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Ingrown Hair Bumps

Ingrown hair bumps are also known as razor bumps. They are unsightly as well as painful. They are caused due to improper hair removal methods. This story provides some information on the same.
Bhakti Satalkar
Ingrown hair bumps are a common problem, mostly affecting people with curly hair. However, it does not mean that others do not get affected by it. Ingrown hair usually affects everybody at some point of time or the other. This is a common problem which can be seen if the person shaves regularly.
In medical terms, ingrown hair bumps are called Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB). They are also referred to with different names such as razor bumps, razor burn, hair bumps, shaving bumps, and ingrowns.
These bumps are formed when the hair is cut or broken off, below the skin level. The hair begins to grow amongst the surrounding tissue and not out through the hair follicle, causing a bump. Sometimes, the hair curls round and starts growing back into the skin, which causes irritation and inflammation.
Razor bumps on legs and on arms are often caused when waxing is the hair removal method preferred. Waxing causes major trauma to the hair follicle. While waxing, the hair is pulled out at an angle, it often causes the hair to grow back at the same angle into the side of the follicle, instead of growing straight up.
If razor bumps are left untreated, they can become infected. When one wishes to treat these bumps, he/she will have to be careful and not irritate the skin any further, as it may also lead to ingrown hair infection. Treating razor bumps on face or on any other body part does not mean pulling out the hair. There are methods which will have to be used to get rid of ingrowns.

Exfoliate the Affected Area

After a warm shower, use a gentle exfoliating scrub on the skin, where the hair bumps are located. If one has ingrown hair on their face, he/she would have to take care to use the exfoliating scrub meant for sensitive facial skin. There are exfoliating scrubs which can also be made at home from the ingredients used in the kitchen.
One of the home remedies for hair bumps is to use a soft bristle face brush on the affected area in circular motions. This will dislodge the tips of the ingrown hair, eliminate dead skin cells, and clear follicles to allow hair to come to the surface of the skin unimpeded.

Change Shaving Technique

One is probably using the wrong shaving technique which is giving rise to ingrown hair bumps. If one shaves too closely, it causes the hair stubs to get trapped inside the hair follicle and dig inwards or sideways.
Avoid shaving too close, or pulling the skin when shaving and also do not put too much pressure on the blades. It is recommended to use a single blade razor to avoid ingrown hair.

Method to Remove the Hair from the Bump

One would need a sterilized needle. Dip the needle in rubbing alcohol for about 30 seconds. Let the alcohol on the needle dry completely. In the mean time, apply a hot compress on the affected area for about a minute. The heat helps in opening the pores and provides easier access to the hair.
Using the tip of the needle gently free the hair from the bump. One should make sure that he/she causes as little damage as possible to the surface of the skin. If one wishes, he/she can also remove the hair with a pair of sterilized tweezers or leave the hair alone to grow.
Washing the affected area with an antibacterial soap is also recommended to avoid infection.
For some people, hair bumps can become a recurring problem. In such cases, one would have to take extra care so as to prevent this condition from arising itself. One method for prevention can also be by using a body loofah, when taking a shower. Using the loofah exfoliates the skin and does prevent their occurrence.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.