Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
To inhibit ingrown hairs, stop shaving, tweezing or waxing. If you must remove hairs, consider laser hair removal, which removes the hair deeper in the follicle and inhibits regrowth better. It may take several treatments to prevent regrowth.
Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to help manage your condition. They include:
- Retinoids. Your doctor may prescribe creams that help remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin (exfoliation), such as tretinoin (Renova, Retin-A, others). Retinoids can help alleviate the thickening (hyperkeratosis) and darkening (hyperpigmentation) of the skin that often occurs on dark skin prone to ingrown hairs.
- Corticosteroids. A topical steroid ointment can help control inflammation.
- Antibiotics. A topical antibiotic ointment can prevent infection caused by scratching the affected area. For more severe infection, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics.
- Pseudofolliculitis barbae. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec10/ch124/ch124d.html. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- Coley MK, et al. Managing common dermatoses in skin of color. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. 2009;28:63.
- Habif TP. Folliculitis. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- Perry PK, et al. Defining pseudofolliculitis barbae in 2001: A review of the literature and current trends. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2002;46(suppl):S113.