Pimple popping is out, and it has been replaced with something just as graphic: videos of ingrown hairs being removed.
Japanese Instagram account Tweezist has amassed more than 18,000 followers who subscribe to watching nothing more than ingrown hairs being pulled out of people’s skin.
The up close images of the precision with which tweezers remove people’s ingrown hairs are both highly satisfying and deeply disturbing.
Here, we’ve gathered a preview of what you will find on the account and explained how you can avoid ingrown hairs in the first place.
An ingrown hair forms when either a tweezed or shaved hair grows back into one’s skin instead of out of it, and it can result in pain, inflammation and a rash.
The condition is common, and those most at risk are black men who shave their facial hair and people with tightly curled hair that they shave, wax or tweeze.
Ingrown hairs can develop anywhere where someone has hair follicles, but for men they are most common on the cheeks, neck and chin. For women, they are most likely to pop up in the armpit or pubic hair areas or on the legs.
Symptoms of ingrown hairs include small rounded bumps around the inflamed follicle; blister-like, pus-filled lesions; a skin darkening side effect called hyperpigmentation; itching and pain.
A number of things can make you susceptible to ingrown hairs, including pulling your skin taut while shaving. This makes it easy for a freshly cut hair to reenter the skin via your hair follicle before growing out if it.
Ingrown hairs can cause some minor complications including bacterial infections – which arise from scratching – permanent scarring and razor bumps.
Tweezist has more than 18,000 followers
The condition often disappears on its own without treatment, and developing an ingrown hair every now and then is not a cause for concern that should lead you to see a doctor.
However, if ingrown hairs prove to be a chronic condition for you, you may want to consider seeing a specialist such as a dermatologist who can help you manage them.
To avoid ingrown hairs, you should avoid removing hair from your body as much as possible. In areas where you must remove hair, refrain from pulling the edges of your skin tight when you shave.
Dermatologists also recommend using exfoliating skin products that will clear dead skin cells to avoid ingrown hairs.
But if you develop one, do not remove any hair in the area where it has formed until it has been removed or it disappears on its own.
Certain drugs and topical creams can help people avoid ingrown hairs, including retinoids. Examples are tretinoin, Renova and Retin-A.
A doctor could also prescribe a cream that reduces inflammation, such as a steroid cream, to treat an ingrown hair.
Lastly, pills or creams that target infections could be useful in treating an ingrown hair. For a mild infection that arises because of scratching an antibiotic ointment might be able to treat it. However, for severe infections, doctors might prescribe oral antibiotics.