Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ingrown Hair—Men’s Edition: Q & A

I am a guy whos interested in skin care. Wherever I remove hair [from various parts of my body], I get acne-like bumps that, though they look like acne, when I take a closer look it’s trapped hair growing back. These places are red, irritated and leave marks. I’ve tried almost everything (including, laser, waxing, shaving, exfoliating with a loofah). And, while the same issue exist with my facial hair, it has been lessened through following the advice in your book [Timeless Skin]. I used depilatories but they provided some of the worst results. How do I remove my body hair without experiences these acne-like ingrown hairs?

First, continue using the advice I give in Timeless Skin for ingrown hair on the face on any other parts of your body youre having issues. You may have the tendency for a skin condition called pseudofolliculitis and you may not find any one thing that remedies the condition in total. Pseudofolliculitis is where the hair curls back down into the skin instead of coming out of the surface skin. This can cause inflammation and redness along with infection. 

Exfoliation is important if you’re prone to ingrown hair—no matter where you get them. If they occur on your face, using a scrub or other exfoliator on a regular basis should help to alleviate the problem. This is where alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) may come in handy. Several of my male clients have seen good results with their ingrown hair problems by using products that contain these ingredients. AHAs help to dissolve the intercellular glue that holds cells together, which can be helpful in the case of ingrown hairs. Try an alpha hydroxy acid solution on your chest area, and see if that helps with the hair coming through your skin.

A product called TendSkin has been helpful for some people with ingrown hair. Be careful to follow the directions. If you experience irritation with TendSkin, discontinue use immediately and refer back to some other products and techniques for helping with ingrown hair. You don’t ever want to use a product that is causing more harm than good. I am surprised that laser hair removal has not helped your situation. You may want to try electrolysis and see if you fare better with that hair removal technique.

I wish I had a miracle cure for you. It sounds like you have been diligent in trying many things. It is important you do not continually irritate your skin (especially through using the loofah and the depilatories); this won’t help the problem. Some skin conditions, and pseudofolliculitis is one of them, do not have quick fixes. It will take diligence and consistency, but I have faith that you will find solutions that work for you going forward. 

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