How Do You Treat Ingrown Hair?

According to WebMD, ingrown hairs can be treated with steroid medicine that helps to reduce swelling, retinoids that eliminate dead skin cells or antibiotics that treat ingrown hair infections. Doctors can also release the ingrown hair with a sterile needle or scalpel. Electrolysis or laser treatments can also be used to remove the hair follicle permanently, and several laser treatments may be necessary to prevent regrowth, notes Mayo Clinic.

Ingrown hairs are hairs that have grown back into the skin instead of growing upward and outward. The ingrown hair typically produces a small, boil-like sore that is itchy and uncomfortable and may be filled with pus. According to WebMD, ingrown hairs often go away on their own, but they can also remain on the skin, become infected and leave behind a scar. Antibiotics prescribed to treat infected ingrown hairs can either be oral or topical.

To prevent new ingrown hairs from developing, WebMD suggests using an exfoliating scrub after each shave, wetting the skin with warm water and applying a lubricating gel before shaving. Using a sharp, single-blade razor, rinsing the razor after each stroke and using as few strokes as possible while shaving may also prevent ingrown hairs. Individuals should also avoid shaving too close to the skin and should always shave in the direction in which the hair is growing.