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How to get rid of in-grown hairs?

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Dr. Evan's was recently interviewed and quoted by The Cut, New York Magazine. Read the full article! 

1. What are the tell-tale signs of an ingrown hair vs. another sort of bump? in grown hairs are usually found on skin that is “hair bearing” with thick coarse hairs such as the beard area and the groin area. “Bumps” can be found anywhere on the skin and anything that appears new and not going away for approximately one month should be examined by our health care provider.  Classically any grown hairs are tender red bumps in the groin or beard area that are inflamed, tender to the touch and can have a yellow pustule. 

2. Is it harder to detect ingrown hairs in darker skin tones? If so, what is your advice for them? Darker skin types are especially susceptible to ingrown hairs as the hairs are often course and can irritate the surface of the skin as they emerge through.  They can be removed or drained by a professional.

3. I imagine that ingrown hairs sometimes can be mistaken for cysts or other under the skin bumps. How can you tell that it isn't acne? Acne is classically seen on the face, back and chest which have may sebaceous glands.

4. What type of acids work best for ingrown hair removal? Using a topical exfoliant with alpha and beta hydroxy acids can be helpful as well as salicylic acid.

5. If you are already an ardent skincare user and have existing acid products -- i.e. exfoliation solutions, can you use those rather than buying specific ingrown hair products? Yes

6. If you already use retinol at home, can you use retinol on an ingrown hair? Retinol can be irritating to the skin especially in sensitive areas such as the groin.  They need to be used with caution or not at in in this area.

7. Should you "pluck" your ingrown hair at home -- and if you do, what is the way to do it safely? Opening the skin with a sterile needle and easing the hair out with tweezers can be helpful.  If this area becomes too inflamed you should stop and consult your healthcare provider.

8. If you picked at your ingrown hair too much and now it's a wound, what should you do? How should you care for it? Leave it alone! Wash with soap and water and let it heal.  If it becomes a very painful bump consult your healthcare provider.

9. If your ingrown hair is in your facial hair/face, would care/prevention be any different? Be careful with picking at the skin as it can lead to scarring.  Simply, clean the area with soap and water.  A spot treatment containing salicylic acid can be applied but be careful as it may sting.  A clindamycin, benzoyl peroxide mixture can be prescribed by your healthcare provider which can be very helpful.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.