Ingrown hairs, we’ve all heard of them and hate when we get them, but what even is an ingrown hair? While we associate it as a hair that just refuses to peak through, we checked in with New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, for an expert definition of these pesky, sometimes painful blemishes. “Ingrown hairs are hairs that do not grow past the surface of the skin, but instead get trapped and actually grow within the skin itself,” he says. Dr. Zeichner adds that ingrown hairs can lead to red, angry bumps and are commonly developed after hair-removal processes like shaving or waxing.
How do you prevent ingrown hairs?
To prevent ingrown hairs, Dr. Zeichner says to consider using exfoliating cleansers to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin. “Doing this before hair removal will lower the risk of the hairs becoming trapped,” he explains.
How do you treat ingrown hairs?
Chemical exfoliators like glycolic or salicylic acid are very useful in treating ingrown hairs as well. “These exfoliators dissolve connections between cells on the surface of the skin to prevent hairs from becoming trapped,” says Dr. Zeichner.
We recommend keeping an eye out for products that contain these two acids to help minimize inflammation and redness in the affected area. Luckily for you, we narrowed down all of the ingrown hair treatments on the market and came up with a list of the seven very best options to keep your skin smooth and bump-free.
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