Ingrown Hairs Have Ruined My Skin


Hi there,
I am a 27 year old female with a now severe problem on my legs.
To give you all a bit of history, I used to shave my legs quite obsessively to the point that they were covered in cuts from pressing razors into my legs to try to get them smooth.
In the end, I felt I was destroying my skin and chose an epilator, thinking that this would be the end of the scarring problem.
Sure enough, almost all of the shaving scars disappeared.
However, having tried waxing briefly before epilation, I noticed a large proportion of the hairs on my lower legs regrowing as ingrown hairs.
It was mainly down the inside of both calves, but it was also down the sides of both lower legs and some on the back of my legs.
I started to squeeze the hairs at the root and noticed that they popped straight out.
I suffer from OCD and I can admit that this developed into an obsession.
If the hairs did not come out from squeezing, I have resorted to scratching layers of skin off to get to the hair, and even cutting the skin with scissors.
I have tried to quit picking the hairs desperately. Sometimes I can go up to a week without doing it, but as soon as I am bored, or catch sight of my bare legs, I start looking for hairs, and the whole process starts again.
I have stopped using the epilator and started shaving again, as I feel the odd cut is preferable to all of these bumps and scars.
But can anyone give me any advice as to how to get rid of all these scars? I body brush every day. I put loads of moisturiser on afterwards. I have tried Bio Oil to get rid of the scars. But nothing has worked.
It is coming up to the summer and yet again, I am going to be wearing jeans all summer in an effort to cover up.
I would appreciate any advice anyone can give me. Please don’t advertise your own product though, I am looking for genuine help.
Many thanks everyone,
Rachel xx


You can gently exfoliate daily , but as long as there is hair on your legs and you keep squeezing, tweezing, shaving or doing anything to remove these hairs in violent ways, you are going to keep affecting your skin condition. There is no super perfect cream, lotion or serum to get rid of the scars as long as this unending process of tampering with your leg hair persists.

I don’t do laser, but honestly if I were you, I would consider laser hair reduction for your lower legs if you have dark coarse hair and light skin especially. Getting rid of the hair will take away the deep desire to focus on your leg hair. Follow laser with electrolysis to get rid of the hair for 100% removal.




I never thought I would meet someone with the same OCD as me. I used to do the same. I would even use a needle to dig out the ingrown hair- which always lead to bleeding and scarring.

I am in the process of getting laser now and can tell you this is def a way to do away with that OCD. First, each sesion you get removes the hair for a good amount of time- so that you can stop picking at your skin. If you are like me- the worst you can do is pick at the hair when it is shedding- which is a no no- but the reality is- I sometimes do it(oops?!). This doesn’t scar your skin. And with every session you go- you should see the hairs thinning and less hairs returning- which means less picking and less scarring.

I really recommend it- but please make sure you do the research as to the place you go to- I spent alot of money on the cheaper option and 15 months or so later, I have had to almost (not completely) start from scratch.

None the less, I was not discouraged to try another place due to the many recommondations I have gotten as to the effectivesness.

As Dee says, laser is reduction- not removal. She is the expert, so I assume that electrolysis would be the solution for removal.



Hello…I have the same problem. I started Electrolysis on some trouble spots in January and stopped a couple of months in because it was getting costly minus any significant results. Since Mid-February I’ve been doing laser (Still in the beginning phases) on most places and am pretty happy with the hair thinning out. Now as to the ingrowns…I have the most prone skin to ingrowns. Shaving, waxing, epilating, etc…everything gave me ingrowns. And I too, am obsessed with getting them out. My electrolysis sold me PFB Vanishing roll-on which I’m using on the major areas I see them. I honestly haven’t seen much of a progress from it. Perhaps I’m not using it strictly enough?

To avoid ingrowns, from my experience, I could only recommend lasering. I’m hoping in the long run, these few ingrowns will fall out and thin out (fingers crossed).

Now if I can bother this forum with a further detail. I have some dark spot scarring from my previous ingrown experiences. At my laser place I purchased a Black & White bleaching cream which I’ve been using at nights to lighten them up…I think it’s working but mildly and slowly. I just googled the cream though and read that the active ingredient is a carcinogenic threat. This really bothers me. Anyone have a solution for the scarring? Anything that’s worked for you or someone you know that’s a safer bet?


I have been told that licorice root extract helps. I have no personal experience with this. The hyperpig should naturally fade within several months after treatments without using anything at all. My women of color come in with some of the most brutal looking hyperpigmentation I have ever seen and once the hair has been permanently treated, the skin is then allowed to renew and thus, the skin tone evens out.

Laser can be very good for ingrown hair, but electrolysis is just as efective when performed expertly. You didn’t give electrolysis a fair chance. A couple months of electrolysis will NOT relieve you of your problem, just like a couple of months of laser hair reduction will not bring you any kind of results. Permanent hair removal and reduction is not for the impatient.

You can do research on licorice root extract, kojic acid and exfoliation on your own to avoid the bleaching ingredients in some of these topicals. I THINK hydroquinone, that is used in many bleaching creams, has been banned in Europe and Asia. My memory is foggy on this one.


My search revealed this:

Hyperpigmentation management


I am too very prone to ingrown hair (shaving, waxing, epilating), in fact I was told by my doctor at a very young age that this was hereditary, and looking at my brother and cousins, he seems to be right, but I can’t source anything from the internet. Can anyone confirm?

Out of all the pictures I’ve seen of ingrown hair are pretty big bumps semi filled with pus. Mine however are little bumps (looking similar to getting red goosebumps) at the back of my arms and on my legs. Will laser help end this problem?

I’m worried that because there is much talk about laser and “hair reduction” but not permanent hair removal, that my hair still wont be able to “grow out” hence turn back into ingrown - that would be an awful waste of money!

I’ve also considered getting Silk’n since it seems like a much more economical option than performing laser treatment on my full arms and full legs at a clinic.
Any thoughts?


Ingrown hairs on the backs of the arms and legs is usually keratosis pilaris, and it does tend to run in families. These hairs are usually very fine and often light colored hairs. Too fine and light for laser. Did the doctor say “keratosis pilaris?” If not, look it up and see if it sounds similar. Do a google image search as well.

You could do electrolysis, but for me, removing the hairs didn’t help. It’s a build up of keratin in the follicle, and it will happen whether there’s a hair in there or not.


I have the exact same problem. My ingrowns started when a friend recommended that I use an epilator (and didn’t tell me about the ingrowns and scars until I started to get them!) I squeeze and scan my legs for hours to see if I can find any ingrown hairs, and even though I stopped epilating, I still get them if I wax. For me, shaving is the only thing that reduces them, but my hair grows back very quickly. I tried using bio-oil and creams with vitamin E in them to get rid of the scars but none of them really worked. BUT SOMETHING DID GET RID OF THE SCARS. I went away on holiday to Cyprus… And I have no idea how but my scars vanished! (you could see maybe a tiny mark… but it was only noticeable to me because I knew they were there before… no one else could tell!) I think it has something to do with the salt water at the beach. I recommend going to the beach as much as you can and go into the water… I was only in Cyprus for a week, but I find it hard to believe that it was because of the water there. I think it may be salt water in general. A year later, and I’ve got fresh scars because I waxed and started squeezing out the ingrown hairs but I’m trying to go to the beach as often as I can so they can go again. Trust me, this works and it’s relatively cheap (depending on now close to the beach you live… If you don’t I suggest you book a holiday ASAP!) I really hope this helps :slight_smile:


^lol. excellent tip though, if it works.

if you can afford it, get your legs lasered. the ingrown scars was one of my main motivations and even thought i’m only 2 treatments in, i can say that it’s the best decision i ever made!
i started in April this year and NO new ingrowns since then and the scars are fading well. the progress on my lower legs so far as been fantastic!

epilator’s are horrible!! i’m glad i stopped using mine a few years ago.


I use an epilator. Why don’t you like them? Can I ask people, what do you do if you have hair on your back too and you never heard of electrolysis? Coz I have but it’s not dark and carse although there’s loads. Before the thought of laser and thatm what would people have done apart from shaving? Is it a wise idea to use an epilator there? Because I can’t imagine showing my back to anyone to remove the hair.


If the hair is not dark and course, laser is not a viable option and electrolysis is your only permanent option. Although there might be a fair amount of hair it is still worth having a consultation with an electrologist. You might be surprised how quickly a pro using a good machine and surgical magnification can clear away that back hair.


My story is the same as many others in this thread — I waxed my legs/bikini for half my life and was left with dreaded ingrowns and scarring. There is something “addictive” about searching your legs for ingrowns that you can squeeze out… but very detrimental to the skin. For years I was ashamed to wear shorts in the summer, unless I had a good tan going, because it helped to hide some of the scarring.

I started laser hair removal in May this year and the results have been phenomenal, especially with healing the scars and reducing the ingrowns. I still get the odd ingrown, but it’s nothing like it was before. I still have a ways to go in my laser journey, but after several treatments I already see light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope – you can change the appearance of your skin and reduce leg hair and minimize the ingrowns… it really does work. I wished I had started laser when I was in my 20s.