Shaving: How to Treat and Prevent Razor Bumps
Razor bumps aren’t just a vanity issue. Obviously, the little raised patches of skin aren’t great on the eye, but razor bumps can also result in pimples and even some light scarring. So not acting to prevent them can quickly become a health problem – especially if you’re a regular sufferer. But what are they exactly? And how do you treat and prevent razor bumps? This article will tell you how.
What Are Razor Bumps?
Razor bumps are small ingrown hairs. When you shave, some hairs may curl back in on themselves, resulting in the characteristic little bumps. It’s not just shaving that can result in razor bumps, either. The bumps can also be caused by curly, coarse hair that’s been cut off below skin level. This means waxing and plucking can be responsible too.
What Causes Razor Bumps?
Razor bumps are usually caused by poor shaving technique, but some people are simply more prone to them. On average, men are more likely to get razor bumps than women – mainly because men shave the sensitive skin of their face. But you’re also more likely to see those bumps appear if you have curly or coarse hair.
In some cases, you can be as much as 50 times more likely to get ingrown hairs leading to razor bumps than your buddies with straighter hair.
How to Prevent Razor Bumps?
One of the easiest ways to prevent razor bumps is to shave properly. Shaving your face in particular should always be done either after a shower, or while using plenty of hot water.
Using the right tools is also vitally important. You’ll need:
- A good quality razor – not one of those cheap disposable types.
- Decent shaving cream – which you should apply with a shaving brush.
- Non-alcohol balm – this is for afterwards, and is a step which shouldn’t be skipped. Try out some different moisturisers until you find one that works for you.
What else can I do?
You should also always shave with the grain – this means in the direction which the hair is growing. In addition, you’re shaving – not hacking at your face! Try and use long, smooth strokes, and as few of them as possible. Plus, make sure to use cold water afterwards – while hot water is great for opening pores, cold water closes them. So after you’ve finished shaving, be sure to press a damp cloth against your face.
How Do I Cure Razor Bumps?
The first thing you’ll need to do is to stop shaving for a while. It’s really the only thing that’s 100% guaranteed to work. Other than this, there’s the particularly “fun” method of using a clean needle to pick the hair out when it looks like a bump is starting to appear. That should stop the bump’s progress in its tracks. Unfortunately, as soon as you start shaving again, it’s likely that those bumps are going to return. If you have a serious problem with bumps caused by shaving, your doctor may recommend a treatment of cortisone, tretinoin cream, or even antibiotics.
There are also a variety of home remedies which can have a beneficial effect. These are usually those which are simply good at soothing irritated skin, like Aloe Vera, or which have antiseptic or antibacterial properties, like tea tree oil, lemon juice, or witch hazel.
The Future of Razor Bump Treatment
In the future though, some more effective treatments could well be lined up to help those afflicted by razor bumps. A glycolic acid and alpha lipoic acid mixture has show some signs of success during trials, and several other treatments are in development in various places around the world. So if you are a chronic sufferer of razor bumps, the future could be a whole lot brighter.