Ingrown Hair Treatment

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Doctor's View on Ingrown Hair Treatment

Comment by Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

An ingrown hair occurs when a hair penetrates the side of the hair follicle prior to emerging normally from the follicular orifice. This is more likely to occur with tightly curled, kinky hair for purely anatomical reasons. This tends to arise at sites like the face, neck, armpits, legs, and groin where for style considerations the hair is cut off below the level of the follicular orifice. The best option for treatment is the prevention of this phenomenon.

Prevention of ingrown hairs

One way to do this is to leave a little stubble present and not shave so closely. Some sufferers have found that the application of a topical cream containing eflornithine (Vaniqa) can produce a transient benefit by inhibiting hair growth. Permanent destruction of the hair root using laser light or by electrolysis will prevent hair growth entirely and permanently. If there are many ingrown hairs, the removal of the superficial horny layer of skin (superficial peeling), the stratum corneum, using salicylic-acid preparations or glycolic acid can be helpful in encouraging the hair to emerge normally. Sometimes the judicious use of antibiotics and steroidal injections can produce some short-term benefit in acute situations. The surgical removal of individual hairs is occasionally appropriate but is not practical on a regular basis.

Learn how other people treat their ingrown hairs.

Ingrown Hair Treatment Resources

Read patient comments on Ingrown Hair - Treatments

Doctor written main article on Ingrown Hair

REFERENCE:

Bridgeman-Shah, S. "The Medical and Surgical Therapy of Pseudofolliculitis Barbae." Dermatol Ther 17.2 (2004): 158-163.


Last Editorial Review: 7/25/2013 7:16:37 PM




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