Often hair removal techniques used on the legs can make the hair grow inwards in the skin. In case of the hair being curly or thick and coarse, it can lead to the hair to coil back inwards. Speaking to HT Lifestyle, Dr. Manasi Shirolikar, Consultant Dermatologist said, “It could be due to the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, which leads to a blockage of the hair follicle, thus forcing it to recoil and grow under your skin. In-grown hair often look like black bumps, under which there’s the in-grown hair. They don’t really cause any issues as such, but if they get infected, and turn red and bumpy, almost resembling pimples with pustules (which is known as folliculitis), they can be painful, and lead to an infection.”
Adding to the same, Dr Anup Dhir, senior consultant, Apollo Hospital and ex-president, Indian Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said, “The symptoms of an ingrown hair involve small bumps, blister-like lesions, skin darkening, pain, and itching. Applying the moisturising shaving cream before you use your razor. If you have problems with recurrent ingrown hairs, you might be using the wrong type of razor on your legs.”
The dermats further noted down the techniques that should be used in order to get rid of in-grown hair on legs; they are:
Exfoliation: While we can use physical exfoliants like scrubs or scrubbing gloves, chemical exfoliation would be a better option. Products that contain Lactic Acid, BHAs are also recommended.
Moisturising: Moisturisers containing Lactic Acid or Urea will help keep the legs hydrated, as well as get rid of any dead skin cells. This would mean that the follicles grow in a healthy manner too, thus avoiding the risk of having in-grown hair.
Topical Retinoids: Topical Retinoids like Tazorac or prescription Tretinoin help unclog clogged pores, thus letting the hair grow to the surface. They keep the hair follicles clear, so they can come to surface without any in-grown hair.
Waxing: The doctors recommended to stop waxing. Waxing leads to the hair being pulled from the follicle, which would play havoc with the papillary dermis (the superficial layer that leads to the epidermis). When the skin cells regrow, they can possibly grow over the follicular opening, leading to in-grown hair, red bumps and an infectious flare up.
Scrubbing: Body scrubs can clean the skin pores, remove dirt, and expose healthier layers of skin. These scrubs also reduce the dark spots caused by previous ingrown hairs.