An ingrown hair occurs when a hair is unable to penetrate through the skin's surface and instead grows underneath the skin. This results in a raised, red bump on the skin's surface that is often painful to the touch. Thankfully, there are many treatment methods available to help you get rid of painful ingrown hairs. You can also take steps to decrease the likelihood of getting ingrown hairs in the future.
Place a hot compress over the ingrown hair. Soak a washcloth in hot water and hold it on the area for approximately 2 minutes. This will help draw pus out of the area and reduce inflammation.
Apply hydrocortisone cream to the ingrown hair. Hydrocortisone cream soothes irritated and inflamed skin. You'll notice a reduction in swelling and redness after use.
Press gently on each side of the bump if you can see the hair underneath your skin. With light pressure, the hair may be able to penetrate through the skin's surface. If the hair does not pop through the skin with gentle pressure, stop. Do not squeeze the bump, as this can lead to skin damage and scarring.
Pluck the hair with tweezers if part of it is exposed. If you can firmly grasp a portion of the hair with tweezers, you can gently pull the rest of it from underneath your skin.
Exfoliate the area. Dead skin cells on the surface of your skin may be worsening your ingrown hair. Slough away these cells by using a body scrub and loofah to exfoliate twice weekly.
Use aftershave toner on the ingrown hair. Most aftershave toners or astringents contain alcohol, which kills bacteria and encourages skin cell regeneration. If applied daily, your ingrown hair will disappear more quickly.