Dealing With Ingrown Hairs of the Beard Area
Aarrgh! Having ingrown hairs (also known as razor bumps) is one of the most annoying skin conditions faced by those who are trying to grow their beard. They tend to make the skin feel tender because of inflammation caused by a hair that curls and grows back inside the follicle and gets trapped there instead of growing upward. Combined with dead skin cells, oil, dirt and all sorts of bacteria from the surroundings, ingrown hairs can acquire infection marked with redness, swelling, itching, pain and unsightly puss in some severe cases.
For sure, the best way to make yourself less prone to ingrown hairs on the beard area is to leave the ingrown hairs alone and let your facial hair grow outward underneath the skin. Prior to beard growing, it roughly takes about two to three weeks before the ingrown hairs become a thing of the past. We can’t imagine the horror of enduring the pain and discomfort of ingrown hairs for that span of time which is why we’re giving you a rundown on how to avoid and treat ingrown hairs in this crucial stage of beard growing.
Before you decided to grow a beard, we’re pretty sure you’re actually clean-shaven. Say goodbye to your razors by shaving correctly and that is by shaving along the grain. Some people think that shaving against the direction of hair growth is the best way to go to have a closer shave. Well, this is quite true and you will enjoy the benefits of smooth shave overnight but be on your way to the express lane bound to ingrown hairs in a day or two. You may not realize it right away but shaving against the beard will increase the chances of having ingrown hairs because it forces the hair in the opposite direction and will cut the hair closer but it will pull itself back inside the hair follicle and will inevitably get trapped.
Gently scrub your beard area which includes your chin, cheeks, upper lip and neck at least two to three times a week. Exfoliation will help remove dead skin cells and other environmental debris on the surface of the skin to clear out pores and prevent ingrown hairs from developing. Consequently, exfoliators have an abrasive texture that can actually tip the ingrown hairs out of their papule and grow outwards. Also, choose an exfoliating product containing salicylic acid. This ingredient not only helps in clearing the pores, it also helps in preventing bacterial infection to begin with. Don’t use exfoliators that have alcohol content for they will only dry out the skin and close the pores which will result into trapping the ingrown hair further.
If you already have ingrown hairs, you can treat ask your dermatologist for a spot on ointment dedicated in the treatment of this condition. OTC topical products with active ingredients of tretinoin or corticosteroid should help in thinning out the epidermis trapping the hair underneath the skin and reducing inflammation.