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How can you treat ingrown hair?

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Often, an ingrown hair will go away on its own. If it doesn't go away, an ingrown hair can become infected, darken the skin, or leave behind a scar, especially if you've been scratching or picking at it. If an ingrown hair is bothering you or has become infected, your doctor can make a small cut in your skin with a sterile needle or scalpel to release it. Your doctor may also prescribe medicine such as:

The gold standard for hair removal is laser. The 810 nm diode laser, the intense pulsed light device (PL), and others are very efficient at hair removal.

  • Steroid medicine that you rub on your skin to bring down the swelling and irritation
  • Retinoids (Retin A) to remove dead skin cells and reduce the skin pigment changes that can occur from ingrown hairs
  • Antibiotic that you take by mouth or rub onto your skin to treat an ingrown hair infection

From: Ingrown Hair WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Komaroff, A. L. , Simon & Schuster, 2004. Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide

Blume-Peytavi, U. , Springer, 2008. Hair Growth and Disorders

Chamlin, S. , Infobase Publishing, 2010. Living with Skin Conditions

Hall, B. J. , Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2010. Sauer's Manual of Skin Diseases

Merck Manuals: "Ingrown Beard Hairs."

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on August 27, 2019

SOURCES:

Komaroff, A. L. , Simon & Schuster, 2004. Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide

Blume-Peytavi, U. , Springer, 2008. Hair Growth and Disorders

Chamlin, S. , Infobase Publishing, 2010. Living with Skin Conditions

Hall, B. J. , Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2010. Sauer's Manual of Skin Diseases

Merck Manuals: "Ingrown Beard Hairs."

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on August 27, 2019

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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