Ingrown hair occurs when the hair that has been removed by shaving grows back into the follicle. The condition can cause the skin to look inflamed and feel irritated. If you shave the hair on your arms or your back, ingrown hairs can appear in these areas. Ingrown back and arm hair is not a common problem, since these areas are shaved less frequently than the legs and underarms. If you notice any pain and pus from the ingrown hair, contact your doctor. You may have an infection and need a prescription for a topical antibiotic.
Smooth a small amount of hydrocortisone cream on the ingrown hairs. Use the cream only twice a day and discontinue once symptoms desist. The cream should be applied only directly to the bumps on the arms and back and massaged into the skin until the medication is no longer visible on the surface. You do not need to cover the back or arms after application. The cream helps reduce inflammation. If the ingrown hair is in a hard to reach area on the back, you may need someone’s assistance to apply the cream.
Massage the area with a washcloth moistened in warm water. Several minutes each day, massage the affected skin using circular motions. This can help release the ingrown hairs from the follicle.
Lift the hair out of the follicle with a sterile needle. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can position a sterilized needle under the loop of the hair. Proceed to gently lift the hair towards the surface of the skin. Since an arm will be immobilized if the ingrown hair appears there, you should have someone else release the hair. Lie flat on your stomach while a helper pulls the hair out of the follicle if the ingrown hair is on the back.
Adjust the way that you shave. If you shave your arms or back, wait until the hair grows back at least 1/4 of an inch. Open the pores by shaving in a warm shower. Apply a shaving gel with aloe and run the razor over the area in the direction of the hair’s natural growth pattern. A sharp razor should be used to get rid of the hair.
Apply an aftershave lotion to the back and arms. Choose a version with benzoyl peroxide as an active ingredient to treat back and arm ingrown hairs. The Doctors Book of Home Remedies featured on the Mother Nature website states that aftershaves with benzoyl peroxide can have an antibiotic and antibacterial effect.
Wear loose fitting shirts. Tight clothing can cause the hair on the back and arms to curl back into the follicle.