Ingrown hairs are a common problem when shaving or waxing; they normally don’t develop after undergoing laser hair removal procedures, but in some cases, they can appear. This post will explain why this happens and how you can minimize your chance of experiencing it after your treatment.
What Causes Ingrown Hairs?
Ingrown hairs occur when hairs that should grow outward from beneath the skin’s surface fail to emerge properly but instead curl back and continue inward. The hair will continue growing, even if trapped, worsening the problem.
This is most likely to occur after hair is cut or shaved. The sharp edge at the tip of the hair is more prone to snagging on the surrounding skin, causing it to grow back into the skin. The ingrown hair can eventually cause irritation or become infected.
Ingrown hair can also result from clogged hair follicles; a blocked or infected hair follicle can prevent the hair from growing normally and instead force it to remain trapped inside the skin.
Who Is Most Likely to Suffer from Ingrown Hairs?
Ingrown hairs can happen to anyone, but people with naturally curly or coarse hair are more likely to experience ingrown hairs following shaving or waxing. Some ethnic groups (African, Latino, and Middle Eastern) fall into this category.
Some hormonal problems can result in excessive hair growth, which is sometimes associated with a tendency to develop ingrown hairs.
Skin conditions that result in a rough skin texture can also increase the chance of developing ingrown hairs.
How Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Ingrown Hairs?
Although laser hair removal does not cut individual hairs and, therefore, does not leave hairs with sharp edges, ingrown hairs can occur through a different mechanism. Laser hair removal typically takes multiple sessions to effectively remove hair from a large area. After each treatment, some hairs may re-grow, although typically, these new hairs are much finer than before. These fine hairs may not be strong enough to break through the skin’s surface, which can lead to them continuing to grow while trapped inside the skin.
How to Minimize Your Chance of Developing Ingrown Hair
Firstly, prepare for your laser treatment by gently exfoliating to remove any dead skin cells. This helps the laser effectively target the hair follicles to be removed but also removes skin cells that might contribute to preventing smooth hair growth. Gentle exfoliation after treatment will also help minimize the problem.
Secondly, use a non-comedogenic skin moisturizer to soften your skin and prevent any rough surface from developing. This will also help reduce your chance of developing the problem.
If You Start to Develop Ingrown Hair
If you see any skin inflammation or swelling that ingrown hairs might cause, apply a cool compress to the affected area to reduce inflammation. Consider also avoiding tight fitting clothing, which can contribute to skin irritation and prevent the skin from healing properly.
Finally, follow up with your practitioner, who is the best person to give you recommendations tailored to your particular situation. They should be able to help reduce any chance of developing the problem and to effectively treat the condition if it does occur.
Your Laser Skin Care
Your Laser Skin Care practitioners are medically qualified and highly experienced in performing laser hair removal procedures. We also have extensive experience with a wide variety of other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. We can help you choose the safest, most effective, and most cost-effective way to achieve your cosmetic goals. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation, or visit us online for more information.