Red bumps on your skin are always a source of stress for people. These unsightly blemishes often cause us to feel ugly and make us want to hide indoors. However, acne and ingrown hairs are nothing to be ashamed of. They are both easily treated and can even be prevented.
Everyone gets both of these things at some point in their life. But how do you tell the difference? Even though the bumps may look similar, the way that you should treat them have nearly nothing in common. Let’s take a deeper look.
What Is A Pimple?
Acne is caused by clogged pores that are filled with oil. This oil and dead skin cells block the pore and damage the follicle wall. This causes irritation on your skin and results in a pimple. There are a few different kinds of acne that can all look similar but may be caused by different factors.
- The first one is whiteheads. These are closed comedones, and they can be identified by examining your skin for a white dot near the top of the bump.
- Blackheads appear differently on the skin than whiteheads. They look like little black dots and are known as open comedones. This is because the head of the pore is open in blackheads.
- Nodules are the kind of acne that is under the skin. The infection happens deep within the pore and appears to swell on the surface.
- Cystic acne is similar to nodules but is considered more severe. They are usually filled with pus and can be difficult to treat most times.
Pimples are common on your face, back, and chest. The main cause of acne is an overproduction of sebum (oil) on your skin. This is why acne is very common for teenagers. During this time, teenager’s hormones produce more oil than normal.
Acne can also be caused by bacteria and diet or stress. If you consume a lot of carbohydrates, your acne may get worse. If you are in a stressful environment, this may also cause your acne to get worse.
What Is Ingrown Hair?
Ingrown hair looks similar to acne, but it is not caused by bacteria. The hair itself is what causes the redness and inflammation of ingrown hairs. The hair will grow sideways back into your skin, and your skin will treat it as an invader.
Ingrown hairs will appear in places that you normally shave. This could be your legs, chest, pubic area, or face. When you shave the hair, this creates a sharp edge for the hair that is left. This makes it more likely that the hair will grow the wrong way.
Ingrown hairs are very common for men who shave their beards and for women who shave...well, everywhere. These ingrown hairs can be painful because of the inflammation and swelling, causing a lot of discomfort.
It is even possible that you will be able to see the hair underneath your skin, which is causing the ingrown hair bump. If it is not properly treated, ingrown hair can cause scarring.
How To Prevent Acne
Sometimes acne is unavoidable. But there are certain steps you can take to reduce the chances of developing acne.
Wash your face. We know this is a pretty obvious tip and that anyone who is familiar with skincare will already know this. But we cannot understate how important it is to wash your face correctly.
Every day, your skin is subjected to bacteria, sweat, dirt, and oil. You must clean your face in the morning and evening to get rid of all those things. Wet your face with warm water, use a gentle cleanser, and pat your face dry.
- Another important tip for preventing acne is moisturizing your face. When you pick a moisturizer, make sure you read the bottle and look for one that is non-comedogenic. This means that it will not clog your pores.
- You can also try reducing the amount of makeup you wear. If you have a breakout, it can be hard not to cover it up with a concealer. But this will only make your acne last longer and prevent it from healing.
- Try not to touch your face (especially with a global pandemic going on). Your hands are full of bacteria and oils, so putting that on your face is not a good look.
How To Prevent Ingrown Hair
If you want to stick to shaving or waxing, you may get an occasional ingrown hair. Here are some tips for reducing your chances of developing them.
- Try to exfoliate before shaving the area. This can help remove the dead skin cells, which can trap hairs. Scrub your skin with something that is gentle yet effective.
- Opening up your pores before shaving can also help prevent ingrown hairs. The more open the pores are, the closer shave that you can get. This means your razor won’t irritate your skin as much.
- Always shave with the grain. If you go in the direction of the hair growth, you are less likely to irritate the hairs and point them the wrong way after they grow back.
- Don’t go over the same area twice. This will only lead to irritation and ingrown hairs.
- Use a sharp razor every time. Dull razors will create inflammation on your skin and can harbor bacteria.
If you are fed up with ingrown hairs, there are other solutions for removing hair besides shaving. If you want a more permanent solution, you should try IPL devices for hair removal. IPL stands for intense pulsed light. It uses light energy to penetrate the melanin in your hair follicle, so it will prevent regrowth.
This kind of treatment is not quite as strong as a laser treatment, but it can be done in the comfort of your own home. This means you don’t have to book expensive appointments at a doctor’s office to remove your hair. IPL is a safe and painless method of hair removal that can also be useful for reducing other minor impurities of the skin. This includes wrinkles, scars, or other blemishes.
The best part about IPL treatments is that you can say goodbye to ingrown hairs forever. This type of hair removal will not cause ingrown hairs, and you will no longer have to worry about them. Although the results are not immediate with IPL, if you are patient, you can be hairless in no time.
The KENZZI Hair Removal Handset is a premium at-home IPL device that is perfect for first-timers. It is proven to last up to 10 years with normal usage, meaning you will get a lot of juice out of it. Compared to salon treatments, the KENZZI is a much more affordable investment for people who no longer want to deal with shaving or waxing.
How To Tell The Difference Between Pimples And Ingrown Hairs
One of the best ways to tell whether you have an ingrown hair or a pimple is by looking at where the bump is located. If it is in an area where you shaved or tweezed, it is probably ingrown hair. Even if the bump is on your face, if you recently tweezed your eyebrows or chin hair, it could be an ingrown hair.
People who have curly hair are sometimes more prone to ingrown hairs because of the way their hair grows back. Curly hair grows back...well, curly. So it is easy for the hair to grow sideways instead of straight.
You can also examine the color and size of the bump that you have. Ingrown hairs are usually small and red. Some types of acne, however, can appear large and colorless. If you have a cyst or a whitehead, then it is easier to identify the bump as acne.
Both ingrown hairs and acne can be annoying to deal with. They are a part of the human experience. Although it may be impossible to completely prevent acne, you can prevent ingrown hairs with IPL devices. These devices eliminate the irritation caused by shaving and waxing.
Remember to exfoliate your skin and use a quality moisturizer. For both ingrown hairs and acne, it is important to keep your skin clean to prevent them. Don’t touch your face when you’re out in public, and always wash your hands when you get home.
If you use laser hair removal or IPL, you will never have to wonder if that bump you have is acne or ingrown hair.