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The Risks of Picking or Squeezing Ingrown Hair: Why You Should Avoid It?

Oct 18, 2023


Dealing with ingrown hairs can be frustrating and uncomfortable, leading many individuals to pick or squeeze them to find relief. While it may provide temporary satisfaction, this practice can have various adverse consequences. This blog post will examine the dangers associated with ingrown hair picking and squeezing and the critical nature of averting these detrimental practices.

Understanding Ingrown Hairs

When hair retracts into the epidermis rather than erupting from the hair follicle, ingrown hairs ensue. This often results in a raised, red bump that can be painful and itchy. Ingrown hairs can affect anyone, regardless of hair type or skin tone. They are prevalent in areas where hair is regularly removed through shaving, waxing, or plucking.


The Risks of Picking or Squeezing Ingrown Hair

  1. Infection: One of the most significant risks of picking or squeezing ingrown hair is infection. When you use your fingers or non-sterile tools to manipulate the hair, you introduce bacteria into the area, increasing the chances of infection. This may result in pus-filled bumps, redness, and edema, which may necessitate medical attention.
  2. Scarring: Picking or squeezing an ingrown hair can damage skin tissue. Repeatedly disturbing the area can form scars, which can be permanent and aesthetically undesirable.
  3. Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation may ensue from the aggressive removal of ingrown hairs, particularly in those with darker skin tones. This condition results in irregular skin tone and imperfections due to the darkening of the affected area.
  4. Secondary Ingrown Hairs: Attempting to remove one ingrown hair can sometimes result in more ingrown hairs. Aggravating the skin can disrupt the hair follicles, leading to multiple ingrown hairs in the same area.
  5. Pain and Discomfort: Picking or squeezing ingrown hairs can be painful and uncomfortable. It can worsen the initial irritation and inflammation, making the problem even more challenging.
  6. Spread of Infection: If the area around an ingrown hair is infected, picking or squeezing can spread the infection to adjacent follicles, causing a more significant and severe problem.
  7. Delayed Healing: Ingrown hairs typically resolve on their own over time. You can wait for the natural healing process by attempting to remove them forcibly, making the situation last longer.

Safe Alternatives for Managing Ingrown Hairs

Instead of resorting to picking or squeezing, consider these safer alternatives for managing ingrown hairs:

1. Gentle Exfoliation: Ingrown hairs can be avoided through consistent exfoliation, eliminating dead skin cells obstructing hair follicles. Apply a gentle exfoliant, such as a soft brush or mild scrub, to the afflicted area.

2. Topical Treatments: Glycolic acid or Salicylic acid-containing over-the-counter creams can assist in exfoliating the epidermis and facilitating the release of entrapped hairs.

3. Hot Compresses: Applying a warm, damp cloth to the ingrown hair can help soften the skin and encourage the hair to surface naturally.

4. Avoid Tight Clothing: Wearing tight clothing can exacerbate ingrown hairs, especially when friction is standard. Opt for loose-fitting clothing to reduce irritation.

5. Seek Professional Help: If you have recurring or severe ingrown hairs, consult a dermatologist or a licensed esthetician. They can provide professional treatments such as chemical peels or laser hair removal to address the issue.


While the temptation to pick or squeeze ingrown hairs may be strong, resisting this urge is crucial. The risks associated with these practices, including infection, scarring, and hyperpigmentation, far outweigh any short-term relief they may provide. Instead, focus on safe and effective methods for managing ingrown hairs, such as gentle exfoliation and topical treatments. By prioritizing your skin's health and well-being, you can achieve smoother, blemish-free skin without the harmful consequences of picking or squeezing ingrown hairs. Avoid harmful habits to take good care of your skin. Spread awareness about the risks of picking or squeezing ingrown hairs.

Prioritize your skin's well-being to achieve a healthy, flawless appearance.