Rapid Relief from Razor Bumps: 8 Steps

Bumps caused by ingrown hairs, or razor bumps, can appear after shaving or other methods of hair removal. Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) is a medical term for razor bumps. Avoiding shaving and pharmaceuticals are two methods of providing relief. When hair grows horizontally across the skin

Bumps caused by ingrown hairs, or razor bumps, can appear after shaving or other methods of hair removal. Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) is a medical term for razor bumps. Avoiding shaving and pharmaceuticals are two methods of providing relief.

When hair grows horizontally across the skin instead of vertically, it forms an ingrown hair. The hair may curl and turn inward after being shaved, waxed, or plucked. A bump develops when hair becomes trapped between layers of newly formed skin.

If you shave or wax your face, head, legs, armpits, or pubic area, you run the risk of developing razor bumps.

Prevention measures taken before, during, and after shaving, as well as an alternative hair removal method or topical salicylic acid, retinoids, or antibiotics, are all effective means of dealing with razor bumps.

Read on for advice on curing existing razor bumps and avoiding new ones.

There is no quick fix for razor bumps, but there are ways to minimize their appearance and discomfort. In the following paragraphs, we'll go over some possible approaches.

Quit the Razor

The only foolproof method to avoid razor bumps is to stop shaving altogether, which is obviously not always an option.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that even after shaving is discontinued, new razor bumps may appear as new hairs grow in. However, after about 3 months, the bumps should fade.

Put to use salicylic acid

Using a beta hydroxy acid like salicylic acid can help razor bumps heal by clearing out pores, removing dead skin, and reducing inflammation.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), salicylic acid is effective in treating acne as well as razor bumps.

Salicylic acid can be found in many products, including:

  • cleansers
  • toners
  • lotions
  • peels

Experiment with glycolic acid.

Glycolic acid, like salicylic acid, promotes a peel by exfoliating dead skin cells from the skin's surface. Alpha-hydroxy acid glycolic acid

Glycolic acid straightens the hair and makes it less likely that it will grow back into the skin.

Because it encourages the skin to shed dead cells more quickly, a glycolic acid product is useful for getting rid of razor bumps and restoring a more even skin tone.

Smoothing out razor bumps could be as simple as a chemical peel containing glycolic acid.

Please exercise caution when wearing scrubs.

A physical scrub can help remove the dead skin cells and dirt that can clog pores and trap hairs. Sugar, salt, ground fruit pits, or even tiny beads may be included in such a skin care scrub.

Scrubs can physically slough off dead skin cells and debris, which can then be removed via tweezers or by rubbing the ingrown hair out.

On the other hand, some scrubs may cause irritation to delicate skin. They might not be the best choice for people with skin that's already red and irritated.

Rub the skin softly.

Dead skin cells and debris can be brushed away along with trapped hairs with the help of a soft brush.

When hair is brushed regularly, it is more likely to grow in one direction, decreasing the likelihood of ingrown hairs.

One can use a soft toothbrush, a skin care brush, or a face brush with similarly gentle bristles.

Apply a hot washcloth

When used in conjunction with another method, like brushing, a warm, wet washcloth can soften the skin and draw the ingrown hair out.

You can also try taking a hot shower or going to a sauna to get some steam on the area.

Think About Getting Help From The Doctor

OTC creams, serums, and cleansers containing steroids or antibiotics may be suggested by a doctor or pharmacist to alleviate inflammation and control infection. In addition to preventing razor burn and acne, a mild retinoid can also help with those issues.

If over-the-counter remedies are ineffective, a doctor may suggest medication. This may involve a more potent retinoid, like:

  • retinoic acid (brand name Retin-A)
  • "adapalene" (Differin)
  • Tazarac, or tazarotene.

The effects of retinoids may not be seen for a few weeks.

Think about switching to a different method of hair removal.

One solution to the common problem of razor bumps caused by shaving is to switch to a different method.

Depilatory creams, also known as "hair removal creams," soften hair so that it can be combed out without causing razor burn. Nonetheless, they may cause skin irritation due to the chemicals they contain. People with already-irritated, red, or sensitive skin should avoid using these items.

While laser hair removal is a permanent solution, it can be quite pricey. While it may take multiple visits to a dermatologist, the regrown hair is typically thinner and less dense.

Razor bumps on dark skin can develop into hyperpigmented or skin-colored papules.

The following pictures depict the effects of razor bumps on various skin tones and textures.

Preventing razor bumps might be as simple as taking these pre-shave precautions:

  • Use a noncomedogenic cleanser or one with salicylic acid or glycolic acid to get rid of clogged pores. These can aid in the elimination of dead skin cells and the unclogging of pores. Unlike comedogenic products, noncomedogenic ones won't block your pores.
  • Only shave while bathing or immediately afterward to avoid cutting the skin. Or, for an alternate method, try applying a warm, wet towel to the area for five minutes prior to shaving.
  • Shave with a moisturizing shaving cream or gel, and then let it sit for a minute or two.
  • Make sure the shaving cream is wet before you start shaving, or wash your face and use more of it.
  • Keep away from skin care products that contain irritants that could aggravate inflammation.

Methods to keep your skin smooth while shaving are outlined below.

  • Don't get too close with the razor. Keep it [[0]]5-3 mm long.
  • To get a closer shave over a longer area, use a razor with one blade or an electric razor with adjustable settings.
  • When shaving, take your time and systematically go in the direction of hair growth.
  • When shaving, try not to tug at the skin too forcefully.
  • Prevent cuts by not shaving in the same area or by holding the razor too close to the skin.

After shaving, it's also crucial to treat the skin properly:

  • You can lessen the likelihood of irritation by thoroughly rinsing off the shaving cream with warm water after each pass.
  • For five minutes, apply a cool compress to the skin.
  • To avoid ingrown hairs caused by your razor, use an aftershave balm made for that purpose.
  • Take care of your razor by wiping it down and storing it somewhere dry.
  • If you're using a disposable razor, swap out the blade every few shaves.

If these don't help or if the condition worsens, a doctor visit is warranted.

Bumpy skin caused by shaving can appear anywhere hair is removed, including the face, armpits, and genital area.

When hair is shaved, it leaves a short, sharp point. Hair can either curl back around and re-penetrate the skin's surface, or it can retract under the skin and re-emerge at a later time.

When hair grows back into its original follicle, it can cause an inflammatory response from the immune system.

Curly, spiral, or tightly coiled hair is a common cause of razor bumps.

When you shave too closely, the curved hairs' sharp tips can pierce and grow back into the skin, causing irritation and possible infection.

According to the data, between 45 and 85% of people of African descent experience razor bumps at some point in their lives. Hispanics disproportionately suffer from this skin condition.

Furthermore, women of all ethnicities and backgrounds are susceptible to developing razor bumps in the groin area.

A few examples of risky behaviors are:

  • Trimming the beard closely
  • cutting facial hair or shaving the face and neck
  • hair removal from the pubic region, armpits, and legs

Razor bumps can also be caused by personal characteristics, such as:

  • Any type of hair can re-enter the skin through skin folds or scar tissue in areas where people remove hair.
  • Having hair that is tightly coiled
  • a pattern of erratic hair growth
  • a man with coarse hair
  • a hereditary trait related to hair keratin

Razor bumps can be diagnosed after a doctor examines the skin and asks about the patient's history of shaving.

Dermoscopy is a procedure that may be performed to check for hairs beneath the skin. This can be helpful in ruling out conditions like acne and tinea barbae as the source of lesions.

Unlike razor burn, razor bumps are not painful.

Skin irritation caused by the friction of a razor is known as "razor burn." Immediately after shaving, you may notice a rash or redness.

You might get razor burn if...

  • Someone fails to adequately prep their skin for shaving.
  • In other words, they're shaving with a dull blade.
  • Since their skin is so delicate, even the slightest amount of friction can cause pain.

However, ingrown hairs are what cause razor bumps. They may show up a few days after you get your hair waxed.

Learn how to prevent razor burn by reading this article.

PFB refers to these bumps on the skin's surface.

They may cause:

  • skin lesions resembling acne
  • pimples that can be the same color as the skin or red
  • irritation and sensitivity
  • the occasional shedding of blood during the shaving process

Infections can arise, and doctors refer to these cases as folliculitis barbae.

There are additional potential complications, such as:

  • abscesses
  • skin color changes due to inflammation
  • Having scars or developing keloid scars

People who suffer from dermatitis or eczema may experience more severe symptoms.

Read on for some answers to common questions about razor bumps:

Razor burn: a quick fix

Avoiding further shaving is the best method for eliminating razor bumps. The bumps won't go away overnight, but they should stop appearing as new hair grows in.

A cortisone cream may be recommended by a doctor in order to lessen the swelling.

Solution to ingrown hairs caused by a razor

One can use the same methods for treating razor burn as one would for shaving the face.

Here you will find information about pubic razor bumps.

Approximately how long do razor bumps last before they disappear?

Razor bumps are a common side effect of shaving and will likely remain as long as the person does so.

Stopping shaving may cause new bumps to appear, but the condition should clear up after about three months.

In most cases, razor bumps won't even hurt that much. However, they have the potential to be distracting and even debilitating in their impact on a person's self-esteem.

If over-the-counter medications or natural remedies are not alleviating your symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor or dermatologist for advice. Prescription skin cream and laser hair removal are two examples.

The most recent checkup was on June 5th, 2022.

  • Dermatology
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine
In accordance with its strict sourcing guidelines, Medical News Today only uses research published in academic institutions, medical journals, and professional medical organizations. We don't even bother with tertiary references. Studies, scientific references, and statistics are just some of the primary sources that we link to and cite both in-text and in the resources section at the end of each article. Read our editorial policy to find out how we keep our information fresh and accurate.
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