Cystic hairs are bothersome, unsightly, and can become infected. Therefore, it is convenient to know some recommendations to avoid its appearance. Why do they occur? In this space we detail it.
The technical name for ingrown hairs is “folliculitis”. They are also known as ingrown hairs and it is a condition in which the hairs that fail to grow normally and settle under the skin. Sometimes they become infected and, although they rarely have serious consequences, they are very annoying.
Typically, ingrown hairs appear on men’s beards, chins, or cheeks . In women they are more frequent in the armpits, legs and pubic area. The scalp is another area where they usually appear, both in men and women.
The ingrown hairs
The hair originates inside the skin and traces a path that goes from the inside to the outside. Thus, what is known as a hair follicle is formed , which is a kind of canal. This is born deep in the skin, just at the point where the cells that make up the hair are.
Along that path from the inside out are also the sebaceous glands . These secrete a substance of greasy composition, whose function is to give smoothness and softness to the skin. Sometimes the channel outlet becomes clogged or damaged, and this prevents the hair from coming out.
Under these conditions, hair begins to grow inward, below the skin. In this way the ingrown hairs originate. They generally give rise to small bumps or papules, which, when infected, have pus. The skin shows a darker tone in that area and there is pain and itching.
Causes of the problem
The factors that most influence the formation of cystic hairs are the structure of the hair and the shape of the follicle. It is more common for a hair to incarnate if it is curled and if the hair follicle presents curvature . This setting causes hair to re-enter the skin when it is cut.
It is also very common for hairs to incarnate when the skin is tight during waxing or shaving. This tension leads to the hair retracting towards the skin, once it is cut. After this, it begins to grow inward.
Tweezing is also a frequent cause of ingrown hairs. When pulling hair it is easy for part of it to fall under the outer layer of the skin and continue to grow abnormally . This is more frequent when the hair has very tight curls.
Cystic hairs easily lead to infections , as they cause itching and scratching. This ends up infecting the area. They can also cause permanent scarring or lead to a change in skin pigment.
Care to be applied
The main measure of care against ingrown hairs is to avoid shaving or waxing until it heals. This takes between one and six months. If waiting is not possible, the best alternative is to have a laser treatment, since it allows the hair to be extracted at a deeper level and also inhibits hair growth.
It should be noted that laser treatment can cause undesirable effects such as blisters, darkening of the skin or scars. In case this type of treatment is not desired, it is also possible to address the problem with medications, usually in the form of a cream.
To avoid the discomfort caused by ingrown hairs, it is best to keep the affected area very clean, washing it with water and mild soap. It is also good to lightly rub the skin with a horsehair glove during the bath, and apply an antibiotic cream.
Other data of interest
To prevent the formation of ingrown hairs, the following measures are recommended :
- Not shaving or waxing, but rather cutting hair with scissors or laser hair removal.
- Use an electric razor and do not cut your hair close.
- If shaving is chosen, a sharp blade should be used.
- Apply shaving or waxing foam.
- Do not stretch the skin before shaving, shaving or waxing.
- Shave towards the hair.
- Apply extreme hygiene during hair removal.
- Exfoliate the skin frequently.
- Apply moisturizer after waxing or shaving.
- Do not wear tight clothing.
Most of the time, the ingrown hairs are caused by a benign problem. However, they do not stop being annoying and unsightly. Also, if not treated properly, they can lead to infection. Therefore, at any sign of complication, you should seek support from the doctor or dermatologist.