Ingrown Hair

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

View the Adult Skin Problems Slideshow Pictures

Are there any home remedies for an ingrown hair?

Although no cure exists, it is possible to decrease the occurrence of ingrown hairs. The easiest way to do this is through proper hair and skin hygiene.

  • Hydrate and soften both the skin and the hair before shaving. This can result in a duller, rounded tip to the hair, which decreases the likelihood for hairs to reenter the skin.
  • Use a moistened washcloth, a wet sponge, or a soft-bristled toothbrush with a mild soap to wash the beard or hair for several minutes via a circular motion to help dislodge stubborn tips.
  • Some natural mild exfoliators, such as salt and sugar, can be applied to treat the redness or irritation that comes with the ingrown hair.
  • Do not shave against the direction or grain of the hair growth.
  • Avoid shaving too closely to the skin.
  • When using electric razors, some shaving techniques may help prevent ingrown hair. Keep the head of the electric razor slightly off the surface of the skin and shave in a slow, circular motion. Pressing the razor too close to the skin or pulling the skin taut can result in too close of a shave.
  • Leave very short 1 mm-2 mm stubble with shaving to help reduce the tendency of shaving too closely. These shaving techniques can avoid creating a sharp tip when shaving and prevent hair from reentering the skin by leaving slightly longer stubble.
  • Another way to prevent ingrown hairs is by avoiding shaving and allowing hair to grow naturally.

Do ingrown hairs affect the entire body?

Ingrown hairs most characteristically involve areas that are shaved, like the beard, bikini area, and legs. Other common locations of ingrown hairs include the face, neck, thighs, and buttocks. Although possible, it is rare to have ingrown hairs all over the body. Ingrown hairs do not affect the mouth, palms, vagina, or soles of the feet, as there are no hair follicles in these locations.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/23/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Skin Care & Conditions Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Ingrown Hair - Treatments

    What types of treatment have you received for an ingrown hair?

    Post View 5 Comments
  • Ingrown Hair - Symptoms

    What were the signs and symptoms associated with your ingrown hair(s)?

    Post View 5 Comments
  • Ingrown Hair - Home Remedies

    Please share any effective home remedies for dealing with ingrown hairs.

    Post View 2 Comments
  • Ingrown Hair - Experience

    Please discuss your experience with ingrown hairs.

    Post View 2 Comments

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors