Ingrown Hair Cessation of Shaving

Can cessation of shaving help in eliminating the problem of ingrown hair?
Areas of repetitive hair removal such as men’s neck, women’s chin, the pubic region, legs, and face are at a high risk of developing ingrown hair. Ingrown hair develops when hair embeds in the skin or coils sideways instead of emerging out of the skin’s surface. It is usually accompanied by symptoms such as pain, pruritus, and firm pustules which may be hyper-pigmented or skin colored. Severe cases may result in formation of ingrown hair scabs.

Ingrown hair is caused by close shaving practices such as pulling the skin taut while shaving and shaving against the grain. These wrong procedures lead to penetration of the hairs into the skin. Cutting hair at an acute angle also facilitates formation of ingrown hairs as it emerges quite sharp. 

Once the hairs penetrate the skin, they could result in formation of a pseudo-follicle in the dermis or epidermis. The penetration could cause an inflammatory reaction. When it does, a firm pustule or papule will form. As the inflammation heals, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation follows as a result of increased production of melanin in the dermis and stimulation of melanogenesis in the epidermis. In persons predisposed to scarring, hypertrophic scars or keloids may result. These symptoms can be cosmetically disturbing which will necessitate a permanent solution. 

Treating ingrown hairs requires procedural, pharmacologic and behavioral intervention. Preventive measures that reduce penetration of the hair may offer temporary relief. Permanent discontinuation of shaving is the ultimate solution to the pesky ingrowing. This is recommended as a first-line of treatment. It not only eliminates ingrown hair but also helps to prevent formation of shaving bumps. 

After ingrown hair cessation of shaving, the ingrown hairs may persist for a little longer for as long as there still are some hairs trapped beneath. After three to six weeks, these hairs will spring out from the skin. According to Joely Kaufman. M.D., a board certified dermatologist and also a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, the ingrown hairs will take an average of a month to clear. Once the condition has resolved, you can now settle at maintaining the hair in the affected area through trimming and not shaving. This is especially possible for men trying to avoid ingrown beard hair. 

For women who might still have to get rid of hair as a cosmetic necessity, cessation of shaving to avoid ingrown hair can be achieved by adopting better hair removal practices. Dish the razor and adopt chemical depilatories or electric clippers. While this form of intervention may not cure or stop the ingrown hairs from occurring, it will reduce the likelihood of hair re-entering the skin surface by a great margin.

How to Prevent Ingrown Hair after Temporary Shaving Discontinuation

  • Use a mildly abrasive cloth to wash the area using circular motions before embarking on shaving
  • Use a warm compress for ten minutes before shaving to soften up the hair and skin, open up the hair follicles and prevent hairs from getting embedded upon shaving. A warm compress also softens the hair and reduces the sharpness of the edges left after shaving.
  • Use a sharp one blade razor to shave for the few times you need to.

Ingrown Hair Treatment

Topical treatments include corticosteroid to reduce inflammation. Retinoids can help in eliminating inflammatory effects as well as hyper-pigmentation that accompanies ingrown hairs.

While the above help in either reducing or avoiding shaving, they do not quite get the hair out of the way. Fortunately, there are modalities that can ensure that ingrown hair cessation of shaving prevention is possible. 

These include laser hair removal, electrolysis hair removal on the chin as well as use of hair growth inhibitors. These ensure that cessation of shaving is not compromised at all as the hairs are completely destroyed and have no way of growing back.

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