Ingrown hairs, whether in the bikini area or anywhere, can be painful, unsightly and even embarrassing. So today, I’m going to tell you how to treat ingrowns and perhaps even more importantly I’m going to tell you how to prevent them. Ingrowns can either be random, which means they occur for no particular reason, maybe once in a year or once in a lifetime but usually ingrowns come from some method of hair removal whether it’s shaving or actually something that pulls the hair out like plucking, waxing or threading. But regardless of the cause of the ingrowns the treatment is the same. The fastest and most efficient treatment involves taking the tip of a sterile needle, popping open the ingrown and then applying pressure at the bottom around it to force the ingrown out to sort of push it out the way you push out a blackhead. Obviously, this is something I do in the office; it is not a recommended home treatment. What if you’re on your own at home? Then apply warm compresses, not hot, but warm compresses four times a day for about three or four minutes. After you do that apply any exfoliant to the ingrown, either a salicylic exfoliant like an acne spot treatment or a glycolic based exfoliant. After that, again four times a day, you apply an over the counter one percent hydrocortisone cream. This process will either cause faster healing from the inside or make it come up to a head so it falls out by itself faster. In terms of prevention, by definition you can’t prevent a random ingrown hair because there’s no particular cause of getting it. But if you’re getting ingrowns from shaving then I recommend shaving only at the end of the shower, shaving with the grain, shaving with a shaving gel and not pushing too hard on the razor because you don’t want to get too close of a shave. It’s a very close shave that causes you to get ingrowns from shaving. And if the cause of your ingrowns is because your hairs have been pulled out, particularly with waxing, then you need to find another method of hair control, whether you then go to shaving or chemical depilatories. If you have a recurring ingrown in the same place, usually, over a period of months or a year, that hair follicle will die and it will stop ingrowing but if it doesn’t you can see a dermatologist for laser hair removal and the laser will kill the root and therefore stop the ingrowing hairs. And by the way, if you want to understand why waxing sets up this vicious cycle of recurring ingrown hairs, then see the DermTV episode on why waxing causes ingrown hairs.