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Ingrown hair, also known as “razor bumps,” are a common skin condition, particularly in people whose hair has the tendency to curl back or grow sideways in a hair follicle. The result often looks like acne, consisting of tiny round bumps, some of which have a visible hair trapped inside them. They also can be accompanied by pustules and skin discoloration. Furthermore, they can be painful and itchy as well as cosmetically disfiguring.
Women and men with coarse and/or curly hair are more prone to developing this condition, and it is more commonly seen in the African and African-American population, according to Nada Elbuluk, MD, MSc, assistant professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center, who also practices at NYU’s Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health.
Dr. Elbuluk also points out that various types of hair removal — waxing, shaving, plucking and threading — can lead to ingrown hairs.
Coaxing hair out of the “bump” at home by poking or tweezing should be avoided, as this can potentially introduce new bacteria into the follicle and worsen the problem. Ingrown hairs that are seriously irritated and/or infected are best treated by a board-certified dermatologist. A dermatologist can also recommend a regimen of anti-bacterial washes and creams as well as topical retinoids that can help treat the area and prevent future ingrown hairs.
Over the counter products containing benzoyl peroxide, as well as exfoliating ingredients such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid, also can help in the treatment and prevention of ingrown hairs.
“Keeping skin moisturized and exfoliated not only makes it easier to shave, but it can help remove dead skin and hairs that may clog the hair follicles, as well as promote hair growth in the right direction,” says Dr. Elbuluk.
Letting hair grow is one option for avoiding the issue of razor bumps. However, if letting hair grow is not an option, Dr. Elbuluk offers some practical tips for dealing with ingrown hairs or razor bumps:
- Shave in the direction of the hair growth
- Avoid shaving over the same area multiple times
- Avoid shaving the hair too close to the skin
- Shave less often
- When using a razor blade, make sure the skin is wet before shaving and use a moisturizing shaving cream, gel, or foam while shaving
- Use of hair-removing creams or clippers instead of blade razors can sometimes help decrease the occurrence of ingrown hairs
“One of the worst things to do when having ingrown hair is to continue to shave and remove hair in the affected region,” Dr. Elbuluk advises. “It is best to wait until razor bumps have resolved before going back to shaving or engaging in further hair removal at the site.”
Heading out to that tanning bed again? Tsk… Tsk… with all the self-tanner that are available so easily that you can get and yet you still (unintentionally) putting yourself at risk, at the mercy of the tanning salons. Would you believe me if I’d say that you have an addiction to tanning your skin? Read on to find out more.
I suppose the tendency of being ‘in love’ with the sun comes from the ancient cultures – Egyptians, Celtic, and Aztecs to name a few – are some of the well-known civilizations that glorified the sun. And now, recent generations have put a twist in it, by using tanning beds or at least sunbathing yourself liberally at the beach. And it comes to a point that the need to have that sun-kissed, golden glow of the skin that you’d risk yourself to get into tanning beds and/or ditching sunscreens altogether.
‘Tanorexic’ or ‘tanoholic’ are the terms coined for the recent craze of tanning. Although we’re all aware the dangers of overexposing your skin to the sun rays, there’s an increase of skin-related cases reported (majority of them, sadly, is melanoma) with tanning salons are the main factor of the cases, each year.
The addiction to tanning is the same as other kinds of addictions, and it’s also complete with withdrawal symptoms (which will make the whole recover process is a bit difficult). Within the addiction to tanning, researchers found that endorphins – producing euphoric feeling – created by exposing oneself to the UV rays may be the cause; in fact, they rose with the increase exposure to the rays.
I’m sure you experience it; a good sun ray can make you feel alive and fresh at one point.
The study, known as The Wake Forest followed eight people who went to tanning salon frequently to tan their body, with another eight people that are less so; with both groups are given a drug that blocks endorphin production and they’re both instructed to tan in both UV and non-UV tanning beds.
The groups who tanned frequently are found to be a-okay with UV tanning beds, but suffered from withdrawal symptoms when using non UV tanning beds. The other groups? They don’t experience any symptoms, whatsoever.
The addiction can be explained by our natural instinct that to get the sun exposure needed in order to synthesize vitamin D. While I personally don’t rule it out that it’s not wrong to expose yourself a little bit (don’t forget the sunscreen!) a little bit in the morning, tanning yourself for 3 hours straight in the afternoon is certainly a vitamin D-synthesis gone too far, even at the expense of leathery-skin and premature aging.
If you notice yourself that you tend to get a tan via tanning beds every so often, maybe you just get addicted to it. Trust me, like any other addictions, it can be a bad thing for your skin (I’m sure you know by now), and you’re lucky because healthier alternatives are available to you so why not use that chance?