How to Dislodge Deep Ingrown Underarm Hair

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Woman holding deodorant (Image: Alliance/iStock/Getty Images)

An ingrown hair in the underarm area is painful because of the bump and irritation that occurs. It is caused by shaving, other hair removal methods, or friction from tight clothing. A deep ingrown, or embedded hair is a hair that has grown through the wall of the hair follicle. When dislodging a deep ingrown underarm hair, precautions must be taken to avoid infection and permanent scarring.

Step 1

Place hot moist compresses to your underarm for 15 minutes three times per day. Place a towel in the hottest water you can stand then wring the towel out. When it cools, place the towel back into the water, wring out again and reapply. Medline Plus states these compresses will aid drainage of the bump.

Step 2

Keep the underarm cool, dry and free from irritation. Wear loose clothing because tight clothing may rub the ingrown hair bump and make it worse. Sweating may introduce bacteria into the area.

Step 3

Wash the area daily using an antibacterial soap. Don’t scrub the ingrown hair bump because doing so will irritate the area and worsen the inflammation.

Step 4

Apply deodorant or antiperspirant to the underarm as usual, but avoid the ingrown hair bump. Deodorant and antiperspirant may clog the pores and make the ingrown hair more irritated.

Step 5

Use over-the-counter hydrocortisone to stop the itching associated with the ingrown underarm hair. Avoid scratching the ingrown hair because you may accidentally break the skin and cause the area to become infected.

Step 6

Check the ingrown hair bump daily for the hair loop. As the hair grows, it may become visible above the surface of the skin. When you see this, you can proceed to the next step. If you can't see the hair, it is still embedded and you shouldn't try to dig it out, as digging it out may cause infection and scarring.

Step 7

Remove the ingrown end of the hair by gently lifting it with a sterilized needle. Sterilize the needle by placing it in rubbing alcohol.

Step 8

Put triple antibiotic ointment onto the ingrown hair bump after you remove the ingrown end of the hair to help prevent infection.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel

  • Antibacterial soap

  • Deodorant or antiperspirant

  • Hydrocortisone

  • Alcohol

  • Needle

  • Triple antibiotic ointment


If you notice the area becomes extremely painful or if you think it is infected, contact your doctor for treatment. Additionally, if you suffer from ingrown underarm hairs often, you should visit your doctor to determine if prescription treatments are necessary.


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