How to Get Rid of an Ingrown Pimple
An ingrown pimple results from a hair that is shaved, tweezed or waxed that, as it grows back, gets trapped under the skin. The hair curls into the skin, cutting it and causing inflammation and the formation of a pimple at the skin line. Ingrown pimples and hairs are more likely to occur in black males ages 14 to 25 in the beard area, but they can occur in anyone who shaves and has tightly curled hair. Treat ingrown pimples immediately, because they can be painful and cause scarring.
Apply a warm compress to the area containing the ingrown pimples when they first occur. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, this softens the skin and may allow the ingrown pimple to drain. An ingrown pimple that occurs in the beard area is called pseudofolliculitis barbae.
Lift the tip of each hair out of the skin using a needle-tipped tweezers. Trying to lift the hair out is best accomplished after applying a warm compress, according to Merck Manuals Online. A sterilized needle can be substituted if tweezers are not available.
Wash the area with a washcloth and soap. Wash gently, using a circular motion before shaving and at bedtime. Exfoliating the skin by scrubbing helps remove dead skin cells and oils that may be part of the cause of the ingrown pimple.
Apply a thin layer of hydrocortisone or antibiotic cream to the ingrown pimples. According to Merck Manuals Online, 1 percent hydrocortisone cream or topical antibiotic cream can help clear up ingrown pimples that are mildly inflamed.
Consult a physician or dermatologist if the condition is severe or chronic. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, prescription medications may be needed. Glycolic acid lotion and oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline, can help heal the condition. Retin-A cream can help even out any bumps that occur from scarring.
Stop shaving for three to four weeks, if possible. Shaving cuts off the tapered end of the hair, leaving the tip of the hair sharpened, which pierces the skin as it grows out. When the hair gets to be long enough, it will not grow back into the skin, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.
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