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Conséquences kératose pilaire poils incarnés

What are the consequences of keratosis pilaris on ingrown hairs?

Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition that occurs due to an overproduction of keratin. This results in the hair follicles becoming blocked, which inevitably impacts hair growth. What role does keratosis pilaris play in the development of ingrown hairs? Discover several elements of the answer here.

What are the signs of keratosis pilaris?

Sometimes referred to as "chicken skin", keratosis pilaris is identified by the presence of small raised bumps on the skin. These can appear in various parts of the body but are primarily found on the arms, legs and buttocks. The keratosis pilaris occurs due to the blockage of hair follicles caused by an excess in keratin production. As a result, the skin becomes thick and takes on a rough, irregular and grainy appearance. Although sometimes a source of stress, it is good to know that keratosis pilaris is a benign condition, posing no risk to health.

Keratosis pilaris most commonly affects children and adolescents, but does not spare adults. In some cases, it can cause a sensation of itching, or even inflammation if the itching persists. It is generally observed that the signs of keratosis pilaris intensify in winter, correlating with a decrease in ambient humidity levels. Although keratosis pilaris is a condition difficult to treat, several solutions exist to alleviate the symptoms. As with most skin diseases, skin hydration is key and should be accompanied by one to two exfoliations per week. Some aesthetic medicine centres also offer laser sessions with the aim of eliminating keratosis pilaris. However, it should be noted that the results are rarely permanent.

What is the connection between keratosis pilaris and ingrown hairs?

Due to the blockage of hair follicles it causes, keratosis pilaris promotes the occurrence of ingrown hairs.

The overproduction of keratin by keratinocytes, as observed in cases of keratosis pilaris, leads to the accumulation of this protein in the hair follicles. This excess creates an environment conducive to irritation and inflammation, which can disrupt hair growth. Indeed, a hair normally grows upwards, directly from the skin's surface. However, when its trajectory is altered, following an excess of keratin in the hair follicles for example, it begins to grow under the skin. This results in the appearance of a small inflamed red bump where the hair should have normally emerged: this is an ingrown hair.

Ingrown Hair: How to Prevent and Treat Them?

How can one avoid ingrown hairs when suffering from keratosis pilaris?

The primary cause of ingrown hairs is hair removal. Indeed, certain techniques are strongly discouraged for individuals affected by keratosis pilaris, such as electric hair removal and waxing, both of which are sources of ingrown hairs. By pulling the hair directly from its root, these methods can disrupt the hair's regrowth, causing it to grow under the skin. Trapped in the epidermis, it leads to the formation of a small red bump, that is, an ingrown hair. To avoid this inconvenience, it is generally recommended to use depilatory cream and laser hair removal in cases of keratosis pilaris.

Furthermore, to prevent the formation of ingrown hairs, we recommend you to carry out one or two weekly exfoliation(s). For instance, you could use our nourishing body scrub with micro-grains of apricot kernels. The rolling of the grains gently removes dead cells that can block the hair and softens the epidermis to allow the hair to emerge more easily. It also contains sweet almond oil with nourishing properties, as well as super lavandin essential oil, known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

How to effectively deal with ingrown hairs?

If you still find ingrown hairs on your skin despite your best efforts, be aware that there are several natural solutions to dislodge them. The first piece of advice usually given is toapply a hot water compress to the skin, at the site of the ingrown hair. The heat conveyed by the compress helps to soften the skin and release the hair. You can also add a few drops of tea tree essential oil or true lavender essential oil to the compress. These essential oils are both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, and will prevent the ingrown hairs from becoming infected.

It is also possible to carefully remove the ingrown hair using a sterile tweezer. However, ensure to thoroughly disinfect the skin before and after the procedure, to prevent the ingrown hair from becoming infected and turning into an abscess or cyst. If your ingrown hair persists for several days and you see no improvement, it is then time to consult a healthcare professional who will be able to remove it using a small sterile needle.

Sources

  • SCHWARTZ R. A. & co. Keratosis Pilaris: A Widespread Follicular Hyperkeratosis. Paediatric Dermatology (2008).

  • KHOPKAR U. S. & THOMAS M. Revisiting Keratosis Pilaris: Is It More Than Just a Follicular Keratosis? International Journal of Trichology (2012).

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