Ingrown hairs are not only unsightly, but also extremely uncomfortable and stubborn to get rid of. Trying to remove them on your own can be dangerous, while continuing to wax or shave can be painful. Laser hair removal is a great solution for removing all hair – normal or ingrown – and preventing this pesky problem in the future.
What is Ingrown Hair?
An ingrown hair occurs when a hair follicle cannot push the hair through the skin, resulting in the hair curling inwards and getting stuck. This pushes the skin up, causing a reddish-purple bump that can trap dead skin, oil, and dirt. Ingrown hairs happen more commonly for people with naturally curly hair or in areas of the body with coarse patches of hair.
Ingrown hairs can appear with many different signs and symptoms, including:
- Small, solid bumps that are usually circular.
- Small, blister-like, pus-filled lesions.
- Darkened skin/hyperpigmentation.
- Pain and itching.
What Causes Ingrown Hair?
Ingrown hairs are extremely common and are caused by curly or coarse hair curling back in on itself and embedding itself under the skin, allowing a buildup of dead skin where weak hair cannot push through. It can also occur when hair is removed incorrectly due to small shaving or waxing incidents. This is why you often see ingrown hairs in the bikini area, legs, and face.
Fortunately, laser hair removal was created to reduce the amount of hair that grows and prevent hair from curling back into the skin. When you utilize laser light pulses to destroy hair follicles, you are also destroying the chance of regrowth and, therefore, ingrown hairs.
Can I Get Laser Hair Removal if I Currently Have Ingrown Hairs?
The best solution to get rid of ingrown hairs, other than waiting for them to go away on their own, is to seek out laser hair removal. By killing the hair at the root, you will slowly see less and less hairs growing back, reducing the amount of ingrown hairs growing under the skin. Eventually, you will never have to worry about ingrown hairs again.
Why it is Important to Remove Ingrown Hairs?
When ingrown hairs appear, they both look and feel bad. However, there can be bigger problems to worry about than having an unsightly bump in an area you just shaved – ingrown hairs can cause damage to the skin, especially if picked at. They can also become infected and cause additional health issues – some as serious as pilonidal cysts. Ensuring your skin is healthy and taking measures to prevent ingrown hairs in the future means taking care of your health and looking great while doing it!
How Laser Hair Removal Stops Ingrown Hairs?
During your laser hair removal treatment, the light or energy of the laser destroys hair follicles down to the root, ensuring no ingrown hairs will appear after your session. The hair follicle is unable to regrow hair, meaning you won’t be seeing any ingrown hairs – just soft, clear skin. Laser hair removal is currently the only permanent solution to eliminating ingrown hairs.
Laser hair removal at SpaMedica uses laser light pulses to destroy hair follicles in treatment areas by targeting the melanin, or amount of colour, in them. The pigment in the hair follicle absorbs the light pulse, damaging the follicle to significantly delay hair regrowth. The surrounding tissue and skin remains unaffected. The most common areas for ingrown hairs to appear are:
- The armpits.
- The pubic area.
- The legs.
- The beard.
Types of Laser Hair Removal Offered by SpaMedica
Laser hair removal treatment works on the following areas of the body where you want hair and ingrown hairs removed:
– Upper lip (great for those who have unwanted facial hair or want makeup to apply smoothly).
– Chin (on the front and the underside).
– Neck & beard line (great for everyone who wants to keep their lines sharp or remove unwanted neck hair).
– Full face (focus on around the lips, sides of the face, and down your neck).
– Shoulders (the front, top, and back for complete smoothness).
– Underarms (you’ll never have to shave those armpits again!)
– Full arms (down to your fingers so you never feel self-conscious in a tank top again).
– Half arms (for above the elbow or below the elbow to the fingers).
– Chest & abdomen (from your neck to the top of your bikini line).
– Stomach (from the bottom of your chest to the top of your bikini line).
– Back (full back, from the neck to the tailbone, including shoulders).
– Bikini line (perfect for summer – the sides and across the top).
– Buttocks (from your tailbone to the top of your thighs).
– Legs (fully, from the hips down to the toes).
– Thighs (from the bikini line to the top of your knees).
– Lower legs (from your knees to your toes).
SpaMedica has Canada’s best selection of laser hair removal devices and laser wavelengths. Each Laser Hair removal program is customized to include the best possible combination of lasers, wavelengths, and technologies that will give the most effective permanent hair removal results in the fewest treatments with the lowest incidence of risk.
At the time of your consultation, your Dr. Bell will review the best combination of lasers to provide the results you are looking for, including the Triton, Elite, and Diolaze. Superior laser hair removal and permanent hair reduction are only achieved by combining two or more technologies that work in different yet synergistic and summative ways to achieve the best results.
The new Triton has three wavelengths: 1064 nm NdYAG, 810 nm Diode, and 755 nm Alexandrite. The Triton has the world’s only synchronous double wavelength hand pieces with the DuoLight, which includes the 810 nm Diode and 755 nm Alex in the same pulse, and the DuoDark, which fires the 1064 nm YAG and 810 nm Diode in the same treatment for best in class results.
Other Lasers that may be combined for your laser hair removal program include:
- Lightsheer 810 nm high-speed diode
- GentleMax Pro 1064 nm Nd:YAG and 755 nm Alexandrite
- Elite 755nm Alex and 1064 nm NdYAG
- The Vectus 810 nm diode
- Diolaze 810 nm diode
- The IPL-Diode Motif ELOS diode
Other Preventative Measures You Can Take
To prevent ingrown hairs, avoid shaving, tweezing, and waxing – either allow your hair to grow or opt for laser hair removal. Some measures you can take if you need to remove hair at home include washing your skin with warm water and a mild cleanser before shaving/waxing, and applying a gel or shaving cream to the skin to soften the hair before you get rid of it.
Always moisturize after removing any hair, and remember to wear sunscreen to protect your skin.
Laser Hair Removal Aftercare Tips
Some tips you can follow to make sure you enjoy optimal benefits following your laser hair removal treatment include:
- Do not over-exfoliate, as this can cause pigmentation and irritation issues.
- Wear sunscreen so your skin does not become inflamed when exposed to UV sun rays.
- Wait a few treatments before expecting a complete loss of ingrown hairs and fully smooth skin.
Patients can leave SpaMedica immediately following the laser hair removal treatment. It can take one to two weeks to begin to notice the results; the full results aren’t apparent until after the final treatment.
Recovery is relatively simple following laser hair removal. Patients will often experience bumps and redness that go away within 8 hours but may last several days. Ingrown hairs also might take several days to express. Dead hair shafts will often eject out over the first two weeks.
Suntanning is not recommended for two weeks following the session. Patients should wear sunscreen when going out in direct sunlight as well. Patients should also:
- Not irritate the treated area; apply aloe vera several times daily. If any crusting or scabbing occurs at the treatment site, do not pick it off; allow it to fall on its own.
- Not rub or scratch the treatment area.
- Let any developed crusts fall off on their own. You can apply ice to the area to relieve swelling and avoid taking ibuprofen or aspirin (paracetamol is safe to take).
Very hot baths, steam baths and saunas, and swimming in chlorinated water should be avoided for two to three days following treatment, as should very tight clothing. To book your laser hair removal consultation with Dr. Bell, contact the SpaMedica team. You will be enjoying smooth, clear skin just in time for bikini season!