Yes I took the plunge and shaved my legs in aid of cycling, mainly to look more pro and possibly to show off a bit of muscle I’ve gained from all the riding (but don’t tell anyone that). I now wish that I did not bother as it turned out to be one painful and gruesome ordeal with two trips down to A&E. A pre-warning, if you don’t like gruesome photo’s then I’d advise not to continue reading, however if you do read on!
How did this come to be? It wasn’t from cutting myself with a razor and causing blood loss if that’s what you’re thinking. I shaved my legs for the Leicester to Loros Skegness charity bike ride back in June and all went well, a few cuts here and there but I was very much enjoying smooth legs. It was a very weird feeling, especially when having jeans on, almost like you felt anything microscopic that touched your skin and it felt like your legs were always wet (Does that even make any sense?).
4 weeks later and hair was progressively growing back but then I had around 3 ingrown hairs on my right leg, at this point I did not think too much of them and dealt with them, all was fine. 6 weeks later and I had about 14 ingrown hairs across both legs some smaller than others, one started to flare up and become really red and was full of puss, with a bit of pressure it did erupt everywhere (and travelled some distance – I did warn you this would be gruesome), that then started to clear up. Until a few days later and a small red bump started on my right calf, I could not see the hair so passed it off as a heat bump as it did not really hurt. I was very wrong as fast forward a few days and it was massively swollen and fiery red.
It got to the stage where I was limping around everywhere, standing up and having massive amounts of shooting pains down my muscles in my right leg causing me to need to sit back down to relieve some weight off of the leg. I went to the doctors who advised it was an ingrown hair that had got infected and started to form an abscess, I was on really strong antibiotics for a few weeks and it really was not doing anything and the pain just got worse and worse and the swelling covering a larger area each day that went by.
I went to A&E to have it seen to who advised it looked like it was close to naturally draining and to give it a few more days, they upped my dosage of antibiotics and a few more days passed to which I woke up in the middle of the night and literally had to crawl to the toilet, that panicked me and I thought I was going to lose my leg or something and never be able to walk again (okay it didn’t panic me that much but it was scary) so I went back to A&E again.
The doctor said it needed to be drained due to the swelling and it not going down, and to reduce the likelihood of me getting sepsis (I definitely did not want that). The doctor was pretty excited, I guess it must be one of them oddly satisfying things that comes with the job? A few incisions later and lots of pressure put on the area another eruption happened of what I can only describe as yellow thick squirty cream followed by lots of blood. And there was an absolute sh*t load of it that came out my leg, I was shocked and surprised at the same time and even thought of opening my own creamery.
The relief from having this done was instant until the pain came back again over the next few days but I slowly gained usage of my leg again, the swelling went down and the hole left in my leg started to heal. It’s still not fully gone today and I shaved my legs on the 1st of June.
I got back on the bike a week later after having it drained and managed a short spin before stuff started dripping out of the hole in my leg down my leg, yuck! But after a few weeks the hole closed up and after having almost a month off the bike I was back to riding like normal again (Yippeeee).
Now enough of the chit-chat, do I have photos? YES!
Here’s one of my lovely smooth legs before I developed ingrown hairs.
And here’s a slideshow of photos from the start of the ingrown hair, before draining, after draining and the healing process, enjoy.
This has pretty much put me off shaving my legs again in the future, I think I’ll stick to being that hairy legged cyclist, I really don’t mind after that ordeal.
And no, I’m not going to test waxing them next time as there won’t be a next time, not even if you give me a million pound (well maybe that’s negotiable).