Don’t get dotty over dots.


6 steps to get rid of ingrown hair. And keep it away.

I am prone to ingrown hair. No matter what technique of hair removal I try, the ingrowth will always follow. Especially on my legs, upper arms and bikini area. Usually it’s because the skin is sensitive or the hair is coarse or curly. Getting ingrown hair out is annoying, but it’s the red bumps and scars they leave behind that are most embarrassing. In fact, I know many women who have stopped wearing dresses and skirts altogether to hide those pesky little things. I refuse to be one of them. Instead I choose to fight the nasties. Here’s how.

Photo credit: Daniel Jackson

1. Scrub them off.

Start off by lathering the area with body wash. Then scrub the entire area really really gently with a pumice stone. On alternate days, switch the pumice with a body scrub. Rub gently, but firmly in circular motion. Exfoliation is the key.

2. Treat it like a pimple.

After your shower, dab the area with a toner containing salicylic acid. At bedtime, rub in a topical acne cream over the ingrowths. You can use an ointment containing either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Tip: Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which acts as an excellent exfoliator. Just crush a few uncoated aspirins and add a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply this mixture on the ingrown hair and let it dry for 10-15 minutes. Wash it off with warm water. Do this often enough and your ingrowths will hurry to the surface.

Photo credit: Solve Sundsbo

3. Give it a shot of moisture.

After your shower, dab the area with a toner containing salicylic acid and then immediately slather on a thick moisturizer. This sounds counter-intuitive but creams containing cocoa or shea butter or urea soothe the skin, provide intense moisture and also heal older scars. If the weather is hot, substitute it with pure organic aloe gel.

4. Don’t pick on it. Just yet.

No matter how tempting, and I know how tempting it can get, please DON’T pick an ingrowth unless the tip of the hair comes to the surface. Otherwise you are just going to scar the area and cause pus to form. It’s just not worth the hassle.

5. Soften the blow.

Take a washcloth and soak it in hot water. Place it over the ingrowth. When it cools down, repeat. Do this a couple of times for a few days. This softens the hair and helps it come to the surface.

6. Get it out!

Once the hair hits the surface, there are 2 ways to extract it. One way is by using sterilised tweezers. Grip the hair and pull gently. The other way is by using your nails. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly. You don’t want bacteria to fester. Now gently dig both your thumbs into the skin surrounding the ingrowth. It will just pop up. Now take the tweezers and pull gently. Immediately after extracting the ingrowth, apply your acne medicine over it. Tip: For a month, don’t wear jeans, stockings, leggings or any tight clothing. Let your skin breathe. You will automatically see a reduction in ingrowths. Now that you’ve fought the dots, it’s time to slip into those teeny tiny butt-grazing shorts! Woo hoo!