Ingrown Hair Driving You Out Of Your Mind? A Dermatologist Can Help

Skin is the largest organ of the human body, leaving ample space for anomalies that can literally drive you crazy. One such oddity is the ingrown hair: a small area of perturbed skin with unpleasant "stuff" trapped inside. Don't fight with skin conditions like this on your own because you could make them worse. 

Talk to a dermatologist, instead, who can get to the bottom of the problem quickly and resolve it.

What, Exactly, That Annoying Little Bump Is

Hair follicles should grow outward and upward, but occasionally, they'll curl horizontally or downward or otherwise become trapped under the skin, forming the dreaded ingrown hair. If it hangs around for too long, fluid may build up, creating a cyst or even an infection. You'll see a red, raised area with a black, white, or dark yellow center. Ingrown hairs are usually harder than pimples, bigger, and longer lasting. They usually don't show any response to typical acne treatment either. 

Why You Developed An Ingrown Hair

Most often, these stunted follicles erupt in areas of the skin that are frequently shaved; however, they can happen all on their own anywhere on the body where hair grows. 

What You Should Do Right Away

Avoid picking at the area despite how difficult it may be to leave it alone. Apply a warm, moist compress a few times a day to hopefully work the contents of the ingrown hair out. Don't shave, wax, or pluck the area and don't put any makeup on it. If the situation persists, you should consult with a skin specialist, particularly if the problem is in an area exposed to the public, making you self-conscious and embarrassed. 

Do not attempt to pop an ingrown hair, as that may lead to more redness, swelling, and an infection. 

How A Dermatologist Will Make It Right

Especially if your ingrown hair is infected and painful, you need medical attention. Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in conditions of the skin and their expertise is most likely exactly what you need. If they determine the area is infected, you may receive a prescription for an antibiotic. The cyst itself can be surgically removed (with a local anesthetic administered), releasing the trapped hair and solving your problem. A steroid cream may also be recommended to minimize inflammation. Either way, you're going to feel an enormous sense of relief after visiting the dermatologist.

Your skin has several layers that protect and serve you: the epidermis, dermis, and the hypodermis. When a hair is trapped within these layers, it could spell trouble; thus, a consultation with a skin specialist is needed. The sooner you contact a dermatology service, the better you'll feel and look.