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How to Prevent and Get Rid of Ingrown Hair Bumps

written by: Rochelle Connery • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 11/20/2010

Whether you’re shaving your legs or your bikini line, ingrown hairs are bound to occur at some point. These ingrown hairs often cause ingrown hair bumps, which detract from your swimsuit, skirt or shorts and are annoying to boot. Find out how you can get rid of and prevent ingrown hair bumps.

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    Getting Rid of Ingrown Hair Bumps

    Both men and women experience ingrown hairs. For men, they often occur in the beard area. For women, they’re typically found on their legs, under the arms, on the bikini line and in the pubic region. Wherever the hair is shaved and grows back in coarse or curly, you’re likely to experience these acne-like bumps.

    Getting rid of ingrown hair bumps takes time, but you can speed up the process with a few easy tips that will help you safely heal the area. Note that, even without your help, the ingrown hair bumps will disappear over time. Ingrown hairs do not last forever – they eventually surface and either grow out or fall off. But they can be a nuisance in the meantime, which is why so many women want to get rid of them as soon as they appear.

    • Brush them out: With a toothbrush, that is. Mayo Clinic recommends briskly brushing the bumpy area with a toothbrush while in the shower to loosen the hair and encourage it to surface on top of the skin. If you don’t like the idea of a harsh toothbrush, using a washcloth and rubbing briskly in circular motions will do the trick, too. But don’t expect this to work overnight. It might take a couple days for the hair to approach the top and leave the skin.
    • Remove the hair: Using a needle or pin that has been sterilized for thirty seconds in alcohol or for five minutes in boiling water, lift the loop of the ingrown hair and gently tug the tip out from under the skin. Don’t pull it out with tweezers. Instead, let the area heal and shave it off again next time.
    • Apply a scrubbing cleanser: Benzoyl peroxide facial cleansers with scrubbing beads do a great job of disinfecting the area and rubbing out the hair. Do not actually let the cleanser make contact with any genitalia, but it’s safe for any skin surrounding the area. Wash it off well when you’re finished, or you could bleach your clothing. This is good to use as a preventative measure as well.
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    Preventing Ingrown Hair Bumps

    Preventing ingrown hair bumps is even more important than getting rid of them.

    • Keep the area dry: Feel free to lotion your legs after shaving, but keep your bikini line and pubic area as dry as possible after a shave to avoid stuck clothing, which will irritate the area and prompt more bumps.
    • Apply witch hazel: Take a cotton ball full of witch hazel and rub it gently on the shaved area. This will clean the skin and help keep it dry as well.
    • Cleanse with benzoyl peroxide: Use a benzoyl peroxide cleanser once each day after you shave on areas like your bikini line to prevent your underwear from causing ingrown hairs. If some have already started, this can discourage them from continuing down the skin and creating more bumps.
    • Use a sharp, clean razor: Dull, used razors tend to create more irritation on sensitive skin, which also leads to ingrown hair bumps. Shave with a new or little-used razor to prevent bacterial growth, nicks and bumps.

    Preventing and getting rid of ingrown hair bumps the right way will prevent scars and infection and help you maintain glowing, healthy skin!

    Sources:

    Mayo Clinic: Ingrown Hairs

    MedicineNet:Ingrown Hair

    About.com: Ingrown Hairs