condition that can lead to infection if left without treatment. Therefore, there are various treatments and remedy that can be used to get rid of this condition.
You may be required to visit your dermatologist for treatment. He or she may use a needle and a scalpel to make a small piercing through your skin to remove the hair that curls under the skin surface. You may also be given some medicines that helps in exfoliating your skin to open the clogged hair follicles.
However, if you don’t want to be pierced or to take medicine, there are various remedies that can be used to get rid of ingrown hair fast as follows:
- Sugar scrub
Sugar scrub works best in exfoliating the dead skin cells, excessive oil and dirty that prevents the hair from coming out of the skin. It helps to ease the pain and irritation caused by ingrown hair by allowing the stuck hair to grow outside of the skin surface.
You simply mix sugar with water to make a thick paste and scrub in a circular motion over the affected areas. Alternatively, instead of water, you may use olive or jojoba oil that has addition benefits to your skin. It moisturizes and soften your skin after scrubbing.
- Use of salt
Just like sugar, salt is also effective on how to remove ingrown hair on legs. Apart from exfoliating the skin to open the clogged hair follicles, it also penetrates the skin to reduce the swelling as well as speeding the healing process.
You need half cup of warm water, 1 tea spoon of salt and a cotton ball. Mix water and salt, stir well to mix and use the cotton ball to apply the mixture of the affected areas twice a day. This remedy is effective on how to get rid of ingrown hair bumps.
- Baking soda
Baking soda has antibacterial properties that helps in guarding the ingrown hair against infections. It also helps in opening the clogged pores by exfoliating the dead skin cells while maintaining the correct skin pH. It is best for infected ingrown hair as it relieves the pain and discomfort on the affected areas.
Mix with some water to make a paste and apply over the ingrown hair. Use your fingers to spread it gently in a circular motion. Leave the paste for 2 minutes to penetrate the skin before rinsing it away with water.
- Apply apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which gives it anti-bacterial properties. It helps to prevent bacterial infections when applied on an ingrown hair. It is an effective remedy on how to get rid of infected ingrown hairs when applied twice daily.
- Use tea tree oil
It has both antiseptic and antibacterial properties that helps in preventing infection on the affected area as well as speeding the healing process. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that helps to reduce swelling, itching and redness. Apply few drop of diluted tea tree oil directly on the affected areas.
- Warm compress
Warm compress helps to soften the skin for easier hair removal. It cause the hair to move closer to the skin surface. It also helps in relieving swellings and pain on the affected area. You simply need a wash cloth and warm water.
Tips on how to Prevent Ingrown Hair on legs after Shaving
Ingrown hair is best prevented when you avoid shaving, waxing or tweezing your hair. If it is compulsory that you have to shave, do not shave too close to the skin. However there are various measures that can be employed to avoid ingrown hairs or reduce the severity of this condition.
Prepare your skin well before shaving. Wash the skin with warm water and apply enough shaving cream to reduce the friction while shaving.
- Use a shaving machine or razor with a sharp blade every time you shave. The use of blunt blade is among what causes ingrown hairs after shaving. It should be replaced after some time.
- To some people, single or multiple blade razor work best in preventing this condition. Try and choose what works best for your skin.
- Do not shave too close, research shows that trimming the hair helps to prevent ingrown hairs.
- Shaving on the direction of the hair growth can also be used to prevent the ingrown hairs among individuals with razor bumps. A study also suggests that shaving against the hair growth direction can helps to improve the bumps. Experiment and choose what works best for you.
- Use warm water to rinse the blade after every stroke. Minimize the number of strokes on the same area while shaving. It works best on how to stop ingrown hairs on the face. According to
- Rinse your skin with warm water and apply a moisturizer after shaving. It helps to soften your skin.
- While using the various methods on how to remove ingrown hair on legs, ensure that the equipment’s are sterilized to avoid infections.
- Chemical hair removers can also irritate the skin to cause ingrown hairs. Perform a sport test before applying to the whole area.
- Avoid wearing underwear’s and jeans that are too tight after hair removal procedures. Wear loose, cotton clothing.