Wake Up 2 Spring: Tips for avoiding and treating ingrown hair

HOUSTON – Ingrown hair affects everyone. Men get them on their face and women frequently get them on their legs and underarms.

Alexa Cisneros said ingrown hair has been a battle for her.

"My underarm and a little on my bikini," she said.

She's seeking treatment at Advanced Dermatology in Sugar Land for laser hair removal to hopefully - finally - fix the problem.

"I've used gels, I've used creams," Cisneros said.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham said the ultimate solution is laser hair removal.

"Over time the hair will grow out the thinner, lighter and therefore less likely to curl back into the skin and often times you make it to the point where the hair does not grow back at all in that area," Ingraham said.

Ingraham also recommends ways to avoid ingrown hair entirely.

"The way you can prevent ingrown hairs, always shave in the direction of hair growth," Ingraham said. "When you shave really close and pull skin taut with a multi-blade razor, you cut the hair off so close to the skin that when it retracts the end of that just-cut hair retracts down into the skin, below the level of the skin and will grow sideways into the skin and form a loop and that loop causes an inflammatory cascade and a bump and that's why you get that ingrown hair."

She said to try exfoliating with chemicals like salicylic acid before shaving or waxing.

If you still get ingrowns and need the bumps to go away quick, she said, "what you can do is get a warm compress, put it there daily until the inflammation goes down, you can use a topical salicylic acid containing product or if it's really inflamed, use an over the counter cortisone product like Cortaid to start. If you're not able to get it under control, seek the help of your dermatologist."