Razor bumps are something that most men have experienced at some time in their shaving life. The technical term for razor bumps is pseudofolliculitis barbae which are small, irritated bumps on the skin. They develop after shaving when strands of hair curl back on themselves and grow into the skin. Razor bumps cause irritation and pimples.
Razor bumps can also cause scarring. How are razor bumps treated? The best way to treat razor bumps is to stop shaving. If you are like the rest of us and you cannot stop shaving, use a clean needle to release the embedded hair shaft. This will usually stop razor bumps from developing if they are not extremely bad.
The bad part is that when you start shaving again the razor bumps usually return. If you have severe razor bumps that do not go away with home treatment, they may be treated with medicine you spread on the skin—such as hydrocortisone, antibiotic, or tretinoin cream.
Do shaving alternatives stop the development of razor bumps? Razor bumps will typically go away if shaving is stopped. Hair removal products (depilatories) can be used instead of shaving. But these products can irritate the skin and should be used only once or twice a week.
One other alternative to razor burn might seem a little extreme to most men…but it is an option. You can prevent irritation from shaving by having beard hair removed permanently with laser treatments or electrolysis. The technology is so incredible today that if I had a very bad case of pseudofolliculitis barbae, I would definitely visit my local laser therapist. The costs have come way down and most methods are virtually pain free.
Can razor bumps be prevented? These shaving instructions can help prevent razor bumps from forming: Take a hot shower before shaving, to soften the hair and open the pores. This is something I have done all my life and it works well for me. It is similar to a barber using hot steaming towels on the face before a professional face shave.
It really helps to use a sharp razor. We all are guilty sometimes of trying to get too much use out of our razor blades. Razors become dull and can irritate and even damage the skin. Disposable razors probably should be changed at least every 7 days. Multiple blade razors can also become clogged with hair and this can lead to rusting and bacteria. It is essential that a new blade be used to avoid cuts, diseases, mishaps and the formation of razor bumps.
As your skin constantly regenerates through cell reproduction, exfoliation is key to preventing ingrown hairs. When hair recoils into the surface of the skin, it causes irritation. The skin will begin to regenerate over the facial hair causing the appearance of razor bumps. Therefore, exfoliation with a clean facial buff, in a circular motion in the shaven areas will cause the hairs to release from the skin. Exfoliation will also remove the unwanted skin covering the hair thus preventing razor bumps and allowing the hair to grow outward.
Use a thick shaving gel. Don’t stretch the skin when shaving, and always shave in the direction your beard grows. Use the fewest razor strokes possible. Rinse with cold water. Use an electric razor if it can be adjusted to a higher setting. After shaving, press a cold wet cloth against your face for 5 minutes.
Who is at risk for razor bumps? Razor bumps are common among African Americans and people with tightly coiled hair.
There are many books and other written materials on understanding and treating razor bumps. The more informed you are about this problem, the better prepared you will be to find the best solution for you. Clients in our Salt Lake City barber shop have shared several products which have been very helpful to them. You can find many good products at such locations such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens and especially beauty supply outlets.
With the proper shaving and skin care techniques as well as new products which are on the market, men can minimize the negative effect of razor bumps and ingrown hair.