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Treating and Preventing Ingrown Hairs
by Harvey H. Jay M.D.

On this page, I will discuss the various methods that can be used to treat and prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps.

For a full definition of ingrown hairs, please click here.

Allowing Beard or Hair to Grow Out
If hairs are allowed to grow well above the skin surface and follicle opening, it may prevent the hair tip from growing into the skin. The shorter the hair is broken (such as in waxing, tweezing or plucking) or cut; the more time it has, and the greater the likelihood of its growing into the side of the follicle, or into the skin surface. If you cannot let your hair or beard grow out long enough to prevent ingrown hairs, please consider one of the other methods below.

"Rounded" hair tips (produced by depilatories that are applied to the skin and hair surface) are less likely to penetrate the side of the follicle or into the epidermis of the skin.

"Sharp" or "pointed" hair tips [such as those produced by shaving or breaking (waxing, tweezing, plucking)] are more likely to penetrate the side of the follicle and produce an "ingrown hair".

Depilatories, however, are frequently irritating to the skin, and the odor produced is offensive to many people. Most of my patients have already elected to discontinue depilatories before they even see me.

Pulsed Light or Lasers
Hair removal by EpiLight pulsed light, or lasers — whether they prevent the hair from re-growing or replace the larger "terminal" hair with a smaller, thinner, "baby" or "vellus" finer hair — can successfully treat "pseudofolliculitis", "ingrown hairs" or "razor bumps".

Pulsed Light or Lasers Animated ExplanationClick here for an animated explanation.

Patients whom Dr. Jay has personally treated with EpiLight have found their dramatic improvement to be "LONG LASTING" (over 7 years and counting), and VIRTUALLY PAINLESS (less painful without anesthetic as compared to the more painful (even with topical anesthetic) electrolysis or laser treatment).

The NORMALIZATION OF SKIN COLOR, and the REDUCTION OF PREVIOUS SCARRING are rapid and dramatic changes reported by my patients.

Learn about permanent treatment using pulsed light and lasers.

Topical Abrasives, Steroids, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, and Special Razors
Topical "abrasives", "steroids" (cortisone), anti-inflammatory agents, retinoids, antibacterial agents, antibiotics, special razors or combs have not been very successful for patients' Pseudofolliculitis (PFB), Ingrown Hairs (IH), or Razor Bumps (RB). Many patients have wasted considerable amount of time and money on ineffective or minimally effective over-the-counter or prescription products, creams or devices.

Processes such as waxing, plucking, tweezing, or close shaving routinely produce a worsening of Pseudofolliculitis, Ingrown Hairs and Razor Bumps. Waxing, plucking or tweezing may produce a damaged hair follicle or hair shaft that increases Pseudofolliculitis, Ingrown Hairs, or Razor Bumps.

Interested in treatment by Dr. Jay personally? Call our office at 212-755-2237 to setup an appointment.

Patients of all skin colors respond to Dr. Jay's Ultimate Light™ treatment

Dr. Jay Personally Treats ALL Patients

Dr. Harvey H. Jay

Harvey H. Jay, M.D.
* Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical School
* Fellow of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery
* Board-certified Dermatologist

45 East 62nd. St.,
New York, NY 10065
Tel: 212-755-2237

Questions? Comments? Please contact us at 212-755-2237.

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