A majority of men, if not all of them, who have to regularly shave understand well the frustration that razor bumps bring. On a wider scope, after-shave bumps do not only occur in men who shave their beards and mustaches. They are also common in both women and men who regularly have to shave their necks, legs, pubic area and so on.
Nevertheless, men are more exposed to this problem, since they are required to shave several times a week and even the issue is worse on various parts of their faces where the skin is most sensitive. The exposure risk is higher in men with heavily curled hair. Studies have shown that not less than 69% of men are likely to have burns after shaving. Similar studies have also identified higher exposure risks in people with black skins as compared to their Caucasian counterparts. All the same, poor shaving techniques will lead to having bumps no matter the odds.
Symptoms for shave burns will come and go depending on the number of times you shave and how well you take care of your skin before and after shaving. It is unlikely, however, that you will never experience these burns after frequent shaves. They are irritating, for one thing; secondly, they can end up ruining the look and smoothness of your skin if not addressed sufficiently.
What causes razor bumps after a shave?
Before diving into what causes them, it is better that we first understand exactly what they are. Also known as razor burns, they are small pimples that pop on a part of the body where hair strands have been cut under the skin. Early symptoms include constant and irritating itching.
Two types of shave bumps are most common: trans-follicular and extra-follicular. With the first type, it is possible to see hair strands which have protruded and coiled back into the skin. For the latter type, on the other hand, the hair strands never make it to the outer edge of the skin pores.
Some people choose to free the inward curled hair strands by pulling them manually. While this works for some cases, it is not always advisable. Be sure not to pluck the hair strands all together. Such a move will leave you with more severe bumps.
Shaving burns result from poor shaving techniques. Shave bumps result from the friction and the over-cut hair strands.
5 ways to prevent razor bumps
For certain people, shaving bumps will be more severe, depending on their skin’s sensitivity and the extent to which their hair strands curl. The burns usually go away after sometimes. However, they can leave permanent scars on your skin if left untreated.
- Don’t shave on dry skin – A quick wash on the area to be shaved with mild soap and warm water will do the trick. It helps reduce friction as well as straighten the hair strands that may be curled up.
- Exfoliate before shaving – This is a technique to help prevent over-curling of your hair strands. It scrapes off any dead skin that may be exaggerating the curling of the hair strands that you want to be shaved off.
- Don’t shave affected areas – With time and proper remedies, shaving bumps will go away. Avoid shaving the areas that are already affected. This will only end up increasing the irritation and hence the itching of the affected skin.
- Use shaving gels – A shaving gel acts as an additional layer of protection on the area you are shaving. The thicker the gel, the better. Be careful with the ingredients the gel is made from. Some ingredients may be harmful or may cause allergic effects to your skin.
- Use moisturizers – Ensure that you always use a moisturizer after shaving. This is to avoid a lot of itching which may follow after the shave. It is good that you carefully choose the particular brand of moisturizer you will be using. Some may cause allergic effects, while others contain alcoholic ingredients.
After-shave burns do not pose drastic health-related effects, unless they turn into open wounds. However, they can cause darkened scars on your skin. The removal cost for such scars is fairly high, but they are avoidable.
5 best home remedies to get rid of razor bumps fast
Below is a list of 5 home remedies that will help you prevent and get rid of razor bumps fast.
- Witch hazel – It requires that this remedy be applied to the razor to be used in the shaving. It has some of the most effective anti-inflammatory abilities.
- Lemon – Lemon juice is easily accessible and is a very effective way to make shaving bumps go away. Its acidic properties make it an efficient remedy to prevent razor bumps on sensitive parts like bumps on the vagina. Use lemon juice as a disinfectant and as a remedy for reddened shave bumps.
- White tea and tea tree oil – Tea tree oil is naturally a very powerful antibiotic. It should be used in its dilute forms. On the other hand, white tea is a readily available and effective way to get rid of razor bumps fast. Just moisturize a white tea bag and squeeze the solution on the shaving razor.
- Aloe Vera – This traditionally well-known herbal product is the answer to how to soothe irritation caused by shaving. Some users prefer to buy its gel while others prefer to use it in its natural form. It works either way.
- Heat treatment – We identified curled hairs as the leading causes of bumps on skin after shaving. Rubbing the area to be shaved with a piece of clothing, preferably cotton, which has been dipped in warm water opens up the follicle pores and straightens up the hair to be shaved.
How to get rid of razor bumps on pubic area
A funny fact is that the number of bacteria in a person’s pubic area outnumbers the bacteria in all other parts of the skin combined. It is for this reason that people are advised to shave, and use safe before and after shave techniques for that matter.
If you have bumps on the vagina or any other part of your pubic area, you will need to discontinue the shaving habit for some time. Note that any further shaving may open up the already developed bumps which will create entry points for bacteria.
Before shaving, cleanse the pubic area, preferably with a disinfectant brand of soap or even a brand of body-wash. Use a clipper, to avoid cutting your skin or cutting the hair strands too low. Never be in a hurry to shave your pubic area if you already have developing or unhealed burns. The same goes for the bikini area as well as generally any other part of your skin.
Prevent razor bumps with these shave techniques
Poor shaving techniques always lead to a razor burn of one type or another. Below are various habitual problems that lead to this issue, as well as techniques to get rid of razor bumps fast.
- Shaving too quickly: don’t be in a hurry to get it done. It is best that you have a shaving mirror or even get someone else to do the shaving for you. Most people prefer to do their shaving in the morning after their shower. The bottom line is that shaving should be dedicated enough time of its own.
- Shaving against instead of along the direction to which your hair strands are aligned: Try moving your hand along different directions on freshly growing hair strands. It will help you identify your hair growth alignment.
- Using a low quality or worn out razor: this forces you to apply too much force and hence a lot of friction to the skin. It is a major cause of razor bumps on the neck. Consider using a quality shaving razor brand and always change your razor after three shaves. In addition, use a shaving cream and remember to always disinfect the razor before and after a shave.
- Using creams or gels that your skin might be allergic to: some moisturizers contain alcohol or some other additives. Be careful with such additives. In any instance that you do not know exactly how a cream or moisturizer will react with your skin, quit using it.
- Shaving on dry skin: shaving on a dry skin will surely guarantee you razor bumps on the neck, legs and pubic area. Always moisturize the part of the body that you area about to shave.
Shaves are best done after a shower. This ensures that any of the dead skin that needs to be shed has been removed. It is known as exfoliation.
How to cure razor bumps
Shave bumps usually go away after about 3 days. This period depends on whether you have had another shave somewhere in between.
You can use a sharp and disinfected needle to release the hair strand that may be growing inwards and causing the bump. This works best for a shave burn on the legs or any other part you will not run the risk of harming yourself with the needle. The method is not permanent however, as the bumps are likely to return upon the next shave.
Treatment for shave bumps can also be done using specified creams, for example, hydrocortisone. You can also use antibiotics for that matter.
If the above treatment for razor bumps fails, it is best that you consult a doctor. In some cases, the burns can lead to permanent scar marks on your skin. As identified earlier, they also can act as entry points for infectious bacteria.
How to cure razor burn on legs and remove skin tags
Getting a razor burn on the legs is guaranteed for anyone who tries to shave their legs without first moisturizing the skin. Use a topical cream if you already have developed a razor burn on the legs. With the right cream, you can expect the burns to disappear in no more than three days. Any extension to this period should be responded to with a visit to the doctor.
In most cases, a doctor will prescribe specified steroids or anti-bacterial drugs to help cure the burns. In addition, you should find out more on how to soothe a razor burn. For example, you can try slowly rubbing your palm along your legs or any other hairy part of your skin. This will help you identify the direction to which your hair is aligned.
Freezing skin tags is perhaps the most efficient way of getting rid of skin tags. As expected, it will need that the services of a qualified doctor be consulted.
What causes razor bumps on neck after shave?
Almost every man gets razor bumps on the neck especially after the first time he shaves. Early symptoms start when itching from freshly growing beards start to emerge. As a reaction to the irritation, an individual is forced to keep pulling and eventually plucking off the hairs. This results in a disaster, one that the individual is likely to have to deal with the rest of their beard-growing lifetime.
Avoid unnecessarily shaving your neck, shaving with over-used razors and not using a quality cream brand. Even if you feel the itch, do not pluck the emerging hair strands. It is even worse than deep-shaving.
Scabies can also bring about itching on the neck and thereafter the burns. The best prevention and scabies treatment will be provided by a doctor, for this involves prescription medicines and creams.
Best razor bumps prevention pre-shave oil
Pre-shave oil works best for people with very sensitive skin and of course those who shave regularly. The best thing is that, if chosen correctly, pre-shave oil effectively works even for bumps on the vagina or other such sensitive parts. The idea here is to make the hairs to be shaved as soft as possible, so that the razor will be able to cut through them without much resistance.
You can easily access a pre-shave cream, lotion, powder or oil in a local retailing store. However, to ensure that you choose the best, below are some ingredients of the best pre-shave oils.
- Lavender – You are guaranteed to have a smooth and soft shave if you apply lavender oil pre-shave. Remember that it necessarily needs not that it be purely lavender oil; it can be that the oil is a main ingredient in a composite oil.
- Castor – Even when not shaving, you can use castor oil as a skin moisturizer. It reduces to a great extent any form of friction that may be experienced during the shaving process.
- Olive – It is the slightly sticky abilities of olive oil that makes it so efficient when used as an ingredient for pre-shave oils. It helps avoid fast wearing-off of the pre-shave oil.
If your doctor has recommended or advised against any type of cream, powdered, oil or ingredient, be sure to act accordingly. Sometimes, you may be bringing yourself too much unwanted irritation and side effects, all which are avoidable.
If the effects of bumps due to shaving get to an extent of causing open wounds, headaches, bleeding or even a skin tag, don’t hesitate to see a doctor. Especially in cases that an open wound occurs on the pubic area or an area exposed to sweating, medical care should be sought immediately. Nonetheless, even the slightest effects of shaving bumps should not be ignored. The more they accumulate, the more they will cause irritation and in the end ruin the texture and look of your skin.
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