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Their Causes And How To Get Rid Of Them —

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By Odunmorayo Oke

08 June 2024   |  
7:00 pm

Razor bumps are small, red, irritated bumps that appear on the skin in areas that have just been shaved. Also known as, Pseudofolliculitis barbae, razor bumps are a skin condition that can cause immense discomfort and pain. Ingrown hairs often cause razor bumps, as the hair grows back into the skin, leading to inflammation. These…

Photo – Sio Beauty

Razor bumps are small, red, irritated bumps that appear on the skin in areas that have just been shaved. Also known as, Pseudofolliculitis barbae, razor bumps are a skin condition that can cause immense discomfort and pain.

Ingrown hairs often cause razor bumps, as the hair grows back into the skin, leading to inflammation. These bumps can become itchy and full of pus, resembling acne.

Essentially, they are caused by inappropriate shaving techniques and they can appear in the beard area, underarms, bikini line for women, and legs.

Research suggests that men of African descent are more prone to developing razor bumps compared to others.

In this article, we will explore the causes of razor bumps, ways to treat them, and ways to avoid getting them in the first place.

Common causes of razor bumps

1. Inappropriate shaving techniques 

Shaving too closely to the skin or shaving against the growth of the hair can easily cause ingrown hairs, leading to razor bumps. The right way to shave is by following the direction in which the hair grows. In addition, shaving the same spot over and over again will increase the chances of getting razor bumps and ingrown hairs so it is best to avoid this.

READ ALSO: How To Get Rid Of Ingrown Hairs And Shaving Bumps

2. Using a blunt blade 

Using a blunt blade to shave is the fastest way to set yourself up for razor bumps. This can lead to skin irritation, ingrown hairs, cuts and injuries. Also, it can cause an uneven shave which is unappealing and causes great discomfort and even infection.

3. Inadequate lubrication 

Inadequate lubrication is another leading factor in causing razor bumps. Lubricants for shaving include shaving creams, foam, gel and oil. These products serve the purpose of essentially creating a protective layer between your skin and the razor. Little to no use of them can lead to the razor pulling on the skin as opposed to it gliding smoothly. This will in turn cause increased friction which results in irritation of the hair follicles, razor burn and cuts.

Ways to get rid of shaving bumps

1. Warm water compression 

Consider using warm saltwater compression to rub on the affected areas for ten minutes per day. Add one teaspoon of salt to a small bowl of water.  Then, use a clean towel to apply it to your skin. This can help subdue the pain and soften the affected area, making the hairs easier to remove.

2. Skincare treatments 

Getting skincare products, particularly acne treatments, could be of great help. Try searching for products with ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid and tretinoin. These ingredients exfoliate the skin by getting rid of dead skin cells and letting the ingrown hairs make their way to the surface.

3. Topical creams 

In severe cases of razor bumps, you might need to visit a dermatologist for professional consultation. Most times, topical steroid creams like clindamycin and erythromycin are administered to reduce inflammation. Additionally, oral antibiotics like tetracycline could be prescribed as well.

Ways to prevent razor bumps from showing up

Razor bumps
Photo – Nivea

1. Stop shaving for some time

To get rid of razor bumps, you’ll need to quit shaving for at least three to four weeks. The bumps won’t disappear immediately, but this will allow your hair to grow back to a certain length. This will then stop them from growing back into the skin.

After this, you should consider shaving once in a while rather than daily to lessen the appearance of these bumps.

2. Switch to an electric razor 

Making the switch to an electric razor can improve your shaving game significantly. This is because electric razors do not cut as close to the skin as manual razors do. By doing so, this will reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs and bumps. Electric razors cause less friction because they are gentler on the skin.

3. Consider laser therapy 

Laser therapy is an effective way of treating razor bumps. This treatment uses concentrated light beams to target hair follicles, reducing hair growth over time. With the new growth of finer and fewer hairs, the chances of having ingrown hairs become almost impossible. Laser therapy offers a long-term remedy for individuals who suffer from these bumps frequently.

4. Moisturise

After shaving, ensure to follow a simple yet effective skincare routine. Wash your face with a gentle facial wash following circular motions, and rinse your face with warm water. Follow up with a toner that contains salicylic acid and apply a moisturizer with ingredients like aloe vera, Vitamin E, and chamomile that are soothing.



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