Ingrown hair cysts are one of the most common hair removal complaints on the planet. Often called razor bumps, these small red (and sometimes pus-filled) blemishes can really get us down after we’ve gone to so much effort to create beautifully smooth skin. But, there are things that you can do to prevent and treat these little red bumps — and CBD can help.
Ingrown hairs occur when a hair which has been removed regrows in a curled shape, or grows sideways inside the follicle. This usually happens because dead skin cells are trapped in the hair follicle, which blocks the pathway for the new hair to grow. This forces the growing hair to change direction and grow sideways back into the skin — hence the term “ingrown.”
Depending on how quickly your hair grows, ingrown hairs could be a rare, occasional, or frequent issue for you. But no matter your rate of hair growth, it’s never pleasant when a hair grows back into the skin.
When this happens, a cyst appears which looks, for all intents and purposes, just like a regular pimple. A small red bump will form on the skin, and it often becomes filled with pus. Unlike most pimples, though, ingrown hair cysts tend to be very painful. And while it may be very tempting to squeeze and pop the cyst like a pimple, this can easily lead to a more painful — and potentially serious — infection.
As always, prevention is better than the cure. And in order to prevent an ingrown hair cyst from developing, exfoliation is your biggest ally.
Exfoliating the skin removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. You might not realize it, but your body is constantly shedding dead skin. In fact, it’s thought that every year the average person sheds about 8 pounds of dead skin cells. As gross as this sounds, it is a perfectly natural process that’s vital to keeping the skin in tip-top condition. If those dead cells aren’t removed from the surface of the skin, they can cause skin conditions like acne and ingrown hair cysts.
Although there is no evidence to say that CBD by itself is a natural exfoliant, beauty and skin care brands have begun to add it to their existing formulae to create a range of different CBD-infused exfoliators. There are two main types of products which you can choose from: abrasive CBD exfoliators and non-abrasive CBD exfoliators.
Abrasive CBD exfoliators, such as CBD sugar scrubs, include grainy ingredients which feel rough on the skin and remove dead skin cells by scraping them off like a gentler version of sandpaper. Non-abrasive CBD exfoliators, on the other hand, have a lotion-like texture (although some can feel more like water) and include ingredients such as glycolic acid that are much milder on the skin while still being quite effective.
Using a CBD exfoliating product means that the chances of dead skin cells becoming trapped in your pores is much lower, and regrowing hairs are less likely to become trapped as a result. However, it’s important not to overdo it when it comes to exfoliation as the skin can be very delicate and easily damaged.
Applying your exfoliator and lathering in a gentle circular motion before rinsing off with warm water is a great general rule of thumb when exfoliating to prevent ingrown hairs.
But what if you already have ingrown hair cysts and are looking for a way to treat them? Above all else, the most important thing to do when dealing with these cysts is to avoid the development of an infected ingrown hair. Skin infections can lead to very serious problems, such as infections in the blood known as sepsis. In very extreme but not-unheard of cases, sepsis can lead to organ failure. So, keeping your cyst clean and bacteria-free should be your top priority when treating it.
As a natural antibacterial, CBD can definitely help with this. By fighting off any bacteria around the site of the cyst, it will help to keep the cyst clean. This makes it much less likely that an infection will develop in the skin and spread elsewhere. An infected cyst takes a much longer time to heal than one which is kept clean, so using CBD oil to treat it could also speed up the healing process.
Applying a CBD topical to the cyst itself, as well as the area of skin surrounding it, is the best way to harness CBD’s antibacterial properties. Unfortunately, there is little-to-no regulation of CBD products right now, so the quality of oils can vary widely. However, CBD topicals which contain full spectrum CBD oil have a more potent mix of ingredients, which makes them your best bet for delivering an antibacterial punch to ingrown hair cysts.
Removing hair is something that almost all of us do in our everyday lives. Going to the trouble of creating that silky smooth skin you yearn for, only to develop a cyst because of an ingrown hair, can be frustrating at the best of times. And although they are a normal part of daily life for those of us who shave, wax, use hair removal cream, epilate, or opt for any other hair removal method, that doesn’t mean they have to be.