Q:

How do you treat bumps caused by ingrown hairs?

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Quick Answer

Bumps on the skin as a result of an ingrown hair typically do not require treatment and clear up on their own, but gently scrubbing the area with an exfoliant may help remove the ingrown hair from under the skin's surface, according to Healthline. It may also help to avoid shaving, waxing or plucking hair in the area.

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Full Answer

It is possible to treat ingrown hairs at home by inserting a sterile needle into the bump or using tweezers to remove the hair from under the skin, explains eMedicineHealth. However, doctors generally do not recommend this method, as it may cause infection or skin damage. A doctor may prescribe a topical retinoid cream such as Retin-A to clear dead skin cells over the ingrown hair, or she may prescribe a topical steroid cream to decrease inflammation. Severe cases, or ingrown hairs that have become infected, may require topical or oral antibiotics. A doctor may also insert a needle or scalpel into the bump to pull out the hair.

Chemical depilatories, such as Nair, may help reduce the appearance of bumps by loosening ingrown hairs, states MedicineNet. To prevent ingrown hairs, shave in the same direction as the hair grows, apply lotion after shaving, or dislodge any hair tips by using a salt or sugar exfoliant or by rubbing a moistened washcloth in a circular motion over the area.

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