Ingrown Leg Hair: Infected, Removal Treatments

Are you noticing bumps on your legs which happen not to be hives or pimples, and you don’t really know what they are. Do they appear after shaving, waxing or tweezing to remove your leg hair? Could you be having ingrown hairs on your legs? If so, how can you get rid of them? Get more on their causes, symptoms, infected ones, treatments and remedies.

Ingrown hair is often not severe or get infected but can be very irritating and painful if infected. They can also be unsightly especially when they sprung on areas where they are noticeable i.e. face and legs.

Meaning and formation

They happen is a condition that developed when hair curls back into the skin or when it grows sideways beneath skin especially when the follicles are plugged with dead skin cells or body oils. According to webmd.com, “Ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled around and grown back into your skin instead of rising up from it

Ingrown hair on legs
Mild ingrown hair on the leg

It is a fact that dirt and some skin product also can enhance their occurrence when they clog the follicles.

If you like cutting curly hair too closely, then you are likely to end up with them This will leave behind sharpened hair that can easily pierce your skin leading to this problem. It usually triggers a small red hair bump or lump.

What causes them

Who can get ingrown hairs or who is more vulnerable? This is a condition that can develop in anyone. However, this condition is more prevalent among people having naturally coarse and curly hair. Therefore, in this section, we are going to discuss factors enhancing its occurrence

Curved or blocked follicle

You should acknowledge that hair structure and growth direction has a lot to do with this problem. Curved follicle usually grows a tightly curled hair that can easily re-enter the skin if it is cut and start to grow beneath the skin.

In some cases, dead skin cells, body oils, skin products and accumulated dirt can combine in follicle pore and block it. This can influence it to grow sideways beneath the skin.

Watch on coarse and curly hair

This problem is a prevalent problem among African-American and other people who have naturally occurring coarse and curly hair. When your shave them, the left short curly hair will have a sharper edge. This can make them to easily penetrate back into the skin.

This condition is what lead to the formation of shaving bump or razor bump. Razor bumps are a collection of small bumps that are common in pubic and beard area after shaving, waxing or tweezing.

Could you blame Sex hormones?

Some People have certain sex hormones that trigger excessive or abnormal growth of hair their legs and other body parts. This is likely to elevate the chances of having it after shaving.

Is it because of taut clothing?

Tight clothing such as jeans trousers can potentially suppress the outward hair growth hence making them to ringlet back into your leg skin. Skinny jeans made from nylon, synthetic or nylon can also irritate the follicle leading to the same misfortune!

You should also note that tight clothing limits free air circulation in the affected areas; this too can enhance the chance of its appearance

Bad hair removal procedures

This will be a chronic problem every time you shave, wax or tweeze using improper procedures. Use of blunt razor, shaving the wrong direction, not properly preparing the area where the hair is to be removed or poor after-care techniques are some of the factors that do cause this problem.

Therefore, you should take a keen interest before, during and after removal. Use the correct procedures and correct tools.

Can lack exfoliation after hair removal be a problem?

If you don’t regularly exfoliate your skin after hair removal on your leg, then you may end up with this issue. Remember exfoliating your skin will make it soaked and soft to allow the penetration strands that are regrowing. This should be carried out 48 hours after you remove it.

You should make sure exfoliating your skin you use mold-resistant clothes wash and antiseptic body wash or ingrown hair cream. The body wash should contain ingredient like green tea extracts, among others.

Other causes

Factors like bacterial and fungal infections, makeup, grease, comedogenic skin care products, and irritating chemicals can contribute to the formation.

Signs and symptoms

Some of the symptoms that may blow a whistle on the occurrence of ingrown hair on legs may be itching painful skin, remnant hair despite shaving, pus collection under the skin. The symptoms range from mild to moderate to severe.

Again, on the affected skin, one can notice a reddish, raised bump looking like a pimple. Other conditions that occur alongside include:

  • Inflammation, reddening and tendering of the skin
  • Development of cyst especially for infected cases
  • Skin darkening or hyperpigmentation
  • Little pus-filled blisters
  • Minor, solid rounded papules
  • Ingrown hair scar
  • Painful, boil-like sore

Quick action on any of the above symptoms will help you avoid more severe cases.

Infected ingrown hair on legs

If you end up with it, infections are normally due to bacteria and fungi i.e.  according to stronghair.org “Infected ingrown hairs are often caused by fungal or bacterial infection. This might include pseudofolliculitis barbae, an inflammation due to shaving”.

You Infections can occur on anyone on legs, including in-between your legs as well as thighs.

Now, how do you know that yours is infected? Well, it is normally accompanied by raised red spots but when infected this raised spot will grow into painful sore filled with pus.

More linked symptoms are skin reddening, tendering and inflammation. There can also be the development of pustules, cysts, and abscesses, especially for severe infections.

Best treatment

Normally most cases do go away on their own but when infected, this can be another thing altogether. So in case, your ingrown hair does not banish of their own and, you can see you, doctor. Below are some of the medications that your doctor might recommend.

Antibiotics treatment

Antibiotics are among the best treatments for ingrown hair on legs especially when infected. They work miracles by combating various bacterial infections that may affect it. They are applied directly to the skin. In serious cases, oral antibiotics can be prescribed.

Antibiotic injections

Antibiotic injections are usually prescribed by doctors especially where the bumps are invaded by bacteria leading to severe inflammations. This also helps in elimination of tender and lumps filled with pus and painful boils caused by ingrown hair.

Retinoids

This medicine is extracted from vitamin A. it has the capability to get rid of dead skin cells and reduce the darkening of the skin. The dead skin can sum up with sebum to block the follicles forcing the hair to grow sideways beneath the skin.

Steroid treatment

Steroid treatment is another good treatment that helps in reducing swelling and irritation that may result. They help manage ingrown hair cyst and also leaving your skin supple. This treatment is available with a prescription.

How to prevent it – home remedies

Below are the tips to help you prevent their formation:

1. Exfoliation

This is a perfect way to prevent this problem. It effectively helps getting rid of dead skin cell and excess body oils that may block the pores hence forcing it to grow sideways below the skin. So exfoliation should be done always after doing some waxing, shaving or epilation. The procedure should also be done thrice a week for two weeks after hair removal. Below are three type of exfoliation:

DIY Exfoliation

One of the simplest approaches is to add kosher salt in the shower gel and then rub it on the affected skin. Your shower gel will then become a wonderful scrub.

Another good recipe is by acquiring sea salt or Epsom salt to replace the sugar. Although, sugar or salt scrub is very essential there are more recipes outside there, which you can try at the comfort of your home to make a good home remedy for ingrowing hair.

Chemical exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation usually involves the application of products containing salicylic acid or alpha-hydroxy acids to exfoliate skin. People using this procedure should be extra careful because of such chemicals may cause irritation to the skin especially for the sensitive skins.

2. Proper hair removal procedures

Procedures used during removal usually influence its formation and razor bumps.  So please consider the techniques discussed below.

  • Shaving in the wrong direction is just the beginning of the nightmares! You should always shave in the direction of the hair growth to avoid the chance of the remnant it growing back to the skin.
  • Another tip is to use a sharp blade during shaving. Dull blades do enhance chances of this problem happening. Make sure to change your blade or cartridge frequently.
  • You should also use few strokes of a razor as you can and also rinse the blade with water after each and every stroke.
  • Another tip is to make sure you don’t shave too closely and instead leave a small stubble if possible.
  • Remember to wet your skin using warm water before shaving and then apply greasing gel.
  • After hair removal process, make sure you apply cool washcloth to the shaved area to limit irritation. Don’t forget to do exfoliation.
  • Waiting longer between shaves can also help reduce frequent ingrown hair on your legs

3. Best epilating tips to avoid it

Choosing a good epilating tool is ideal for managing ingrown hair. Go for ceramic tweezers that are stable and not harsh to sensitive skins. You should determine how your skin will respond to tweezers before you fully use it. In case your skin is sensitive, then tweezers may be less appropriate.

4. Laser or electrolysis permanent removal

The simplest and best treatment or prevention is to not shaving and allow your legs and leave them to grow as usual.

Alternatively, this problem can be perfectly prevented by permanent hair removal using laser or electrolysis removal. This will be appropriate if you wish to stop this challenge permanently.

5. Caring for legs prone to ingrown hair

If you are convinced that you are having legs prone to this problem then, there are some tips you can employ to reduce that vulnerability. Below are the ways to care for them

  • Stop the application of comedogenic skin products or skin products with alcohol
  • Try the application of depilatory creams as an alternative to shaving
  • Make sure you always wear loose clothing especially trousers to avoid it the especially ingrown hair on the thigh.
  • Abstain from shaving or waxing

When to see a doctor

You are advised to seek immediate attention from your doctor when the ingrown hair on your legs become chronic or is triggered by excessive growth of hair. Again, after having used some home remedies and over the counter products but there is no improvement, see your doctor for further treatment.

Sources of references
  1. http://www.medicinenet.com/ingrown_hair/article.htm
  2. http://www.vogue.com.au/forums/showthread.php?t=253165
  3. http://www.emedicinehealth.com/ingrown_hair/article_em.htm
  4. http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-ingrown-hair.html
  5. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/ingrown-hair-causes-symptoms-treatment

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