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How to Treat an Ingrown Pimple

author image Maura Banar
Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.
How to Treat an Ingrown Pimple
How to Treat an Ingrown Pimple Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Ingrown pimples are generally caused by ingrown hairs that become trapped beneath the surface of the skin, causing irritation and infection. This condition, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, occurs most often in the neck area in people who have hair that is curly. If left untreated, an ingrown pimple can cause significant inflammation and scarring. Ingrown pimples tend to occur in areas that are frequently shaved such as the neck. Treating an ingrown pimple is the best way to get rid of it and also to decrease the risk of scarring.

Step 1

Wash the affected area with an antibacterial soap or noncomedogenic cleanser twice a day. Use a clean soft washcloth, and don't scrub the area because it could cause further inflammation. Wash in a gentle circular motion using warm water which helps soften the skin. Pat the skin dry with a clean soft washcloth and avoid touching dry areas with the towel.

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Step 2

Use an electric razor for shaving. Ingrown pimples, caused by hair that is trapped, often occurs because you are shaving with a manual or disposable razor that leaves behind a sharpened hair. The sharp end is what becomes trapped under the skin, causing the ingrown pimple. Using an electric razor blunts the end of the hair, making it less likely to become trapped.

Step 3

Apply a topical cream that contains hydrocortisone to the affected area twice a day, 15 minutes after washing. Hydrocortisone, according to Medline Plus, can help relieve redness, itching and inflammation that is caused by ingrown pimples. Relieving the inflammation can help release the trapped hair and allow the pimple to heal.

Step 4

Apply a topical antibiotic cream to the affected area twice a day, 15 minutes after application of hydrocortisone cream. Always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face and apply the antibiotic in a thin layer on the area around and on the ingrown pimple. According to WomensFitness, an ingrown pimple can lead to an infection and possibly bleeding. Applying a topical antibiotic will prevent further infection and help the pimple heal.

Step 5

Avoid shaving affected areas for a day or two. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, allowing the hair to grow through the blockage can relieve the pain and inflammation of an ingrown pimple. If you have several ingrown pimples, avoid shaving for a week or more, if possible. Once the ingrown pimples have surfaced and begun to heal, begin a regimen of good hygiene and shaving with an electric razor or shaving with, rather than against the growth of the hair. These steps will help decrease the chance of ingrown pimples recurring.

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