Razor bumps can quickly diminish your hopes for soft, smooth skin. Such nuisances occur when your hair curls back into the skin, causing red bumps. In some cases, the follicles are infected with bacteria, causing pimples. With the right preventive measures, you can shave without having to worry about razor bumps ruining the look and feel of your skin.
Fresh razor blades are among the best forms of razor bump prevention. Not only are clean blades free of bacteria, but they also lack the dullness that can lead to nicks and irritation. Using a sharp blade can also decrease any impulse to press down hard on the skin, an action that can push bacteria into the hair follicles and cause bumps. Change your razor often to maintain a clean shave. Columbia Health recommends doing so at least once a week.
While you may prefer shaving before heading into the shower, switching your technique may thwart razor bumps. Warm water softens the skin and hair follicles, making a clean shave more possible. Shave slowly with small strokes to prevent irritation. Also consider shaving in the same direction your hair grows to prevent hairs from curling backwards into the skin.
Creams and Gels
Shaving creams and gels protect the skin from nicks and irritation while adding moisture. Along with sharp razors, these types of products can be your best friends in combating bumps. Apply an even layer over the area to be shaved, using an upward motion to further enhance the moisturizing effects. You may consider products labeled for sensitive skin, if razor bumps are a recurring problem.
Shave at Night
The time of day can also impact the risk for developing razor bumps. Sweating during the day increases irritation on freshly shaved skin, which can subsequently cause razor bumps. Avoid this scenario by shaving at night, or close to bedtime. Excessive sweating may be combated with an alcohol-free antiperspirant that won’t irritate freshly shaven skin.
When to See a Doctor
It may be time to see a doctor for help if you’ve exhausted all methods of razor bump prevention. If the problem is confined to one area, your physician may recommend hydrocortisone to prevent irritation. More complicated cases may require prescription remedies, such as chemical-based hair removers. Severe and recurring razor bumps may warrant laser hair therapy consideration for some individuals.