How to Prevent Razor Bumps

staff writer
How to Prevent Razor Bumps

Razor bumps refer to those tiny red bumps which can crop up after hair removal in certain body areas. Although they are called razor bumps, other methods of hair removal such as plucking, waxing, or threading can cause them to appear also. Razor bumps are often tender or itchy. They are also rather unsightly. The reason for shaving is to give the skin a clean and smooth appearance—these nasty rash-like bumps defeat the purpose.

The key to preventing razor bumps is to understand what causes them in the first place. Razor bumps actually form due to inflammation. When hair is cut or shaved, the hair shaft continues to grow. The tip of the hair where it has been trimmed is rather sharp, and it can penetrate the skin. The skin gets inflamed, swollen and irritated. The thicker and coarser your hair is, the more prone you are to razor bumps.

Good shaving technique is essential in preventing razor bumps. Read through the tips below to learn how to prevent razor bumps and keep your skin smooth and soothed after shaving:

  1. Before shaving (your face, underarm, legs, bikini line or another area of skin), make sure that you have a nice, sharp razor blade. A dull razor, like a dull kitchen knife, will cause more harm than good. It will cause you to pass over the same area two or more times; this will cause the skin to get minutely scraped and encourage bacteria entry and inflammation.

  2. Cleanse the area to be shaved thoroughly but gently. In the event that you do make invisible cuts on the surface of the skin, the fact that you have removed dirt and bacteria from the area will make infection less likely to occur.

  3. Wash the area with warm water before you start scraping with your razor. Warm water will soften the hair strands so that they stand up straight from the skin and become easier to shave off.

  4. Shaving is best done before a bath or shower, rather than after. Just give your skin a quick clean and wash, shave, and then shower off. Clogged pores contribute to razor bumps, so making sure the pores are unclogged will make them less likely to occur.

  5. Use shaving cream rather than soap. Shaving cream effectively softens up the hair and suspends it in the foam so that the ends can be cut more neatly. It also allows the razor to glide smoothly, with minimum tugging at the pores. Some women swear by hair conditioner too; they say that the rich emollient quality of conditioner makes for a close shave while soothing the skin.

  6. Hold the razor blade firmly, and then without using too much pressure, shave the hair in the same direction as its growth. To minimize irritation, avoid going over and over the same spot.

  7. After shaving, rinse off the area with cold water. Cold constricts the pores so that bacteria are less able to get in.

  8. Pat the skin dry and rub some aftershave or soothing lotion on. Neosporin ointment is said to be good at protecting and moisturizing freshly-shaved areas.

These tips on how to prevent razor bumps should keep you from discomfort later on. But just in case you experience some, slathering on some salicylic acid or glycolic acid could provide some relief. Hydrocortisone creams are also very effective, but should only be used under medical supervision.

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