Razor bumps are the small, red, raised areas that can be left behind after shaving. This is particularly a problem for women who will often find themselves with the small marks when shaving their bikini lines. In some cases, this can be just as unattractive as the hair itself and it can also be quite uncomfortable.
Men can also deal with razor bumps though. In this case, they may appear underneath the chin and in other spots where they shave. This is just as unpleasant and just as embarrassing.
Fortunately, there are some ways that you can prevent razor bumps and a few methods you can use to treat it too. Read on and we’ll look at some of the things you can do to prevent razor bumps.
Don’t Shave Too Often
One of the most common causes of razor bumps is simply shaving too frequently. If you are shaving every single day, then this is too frequent and you might be aggravating areas that are already irritated.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t shave every single day. Instead, aim to shave every other day or better yet, every third day. This may be harder for men than for women but if you’re a guy who experiences regular shaving bumps you might want to consider growing a 6 o’clock shadow.
You should also think about how you are going to time your shave. It’s a mistake for instance to shave right before you plan on going out – as while you will have the closest shave and smoothest skin at this point, you’ll also have the worst irritation and that means you might end up going out with lots of red bumps across your skin. Instead of shaving right before you leave the house or that morning, try shaving the night before and give it time to recover.
If you have particularly bad razor bumps, then try and take a little time off of shaving and let some hair grow back. Women: this might mean wearing leggings for a while!
Try Not to Irritate It
It’s obviously important not to scratch your razor bumps, even if they are itchy. This can otherwise cause them to break open and bleed and might also lead to infection.
What you also need to be careful about is the way that you dry the area. Don’t rub your face with a towel but rather dab it carefully so as to avoid additional irritation.
Correct Shaving Technique
When shaving, it’s important that you ensure you use the best razor possible. And by best, I of course mean sharpest. Over time, a razor can become less sharp and this means you need to press harder and go over the same area more regularly – creating a lot more irritation. A blunt blade can also end up pulling hairs out from your skin which is painful and leaves a red mark behind. Make sure you throw out those old razors and invest in a new, sharper blade.
In general, shaving should feel as though the blades are gliding effortlessly over your skin. If this isn’t the case and you find yourself pushing or pulling, then you need to try replacing your blade or maybe getting a different shaving cream. If you are someone who generally uses force because that’s how you’ve always shaved, then this is something to try and avoid doing in future.
In general, using shaving cream, gel or foam is important for both men and women. This helps the blade to glide more easily over the skin and it also softens the skin and the hairs for easier shaving. When shaving your body, you should do so in the shower. This way, the steam will help to further soften the skin and open up the pores.
As far as possible, you should also avoid going over the same area more than once. This is a lot easier said than done but one thing to definitely avoid is going against the grain if you’re forced to re-tread your steps.
In fact, it is better to always shave with the grain as far as possible. Men should certainly always do this when shaving their face. However, women quite often choose to shave from their ankle to their knee by going against the grain and this does result in a closer shave. If you do have to do this, then just make sure that you only do it once. So if you miss a patch and have to go back, only shave with the grain this time.
General skin care can also help you to protect your skin from bumps and rashes and can soothe any irritation that does occur. Some products for instance are designed specifically for razor bumps and these tend to include anti-inflammatory agents as well as moisturisers. Common ingredients include witch hazel, aloe, glycolic acid and salicylic acid. Try applying these after shaving and see if it helps the appearance of razor bumps to fade.
Another option is to use Retin-A. This is derived from vitamin A and some people find it useful in treating the appearance of scars and other blemishes. However, you should check with your doctor before using this particular option as it is quite strong and is dangerous for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It also shouldn’t be used anywhere that you intend to wax.
Finally, one more way to avoid razor bumps is simply to avoid using razors! If you find that you are getting painful looking bumps after you shave and nothing you do is preventing this, then you might instead try waxing or using laser hair removal for your body hair.
For men who get razor bumps on their face and neck, the options are to grow longer hair, to try using an electric razor, or even to go to a barber for a wet shave and see if that helps!
Remember: looking smooth is great, but being healthy and comfortable is ultimately much more important!