An ingrown hair develops when hair grows back into the follicle. The body reacts as if a foreign body has entered the skin, resulting in redness, pain and inflammation. Although ingrown hairs are most common in young black males, they can affect any age or race. These bumps can be embarrassing and difficult to disguise. Ingrown hairs on your arms can be remedied at home.
Hold a warm compress or damp washcloth to the ingrown hair several times daily. This will help ease discomfort and encourage draining.
Use an over-the-counter medication to help slough away dead skin. Look for a product containing salicylic acid.
Exfoliate the affected area with a scrub or loofah while in the shower. Or use a soft toothbrush applied in a circular motion to help expose the ingrown hair.
Gently insert a sterile needle under the loop of hairs embedded in your arm skin. Pull upward to dislodge hairs.
Wash with an antibacterial soap and apply a thin coating of antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
Things You'll Need
Warm compress or moist washcloth
Salicylic acid medication
Loofah or toothbrush
To prevent ingrown hairs, the Go Ask Alice! website recommends using lotions that do not clog pores. Look for products labeled oil-free and “non-comedogenic.”
If the ingrown hair is the result of shaving, be sure to use a razor with a single blade. In addition, shave in the direction the hair grows. Consider switching to a hair removal lotion, cream or wax to minimize ingrown hairs.
To soothe an itchy ingrown hair, apply a hydrocortisone cream or oatmeal lotion.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, you should seek medical attention if an ingrown hair or infection persists for more than three days. A doctor can prescribe a retinoid cream to help exfoliate dead cells from the skin's surface. In addition, antibiotics can be used to treat any related infection.