Myths and Facts about Ingrown Hair

Ingrown hair can be an esthetic problem affecting a large number of people, both men and women. Ingrown hair may appear in areas such as the face, legs, under arms or pubic area. The condition is more frequent in people that shave or use other types of hair removal treatments. There are numerous myths associated with ingrown hair.

Myth: Ingrown Hair Only Affects Curly Haired People

Fact: Typically, ingrown hair forms when the hair is cut short, and it will curl back in the hair follicle. Even if curly haired people are more likely to develop ingrown hair, people with straight hair may also have ingrown hair.

Myth: Ingrown Hair Affects People with Poor Hygiene

Fact: Ingrown hair may also form if the hair follicle is filled with dead skin cells mixed with sweat and other particles. The dead skin cells should be removed while bathing. However, dead skin cells may form after removing the hair and before exfoliating the skin. Consequently, ingrown hair is not a sign of poor hygiene.

Myth: Ingrown Hair Cannot Be Removed

Fact: There are several methods to remove ingrown hair including tweezers, laser treatments or different lotions. These may not offer a permanent solution, but will improve the condition.

There are also means to prevent the formation of ingrown hairs. These methods cannot eliminate the ingrown hair, but may reduce the number of ingrown hairs.

Myth: Frequent Exfoliation Eliminates Ingrown Hair

Fact: Frequent exfoliation helps reduce the number of ingrown hair, but may also be a factor contributing to the formation of ingrown hair. If the skin is frequently exfoliated, it will regenerate quickly and after a hair removal procedure, the hair follicles will be covered before the hair starts to grow. Exfoliation is only recommended twice per week, and it is necessary.

Myth: Ingrown Hairs Are Dangerous

Fact: Ingrown hair is not a serious medical condition, and it will rarely lead to further complications. Some people may feel tenderness in the areas affected by ingrown hair.

Ingrown hair can lead to skin infections only if the patient tries to remove the hairs using non sterile needled or tweezers. Ingrown hair may be left untreated without it causing any problems.

Myth: Ingrown Hair Can Cause Cancerous Tumors

Fact: Some people believe that ingrown hair can lead to cancerous tumors, as the hair causes the formation of a bump. However, the bump that forms is never cancerous and it is typically filled with dead skin cells.

Myth: Ingrown Hair Doesn't Affect People That Don’t Shave

Fact: Ingrown hair is a condition affecting people that use hair removal procedures such as shaving, waxing, chemical hair removal or tweezing out hairs. People that don’t use these procedures may be exposed to developing ingrown hair, as the hair is shed on a regular basis and while it grows back, the hair follicle can be covered by dead skin cells.

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