Ingrown hairs

My problem is ingrown hairs on my chin. I am a 40 year old female and have had this problem since I had my first and only child. When I get the ingrown hair it begins with a red bump and then gets infected with pus. It will not go away until I extract the hair, then it will heal in a day or two. It is so frustrating because I can see the hair but can grab it with tweezers so it becomes a mission it get it out. I have to use a needle and get behind the hair. It is incased in a clear gel like capsule which "pops out" when I get behind it. Does this sound familar to anyone? My chin is so scarred from the years of picking. No matter how hard I try to leave it alone, the pain and itching is too much to resist, especially when I know that it will go away once the hair is removed. I have been to dermatologists who give me retinol products, but this has never worked. I have discontinued birth control thinking the hormones may cause the coarse hairs, but never seems to affect it. I have been using an exfoliating scrub which has help a lot. But what do we do to heal the years of scars? Anyone tried scar revision treatments? I assume that it won't do any good until I figure out how to eliminate the ingrown hairs or stop picking at them. Hope to hear from someone with the same experience.

Jill- Are you still there? I have this same problem, have not been able to find it anywhere on the internet, and would (desperately) want to sync up with you. Please let me know!!
Hello Saygee, I have actually recently started to have this problem. It's definitely not as intense as the original poster's story, but I fear it could turn into something like that if I don't stop now! It started about 2 months ago for me, and I would like to stop it before it progresses. -MC
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I used to have bad acne from around age 16 to age 18. I eventually grew out of it but I am 21 now and I now have bad ingrown hairs on my face. Its weird because I have been growing facial hair since I was around 17 and never had the problem until about a year ago. I have been picking at my face taking the hairs out one by one almost ever day. Its all over my cheeks and under my neck. It is getting really annoying now lol. Its like I never had the chance to see how good I could look as an adult without shit on my face since I used to have acne and now I have ingrown hairs and I dont know how long this phase will last for. I may try to use hair removal creams hoping my face will react well to them. I do not want to grow out my beard, but I might have to for the time being right? :(.
I had ingrown hairs from shaving long before I started having this picking OCD. They would usually happen on the back of my thighs, and bikini area, and left nasty dark brown spots that never seemed to fade. I haven't worn shorts in years, which makes me sad because my boyfriend is always suggesting that I get a cute pair of shorts, saying I have nice legs. Like zit-popping, there is something so disgustingly satisfying about digging out a long ingrown hair. But It got to the point where the areas were so scarred, that the hair couldn't push through the skin anymore, leading to even more intense, bloody, painful digging, with pins and x-acto blades. I'd given up on having nice legs, but I expanded the picking to anywhere there was hair on my body. I have fairly light skin, and dark hair, so even after a close shave, you can still see the shadow of the hair follicle under the skin. Obsessed, I would sit folded in half and tweeze out each and every hair on my legs, which worked, until it grew back again. Some hairs, like around my nipples, I could squeeze out with my fingernails, but now they're all scarred, too. Obviously, the underlying cause of this is a mental disorder of some sort, but I am doing better with it now, determined to fix the damage and break the habit similarly to the way I quit biting my fingernails- I would carefully manicure and paint my nails, and they ended up looking so nice, I didn't want to ruin them by chewing. So, I am doing a skin care regimen to improve my skin, to discourage picking at it and making it ugly. Here's some of the things I've been doing that are helping: Keep shaving to a minimum. I know none of us wants to look like some hairy hippie sasquatch, or have a Demi Moore-style "hair diaper" thing going on, but if the hair is grown out, it is much less likely to be ingrown. My boyfriend would prefer a nice, smooth, Brazillian look down there on me, but I feel having a short amount of hair down there is preferable to a gross, red, bumpy, pus-y mess. I use a men's beard grooming electric razor to trim it down to a short length. I take a long hot bath, then shave. The more blades on the razor, the better- fewer passes means less irritation, and the bath softens the hairs and makes shaving more comfortable. I love King Of Shaves shaving gel, with the antibacterial Triclosan. Plus, you can see the hairs through the gel, so you can make sure to get them all. I avoid shaving creams like Aveeno with soy, which makes your hairs grow back thinner and finer, because the hairs aren't stiff enough to break through the skin's surface. Like everyone else says, exfoliating is necessary. I use Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit body wash, 2% salicylic acid, with a loofah, going over every bit of skin with a clockwise, then counter clockwise scrubbing motion, sometimes I use the scrubby side of an ordinary dish washing sponge, I wouldn't recommend this for everyone; you can easily scrub your skin raw! But whatever you use, I recommend disinfecting it from time to time by tossing the loofah or scrubby in a pot of boiling water, and boiling it for a minute. This will help kill bacteria that may grow on it it a warm, wet, bathroom environment. After the salicylic acid wash, I wash my whole body again with a 10% benzoyl peroxide wash. Usually I use a formula made for facial skin, because it can be hard to find a benzoyl peroxide body wash. I let the suds sit on my skin for a few minutes, then rinse. I towel off with one of those quick-drying towels- they don't absorb water very well, so you'll still be a bit damp, but I like that, so there's a bit of moisture left on my skin to seal in with moisturizer, and the fast-dry towel discourages bacteria from growing on the damp towel. Before moisturizing, I spray my whole body with Neutrogena's Body Clear spray. It's only 0.5% salicylic acid, but the spray pump works upside down, so it's easy to get your back and shoulders and such. I use a moisturizer with 15 SPF sunscreen, to prevent the sun from making the dark spots darker. Check the bottle to make sure it is "non-comedogenic". I find that a 15 to 30 SPF formula goes on smoothest, and is less likely to leave that nasty white film on your skin. If there are any cuts or inflamed areas, I put some Neosporin and 1% hydrocortisone cream on them to calm the skin down. My friends make fun of me for obsessing about sunscreen, since I'm half white/African American, but I am rather light skinned, and I have noticed a significant lightening of the dark spots using sunscreen religiously for the past 3 years. I fear the sun like a vampire, and it works. As far as lightening creams, I've heard kojic extract, licorice, and hydroquinone are helpful, but I've heard some unpleasant things about hydroquinone, esp. in high concentrations. I'm currently using Clinique's Even Better Dark Spot Minimizer on my chest and legs, where the dark spots are worst. It's for your face, so it comes in a small tube and is a bit pricy to use all over your body at around $40-ish a tube, but I've noticed some improvement on my chest area. Another favorite product of mine is Dermablend body concealer- its thick, covers well and blends in nicely, and since it's made for legs and body, it comes in a large tube. It's around $40, and I bought mine at Ulta Beauty. You may want to powder over the areas you've applied it to afterward, to keep it from smearing. It totally will get on your clothing if you're not careful, but it will wash out easily from most clothes (I wouldn't recommend anything white, though). Keeping your skin moisturized constantly is a big help- it helps the hairs penetrate your skin's surface easier, plus, it makes your skin look and feel nice, which helps me avoid picking at it. I sometimes mix a drop of Neutrogena's 2.5% benzoyl peroxide facial acne cream in with a blob of moisturizer, and apply it to problem areas, like my bikini line. If your skin can tolerate it, it helps kill bacteria and prevent those unpleasant pus-filled ingrown hair bumps. I bought a Tria home hair-removal laser used on eBay ( I wiped it down with alcohol first). It was $250 off the retail price, which was nice because they go for around $600, but I would not recommend buying a used Tria because they only have so many "zaps" built in, and there is no replacement "zap" cartridge or anything you can buy for it, so once you've used up all the "zaps", its useless, and you toss it in the trash. It takes months to kill the hair, and I'm not seeing any noticeable improvement so far, and laser is not completely permanent. But since you do it at home, it's much cheaper and less embarrassing than having a derm look at your junk. Another issue with it is since the laser targets dark pigments, it only works for people with dark hair and light skin. I'm very nervous to use it on areas with significant dark spots, because it can also target the dark pigment of the scars, and damage the skin further. I guess my only way around that is to get electrolysis in those places, and keep using lightening creams to increase the contrast between the hair and the surrounding skin. I try my best to get rid of all the pins and x-acto blades, to avoid temptation to pick. Another thing that helped is to change the light bulbs in my bathroom (or where ever you do your picking) to a soft or warm light bulb, rather than a bright, daylight type. I can't see every teensy tiny hair beneath my skin now, which helps me not to pick. Got rid of the magnifying mirror, too, for the same reason. I am saving up to see a derm and have professional electrolysis or laser treatments, but it is rather expensive. They tend to have special deals, like "buy one area, get another area free" from time to time, so you can keep an eye out in your local paper, radio ads, and Groupon. A therapist may be able to help you work out some issues on why you pick, and a friend of mine saw a hypnotist and an acupuncturist for her acne picking problem, and it has seemed to help her a lot. There's lots of ways to work on this issue, I hope sharing some of what has worked for me can help give others some ideas to try for themselves, and let them know that they are not the only ones that suffer with this. Thank goodness for the internet- before Google and web forums, I felt so alone and ashamed about this problem, and it's so relieving to hear other people's stories and advice about it. Cheers, and good luck to you all!
You wont believe how much weight has just lifted off my shoulders reading your post!!! I really feel like there's nothing else I can do to stop myself now cause I've tried everything apart from electrolysis because I think ive got far to many areas affected and I never let my skin heal long enough to look half way normal. This is my secret problem as well so I have no one to talk to about this. It has completely ruined my life as well as my boyfriends because I will not get intimate with him at all and will do anything to even sit as far away as poss from him incase he sees how hideous I really am. Its not fair on him because he is convinced I don't want to be with him anymore because im becoming more and more distant from him to stop him finding out that I have hair everywhere a woman should ( especially nipples ) I feel like theres no hope for me and I don't want to even think about the next day because I hate myself when I look in the mirror and I am in agony all over my body from head to toe that im constantly wincing.. I really do believe I have gone to far past help now, im so unhappy and my kids are affected by the violent attack that I do to myself many times a day. Gutted!!!
Hi, I had a similar problem, but I had at least 10-15 hairs on my chin that would do this. I was so frustrated. I finally went and got electrolysis. A very inexpensive way to remove a small amount of unwanted hairs and in your case only one. It will take 4-10 treatments as every time you pluck your hair, the roots curls more and more with each pluck. Electrolysis gives the root a zap and with each zap the root uncurls more and more until it becomes straight and can be removed forever. Hope this helps All my hairs are gone Natalia 44 years old
I had terribly painful, persistent, unsightly ingrown hairs on my Brazilian bikini line. I tried removing them myself with a sterilized needle, tweezers, alcohol and Triple Antibiotic ointment. After several visits to the Dr. due to Folliculitis, which had progressed to Impetigo, my Gynecologist recommended Laser hair removal. I found a package deal through "Groupon": 6 sessions for $200.00. Laser hair removal has changed my life! I went from 15 plus ingrown hairs per month to only 2 very minor ingrown hairs in the last two months! No more skin infections, painful abscesses from Impetigo, weeks of antibiotics and unsightly scars! I spent well over $200.00 on Dr. visits and antibiotics without success. YAG Laser hair removal has not only remedied my ingrown hair debacle, it has also reduced the amount of hair in my bikini area by 80% after only 3 sessions, which my makes my hubby very happy!
my brother just told me he has an obsession to get ingrown hairs out of his face and has admitted to me he has had a problem with it for about 14 years, its purely a personally problem and has nothing to do with vanity but i noticed a few small scares on his face and im afraid if he doesn't go to maybe an expert that he will seriously scar himself. he admits its an obsession and he would rather stay in and get an ingrown hair out of his face than go on a night out.
I have the same problem under my arms and bikini line. What works is products with salicylic acid in them - I use something called Tend Skin lotion which I buy on Amazon. It's incredibly strong so you have to be sure to rinse it off in the morning, and be very careful around your face, or if your skin is very broken or sensitive. It will seriously reduce your ingrowns (or get rid of them in my case) if you leave it on overnight. I SWEAR BY IT. Also, rigorous exfoliation also helps a lot.
I have what i believe 5 ingrown hairs on my arm and im tired of them being on my arm. I dont know for sure what exactly they are and i need some help
Also for those dark areas "COCOA BUTTER" for which I've alwayz use I've find really lightens those dark scar areas. I use it everyday and before I go to bed and I read on here I've notice some ladies have problems wth the brazilla area honestly u might think im crazi,but I use nair yes nair n what areas I can't see my boyfreind lover assist apply let it sit for bout 5min r so n remove wth wet towel comes right off also if ur producing bumps down there 4 u pickers use this wash called phisoderm it works
Over the years I've had problems wth picking hair out ma face from my sideburns 2 my chin an all it would do is leave these dark scars which would make it look worse so now lately I've been useing a product called gigi facial hair removal that comes wth a calming balm you can find this at a sally's beauty store for about 8 bucks are so and 4 me personally works wonders 4 me also there is a product called salley vansen or husen Itz a brush on that u apply to the facial area that u can find at walgreens
I have the same problem. I spend hours in front of the mirror my husband and kids get mad at me for wasting so much time. My husband always wants to know what I m doing. It is so embarrassing. I don't know what to do I can't afford laser hair removal I tried electrolysis once but stopped treatments. I dont go out anymore and I pretty much am alone all day I just wish I could get help.
Are you sill out there to help me with same problem??
Once I started going through puberty, i got acne. By the time I was in seventh grade I had picked at my face, back, and chest so much that i could tell I was going to have scarring but I just couldn't stop! I am now a freshman, and I have finally gotten my acne picking under control, but now I also have an ingrown hair problem like the rest of u guys. My boyfriend also likes me to keep a brazillion, but when i started doing that i noticed hairs just near the surface of my skin that would regularly turn into pimples- im a compulsive picker so it was like I just coudn't stop myself! If I saw anything that could be removed from my skin- even if I knew picking would damage it- I would pinch and squeeze at it until something came out. I would use a needle to get out the ingrown hairs which made me bleed. I would pop and pick until my skin was so inflamed it hurt and I would start crying because I felt guilty for doing that to myself. The entire time I'm thinking, who else does this to themselves? whats wrong with me? But now I see I'm not alone! Thank you Everyone! Ive looked stuff up on scarring since I'm positive I'm going to have scarring down there now. Ive been doing this for maybe half a year now and it's depressing thinking I could have avoided scarring and that it could be to late to fix it. I have stopped overly picking for about a month now and only pick maybe 1 spot every 2 days, but tonight I had a set back and went at it full zeal again. Just telling yourself there are gonna be bad consequences helps alot I think, once you look at how your love life or anything else could be destroyed in the future, it makes you take a step back. Ive heard that honey and olive oil applied to the affected area a few times a day helps the scarring if you don't want to go to a doctor about it. I have been trying this for 3 weeks and the inflamation has gone down as I stop picking, but I can tell now that there are scars. I think going to a dermatoligist about it could be the only way to reverse it, but its so embarrassing! I would have to tell my mom, and show the doctor and seriously its my vagina! I think this is the right choice but I don't know if I could face the embarrassment. It feels good just talking about it here but still. Judy
Shaving too closely is one of the triggers for razor bumps. Hair stubs cut too closely will get trapped inside the hair follicle and dig inward or sideways. pentru caderea parului
My problem is almost entirely to do with ingrown hairs, too. Not on my chin, but on my shins. I don't remember when this started-- I wish I could, so that maybe it would help make sense of it. But what I know is that there is nothing more satisfying--more like a glorious exhale--than seeing one of those little suckers curled up and trapped, and releasing it. Sick, I know. But something about removing something trapped like that feels, I don't know, productive or something. I have a shrink who explained picking to me more in the context of eating disorders than OCD. Basically, this is a behavior that was started to "fix" something that is wrong with one's appearance. The act of "fixing" causes further damage, and soon there's a vicious cycle of shame and repetition and hiding that takes on a life of its own. I KNOW that I started this to "fix" the ingrown hairs. I think about electrolysis a lot, but then I wonder, is it really the hair? The compulsion would still be there, right? Wouldn't I just find something else to mess with? I am horribly scarred. I try every day. EVERY DAY. I can't imagine what success even looks like.
Defintely not SICK... I get the same weird satisfaction from somthing coming out... I pick it first and get the pus out, and even take tweezers to it afterwards to get the hair out... feel great with both accomplishments.... seems bizarre to me also, even tho i cant stop and even tho i feel like im messing myself up, i really cant stop ~Tanya~
you should not...i had three bumps on my left cheek once and i used tweezers to dig my skin and now i am left with 3- 4mm long ugly looking pits on my face... just avoid plucking it with a tweezer ..use a me tweezers devastated my life...
My boyfriend wants me to keep a full brazilian, and I'm a compulsive picker. Not a great combo. I've struggled with this for three years. It seems like when you pull the hair out, the pore weeps a little or something which makes a little scab, kind of, under the surface and when the new hair wants to push through the skin, it can't because the pore is clogged by something harder than the skin would normally be so the hair grows in, the pore gets irritated, becomes enlarged and inflamed and it takes minor surgery to extract the hair. By then, there is blood and that makes a larger scab and the next hair has an even harder time getting out and on and on forever until the skin is really damaged and thickened and the ingrown problem is even worse. I feel wretched about it, but I can't stop picking. I do it after work or school as some bizarre self-calming ritual even though it really hurts and I'm always upset with myself after. Because I am spending all this time hunched over, I frequently get neck and back pain as a result, so I have to regulate how much I let myself pick so I don't hurt myself too much for the next day's work/school/pick cycle. Anyway, I keep hoping to stop and I find that it has a cyclic quality in that PMS makes me do it more and then I do it less until the next PMS. What;s bizarre is that I am really health conscious and don't want to engage in unhealthy behaviors, but I just can't quit it. I tried TendSkin for awhile (mostly salicylic acid). I works pretty good because it thins the skin. If I used it too intensively, my skin would start to just peel away in layers. I stopped because I got to thinking how caustic it is and became afraid I would get cancer from using it (I had to use gloves to apply it because it would take off my nail polish otherwise). I just found out that salirlic acid is what aspirin is made of so now I don't know what to think. I still use it sometimes but try to just dab the affected pore rather than swabbing on my entire bikini area. Luckily, the problem is limited to the front part of my bikini area. The skin around my vaginal area must be less thick because the hairs come in OK there. After some searching, I discovered lemon juice. Now what I do is use a cotton pad to apply lemon juice every night before sleep. I buy bottles of it already squeezed rather than doing it myself. You can find info on this on the internet. It is working to make my skin softer and also reduce the redness and inflammation of irritated pores. At present, I only have 3 pick sites down from what had been over 20 probably. It stings but only for a minute. I have also been using it on my face and have found that my tone is more even and my skin looks younger. I pick my face, too, but usually only get a couple pimples each month. It's embarrassing and isolating and I feel really sad that there is this "other person" inside of me who lives by their own rules and won't let me be who I want to be. I worry about the craziest things like squishing my internal organs with all the time spent in such bad posture or that if I don't get the hair out it will fester in there and become some weird growth. It's irrational, but I'm always wondering what's going on in there, where I can't see. I convince myself there's a hair and I have to get it and I spend all this time excavating which makes the skin worse and the ingrown hairs continue on their vicious cycle. I hope something helps us all. It felt good just to confide in the ether. I'm crying now.
I have the same problem! The things we do for boys. Ugh. I think that what I'm going to do is just come out and tell a doctor or a dermatoligist that I have a compulsive picking problem (Because it is a real health issue and with meds it can be stopped) and then work my way into revealing my vaginal area picking. Trying at home things like honey and certain body washes helps a little, but it won't really stop and the scarring won't go away unless something real is prescribed. I'm trying to build up the confidence to tell my mom (im in highschool :( so that I can go to the doctors, and I think this would be good for you to do too. I had no idea other people also had this problem and I don't want yours to get really bad so that theres irreversable scarring, because I think thats the case with me. I'm gonna try telling someone and getting a prescription for it, and I'll tell you how it works out because I know I need some help and I want to help you! Its so depressing but it will get better dont cryyyyyy! best of luck and keep me updated if u find anything PLEASE! I'll post stuff if I find anything too because its freakin scary and we all need some support!
Wow, you're describing the whole thing so well! I have almost exactly the same experience. What struck me though, was the first words: "My boyfriend wants me to keep a full brazilian". That is CRUEL! No wonder you have caught this horrible disease! As I wrote in another post, I have been going on with this kind of picking for ten years, but only because of myself, haven't ever tried a brazilian and no boyfriend has asked me to do it. I am so sorry to critisize your boyfriend. It's just that it feels so impossible for me to stop, so I can't even imagine how hard it would be in your situation. But then, I am probably a thousand times more whacky than you. :) Good luck, and love!
Thanks for the comment. It does help to know we're not alone. I have actually have not picked in over a month so I want to share what I have been doing and maybe it will you as well. I have been using the St Ives apricot scrub. At first, I was scrubbing really hard trying to give myself an "at home" chemical peel, and I rubbed my skin raw. So I have lightened up on the intensity! But I have really noticed a difference. I also use it on my bikini area and I never get ingrown hairs there. I think the reason my chin is such a problem is because the scarred skin is too thick for the hair to break through the skin. But the scrub is reallyn helping. As long as it doesn't get infected, I don't have a tendency to pick. Its when I get that red bump that triggers my picking. The other thing I found was a tweezer case with a magnified mirror on it. Its rectangle in shape about four inches by two inches and I bought it at Walgreens. And it really magnifies! So much that I can see the hair much better and can grab it with the tweezers and not have to dig for it. I stand over a bright light too. I guess a makeup mirror would do the same, but I've never bought one in fear of sitting in front of it and picking for hours. The scrub is really what is making the biggest difference for me. I have even thought of taking pictures of my chin after having a "pickfest" and keeping it taped to the mirrors. I know it sounds gross and embarrassing to have the pictures out so everyone could see them, so I have not resorted to this measure. But i think if I get back into my picking stage, I am going to try it. Hope this helps. Keep me posted!
Hi Jill - I also had ingrown hairs on my chin and would pick at them to get them out. After many, many years, I did find something that worked! The minute that I would notice any redness on my chin, I would rub in a little Tea Tree Oil. I would do this several times a day and it really worked. The other thing that (I think) helped was that I started using a lotion under my makeup that contained grapeseed extract. The one I used was from The Body Shop (they also sell Tea Tree Oil). After starting this routine of the grapeseed extract lotion and the Tea Tree Oil I have completely stopped getting ingrown hairs on my chin. I hope it works for everyone else that has this problem. I don't know why it works, but it does!!
Jill, I have the exact same problem that you have described. I have experienced it since I began to go through menopause at the age of 50 and I'm still fighting it. I get ingrown hairs on my chin and legs. My legs, arms and torso are a mess. I haven't been able to wear short sleeves or tank tops for going on 4 years now. I don't even like to go out anymore. And I live in FLORIDA for godssake! I'm tired of coming up with excuses for why I always wear long sleeves and pants. It is so embarrassing and depressing. I went to a dermatologist at the Mayo clinic last year and you know what he said? "Just stop doing it!" Thanks a lot Doc, that's a big help. I just made an appt. with another dermatologist, but this time I'm going armed with documentation I found on the Internet regarding compulsive skin picking. All the research shows that this type of behavior responds well to a combination of OCD drugs and behavioral therapy. Please read everything you can Jill, it will help you make a decision on how to deal with your own case. I wish you all the best! Deb
Unfortunately, I have similar experiences. The hair, in my opinion, is literally the root of the problem. I wish I could afford electrolysis. I think about it on a daily basis. Every blemish that I get has a hair in it somewhere. I've read about it, but I think what happens is that if the hair never fully reaches the surface it grows inside/under the skin, hence the term ingrown hair which causes an infectious and obstruse inflammation. I'm Italian and I have blond hair (in excess, it seems), and I think the problem only persists on my face, probably because I have bad skin. I'm constantly tweezing my chin area, and though I don't want to embelish, I can relate to your experiences. My "picking" always consists of tweezing the blemish to rid of all hair because I believe it is the result of the blemish to begin with. Maybe this is all just a part of having OCD. The thing is, I wouldn't mind the hair if it didn't result in a blemish. I find that it won't heal until the hair is removed. In any case, it really bothers me too. Once I get the electrolysis, which is hopefully sooner than later, I will let you know the condition.
I had electrolysis about three years ago all over. It was good for about a year. But i never had much success on my chin. I had about five treatments and I think the key is to continue with the treatments a couple of times a year but I can't afford to do it. I agree with you that the blemish will not heal until the hair is removed. I can have a wound for weeks and as soon as the hair is extracted it will heal in a day or two. I have had more luck by using a gritty scrub. But the problem remains, but not as bad. I have tried every ingrown hair product available. Unfortunately, i am not in my forties and occasionally get a grey ingrown hair which is twice and coarse but impossible to see! Please let me know if you have any suggestions and good luck with the electolysis!
I mostly pick my face and a certain area of my back, with some scalp picking. I used to have a problem with seborrhea and acne, made many times worse by the picking. For many years, the only thing that helped the seborrhea was prescription ketoconazole shampoo (Nizoral), but over time I noticed that the shampoo aggravated the acne, and also sometimes caused acne on my scalp, which would inevitably trigger digging with my fingernails until I could get the "stuff" out and make the bump flat. Once I had an open sore, the irritation, inflammation, and itching would subside (replaced with pain, which was preferable). Then it would be weeks before the sore would heal, because of the picking at the resulting scab. On my face, I've never really had bad acne (I'm 49 and still have it), but it always looked like I did, because of the constant semi-conscious scanning of the face with my fingers for perceived imperfections, and this need to extract the gunk from inside my pores. A couple of decades ago, some retin-A gel helped, and I tried retin-A again more recently and developed a sensitivity to it. Finally, in desperation, I saw a dermatologist, who prescribed a sodium sulfacetamide lotion (Klaron lotion). Sodium sulfacetamide is a sulfa antibiotic that is also effective against the yeast that are associated with seborrhea. That, plus showering more frequently, has dramatically improved both the seborrhea and the acne, and secondarily, the face and scalp picking. I still scan and still pick, but I don't get the big craters any more (for the most part), because the comedones (pre-pimples) are much smaller and fewer, and they are less inflamed so the sebum comes out more easily. As to electrolysis - I would occasionally get one or two thick black hairs on my chin that I would pluck with my fingernails, for many years. This last year, they started increasing in number, and I've started getting electrolysis to get rid of them. I've had a half dozen 15-minute treatments so far. There's one spot (I think it might actually be a mole) where there always seems to be another hair waiting in the wings. Sometimes these ingrow, and about 50% of the time my electrologist is working through picked skin to get to the hair. For a while is seemed that 2-4 weeks after every treatment there would be a new piece of stubble getting expelled from a treated follicle, or a new hair growing in, either one of which would provide a focus for picking. I'd dab a little bit of retin-A (I still have some) to increase skin turnover (aka peeling) and try to expose the hair so it would be less irritating, but it really didn't help. I am finally finding less and less to pick at there - the thick, dark, irritating hairs are coming in less frequently and less thick. It seems, though, like there are more of the long, fine hairs in a patch surrounding my trouble spot. I don't know if this is real, or if I'm just noticing these hairs now because my attention is focused on the area. Rebeccah
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- Access anytime, from anywhere, on any device

- Affordable - just a fraction of the cost of traditional therapy