Now that beach season is in full swing, expect more grooming booboos in the inner thigh area, a.k.a. the bikini line. But we shouldn’t always suffer for beauty, CGs! We found ways to fix these common problems.
1. Ingrown hair
“Ingrown hair occurs when the hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin instead of protruding upwards and outwards,” explained Dr. Abelaine Venida-Tablizo, DPDS and Board-Certified Dermatologist. This is often caused by improper and frequent shaving. When the hair is cut close to the skin, the hair tip pierces the skin and curls back. Even waxing won’t spare you from getting ingrown hair. “The hair follicle can clog and lead to hair growing sideways,” said Dr. Venida-Tablizo.
What to do: Do not be tempted to pop the area and yank out the hair on your own. It can cause more infection. Instead, apply warm compress to the area several times a day to soften the skin. The ingrown hair will eventually break out of the bump on its own. In the meantime, avoid wearing skinny jeans and other tight clothing that can rub the area and make symptoms worse. If you have extra cash to spare, you may avail of Brazilian facials that will help fix irritations in the bikini area.
2. Razor bumps
If you shaved without using cream, used a dull razor, or shaved against the grain, then you will most likely get a razor burn or rash, those inflamed hair follicles or bumps. It’s similar to ingrown hair, except that the bumps become red, inflamed, and sometimes fill with pus.
What to do: Try using a cold compress to reduce the inflammation and cool down the skin. You may also use a topical inflammatory cream like hydrocortisone. For more severe cases, consult your dermatologist, who may prescribe antibiotics. To prevent razor burns, make sure you shave with the grain (not against the natural growth) and using a hydrating shaving gel or cream.
3. Shaving cuts
Because the skin in our bikini area is more sensitive and trickier to shave than other body parts, you can accidentally cut the skin with the razor blade.
What to do: Stop the moment you start seeing blood while shaving! Press a cotton ball against the affected area to stop the bleeding. When you get out of the shower, apply a topical inflammatory cream or antibiotic over the cut. Avoid shaving or exfoliating that area for a few days until the cut heals. To prevent this in the future, buy razors made especially for women—the ones with multiple blades, protective guards that prevent cuts, and built-in moisturizer.
4. Skin discoloration
“Trauma and irritation caused by shaving, waxing, and constant rubbing of the skin may lead to skin inflammation and hyperpigmentation,” said Dr. Venida-Tablizo.
What to do: “Dark or discolored skin in the bikini area may be treated with mild topical bleaching or whitening creams and solutions,” she said. Other options include chemical peels and laser treatments. When opting for these types of treatments, it’s best to consult a board-certified dermatologist.
5. Chicken skin
Also known as Keratosis Pilaris in medical lingo, chicken skin happens when there is a build up of dry skin on the pores, and the skin around the hair follicles appear rough, bumpy, and skin-colored to red. It usually appears on the upper arms, thighs, and buttocks, but for areas subject to constant hair removal, like the underarms and bikini area, chicken skin is aggravated by shaving, waxing, and plucking.
What to do: Dr. Venida-Tablizo suggests you treat the area with urea lotion, salicylic acid, or for more severe cases, creams that contain steroids. Laser treatments can both smoothen the skin and effectively remove unwanted hair without damaging the surrounding skin.