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Got an ache or pain? Have a question about a prescription or over-the-counter drug? Looking for some FREE medical advice?
I have a number of ingrown hairs on one of my legs caused by shaving, and they often get infected. I use a tea-tree scrub and I also mosturize, but it's not helping. My leg looks terrible. Will I need to go on antibiotics or is there something else I could try? Thanks
Thanks for your enquiry. Generally women get problems with ingrown hairs following certain treatments for hair removal such as waxing or depilation. If the hair root is not completely removed in the process (which should prevent new growth) new hairs grow back singly or occasionally as two hairs arising from one follicle. This new growth is usually softer than the removed hairs and in the process of growth some of these new hairs can curl up under the skin causing the problem you describe. One way to deal with this is by regular washing using soap and a mild abrasive such as a loofah to make it easier for new hairs to break through the skin. Daily use of a moisturiser helps to keep the skin soft and supple which also makes it easier for new hairs to grow through. If skin follicles become infected, a topical antiseptic will help. If the problem is severe, in some cases it may be necessary to treat the skin infection with antibiotic particularly if there is any fever or if there is generalized redness and swelling of the skin which might be a sign of a spreading skin infection (cellulitis). Any local skin abnormality or skin disease is likely to make the problem worse. If you are concerned and having problems you should see your doctor for advice. If you problem has arisen because of an unexpected increase in hair growth you should also see your doctor. Some hormonal abnormalities can cause this and require further investigation. If the problem has arisen because of a hair removal treatment, you may find it better to shave unwanted hair. This should be done in the direction of hair growth to avoid very short hairs starting to ingrow. Women who continue to wax or use a depilator generally find that over time hair growth becomes less and consequently there are less ingrown hairs.
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