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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 blocked hair follicles, which can impact hair growth. What role does keratosis pilaris play in the development of ingrown hairs? Here, we provide several elements of response.

What are the signs of keratosis pilaris?

Sometimes referred to as "chicken skin," keratosis pilaris is characterized 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. 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. While it can sometimes be a source of stress, it's important to know that keratosis pilaris is a benign condition, posing no health risks.

Keratosis pilaris most commonly affects children and adolescents, but it 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 centers 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 surface. However, when its trajectory is altered, due to 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 at the location where the hair should have normally emerged: this is an ingrown hair.

Ingrown Hair: How to Prevent and Treat Them?

How to prevent ingrown hairs when you have 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 directly uprooting the hair 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 perform one or two weekly exfoliation(s). For instance, you can 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 known for its nourishing properties, as well as super lavandin essential oil recognized 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, know that there are several natural solutions to dislodge them. The first advice usually given is toapply a warm 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 they help prevent ingrown hairs from becoming infected.

It is also possible to carefully remove the ingrown hair using a sterile tweezer. However, make sure to properly 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 do not see any 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. & others. Keratosis Pilaris: A Common Follicular Hyperkeratosis. Pediatric 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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