Girl, just don’t do it.
That’s because shen you pluck a hair with tweezers, it pulls the hair shaft from the skin at its root, says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist. “While there may be some degree of inflammation in the hair follicle from tweezing, generally tweezing is not considered a form of permanent hair removal and a new hair will be produced,” he says. But you can also traumatize or scar your skin, causing permanent damage in the area, which is why it’s best to proceed with caution.
“It really depends on the location,” says Gary Goldenberg, M.D., medical director of the Dermatology Faculty Practice at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
These are the areas experts say you should think twice about before tweezing:
Sure, you probably tweeze your brows all the time, but eyebrow hair is very sensitive to trauma and repeated tweezing can produce permanent damage to the hair follicle, Goldenberg says.
“Trimming or waxing is better,” says Goldenberg. But he warns that waxing can also thin eyebrows permanently. Basically, if you’ve been rocking super-thin eyebrows for years and suddenly decide you want to channel Cara Delevingne, it might be harder than if you had just let your brows be all along.
If you must pluck a nipple hair, it’s best to make sure that there’s at least one to two millimeters of growth before tweezing. “Otherwise the tweezer itself may cause trauma to the skin in your attempt at grasping at a very short hair,” Zeichner says. Just know this: There is a chance you could cause an infection, so proceed with caution. Trimming is a better option here.
Having hair coming out of a mole looks a little weird, but plucking it can cause inflammation and a possible infection, Goldenberg says. “It’s best to avoid tweezing,” he says. “Trimming or laser hair removal are much safer and can produce more permanent results.”
It’s pretty common to develop a pus pimple around a hair, Zeichner says, and it’s usually a form of folliculitis (a mild infection around the hair shaft) rather than legit acne. “While plucking the hair, which removes pus along with it, can help clear up the infection, you should apply an antibiotic appointment as well, such as over-the-counter bacitracin ointment,” he says, noting that trying out a drying gel with salicylic acid can be helpful as well.
However, if it really is a pimple, you could do even more damage, up the odds that you’ll get bacteria in there, and increase the chances that you’ll get a scar, Goldenberg says. Plus, it will really, really hurt. So be warned! (We recommend this soothing natural combo mask and spot treatment to deal with breakouts.)
Ingrown hairs suuuck, but it’s not a good idea to tweeze them. “It increases the risk of infection and can cause scarring in the area,” Goldenberg says. Instead, he says it’s best to apply a warm compress or see your dermatologist to make sure the area does not need to be drained.
So, when in doubt, chill out on plucking your hair. Everyone has hairs in weird places, and it’s really not a big deal. However, if it really bothers you, try trimming it or see your dermatologist for help.