You shouldn't pop most zits -- but there is one that you should consider treating

It might be nearly impossible, but it’s important to ignore a zit and let it heal on its own.

But there is one big exception: Ingrown hair, the painful cousin to the harmless, yet pesky pimple.

Ingrown hairs form when a hair follicle can’t get past a clogged pore, making the hair curl back in, as seen here. Shaving and tweezing can make the problem worse and people with curly hair are more at risk for ingrown hairs.

Eventually, the skin around the hair will start to get irritated and red.

Soon, the area under the skin will fill up with the oil that was supposed to go out of the pore onto the skin, which is when you start to see the yellow/white pustule that makes the ingrown hair look like a pimple.

How to treat the ingrown hair

It’s possible that the ingrown hair will heal itself on its own. But if you really feel the urge to fix it, the infected area is where you should start treating the problem. Acne medication and steroid creams can help reduce swelling and clean up the infected area, BI’s video team reports. That might also expose the hair follicle so it’s easier to pull out of the pore.

To avoid ingrown hairs altogether, try removing the dead skin cells that hang out near pores by exfoliating regularly.

NOW WATCH: Here’s one type of pimple you should pay attention to

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