RAZOR BUMPS – Causes, Home Remedies, Precautions

Razor bumps (pseudofolliculitis barbae) are the temporary skin conditions associated with shaving. They are also known as razor rashes. They are characterized by itching, redness and the appearance of bumps on the surface of the skin which has just been shaved. Typically, razor bumps disappear within one 1week but there are several steps one can take to prevent them and treat them much faster using home remedies. 

CAUSES

Razor bumps are caused when the hair follicles are unable to come through the skin and tend to curl inwards. The hair may also pierce the skin from another spot and re-enter the skin. This leads to the formation of tiny bumps which seem inflamed and may sometimes even be painful. 

They can occur over any area being shaved and can take a long time to heal. The main cause of this condition is inward hair growth. But this is facilitated by several other factors like:

  • Using blunt razor blades
  • Dry shaving
  • Leaving the skin dry after shaving
  • Deposition of dead skin cells
  • Shaving unevenly

Home remedies

Home remedies before shaving

Coffee and cold cream scrub

Coffee grounds are coarse and quite granular. They can help to exfoliate the skin and remove the layer of dead skin cells over the trapped hair. The use of cold cream makes sure that the scrub is not too harsh or drying on the skin.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds
  • 3 tablespoons of any cold cream

How to:

  1. Simply mix the cold cream with the coffee grounds to get a coarse paste.
  2. Wet your skin and use the coffee scrub to exfoliate the skin.
  3. Use the scrub on the skin for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Wash it using lukewarm water.
  5. This scrub should be used at least two times a week (right before shaving).
  6. Shave as usual.

Lemon and sugar scrub

Lemon juice acts as an astringent for the skin and helps to exfoliate it and remove flakes of dry skin. Brown sugar helps to deep clean the pores and bring the ingrown hair to the surface for easier removal.

You will need:

  • 1/4th cup of lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar

How to:

  1. Mix the two ingredients to obtain a scrub.
  2. Wet your skin with water first and then exfoliate it for 10 minutes.
  3. Wash away the scrub using lukewarm water.
  4. Use this scrub two times a week to deep clean your pores.

Coffee and coconut oil scrub

Coffee and sugar are quite granular and help to get rid of dull skin. They deep clean the pores and make the process of shaving much easier. Coconut oil is anti-bacterial in nature and helps to get rid of any infections that might have occurred due to ingrown hair. Coconut oil also helps to nourish the skin and form a protective barrier of oil over it to prevent it from drying out.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3-4 drops of vanilla essence

How to:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the sugar to the coffee grounds.
  2. Now pour in the coconut oil.
  3. Mix well until you obtain a coarse scrub.
  4. Make sure that the coffee grounds and the sugar granules are well coated in coconut oil.
  5. You may add more coconut oil if the scrub is too dry for application.
  6. You may add a few drops of vanilla essence for some fragrance.
  7. Wet the area you need to shave and use the coffee coconut scrub to exfoliate it well.
  8. Use the scrub in circular motions over the skin for at least 5-7 minutes.
  9. Rinse off using lukewarm water.
  10. Use this scrub two to three times a week to get smooth and supple skin which is free of ingrown hair.

Gram flour and turmeric scrub

Gram flour helps to exfoliate the skin while turmeric prevents any bacterial infection.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of gram flour
  • 1/4th teaspoon of turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons of rose water

How to:

  1. Combine all the ingredients together to obtain a smooth paste.
  2. Apply this paste onto wet skin (the area which needs to be shaved) and using circular motions exfoliate the skin.
  3. Scrub the skin for 8-10 minutes and then rinse off using cold water.
  4. Use this scrub twice a week and especially before shaving 

Home remedies after shaving:

Aloe Vera gel

Razor bumps are very similar to ingrown hair and can lead to inflammation. Hence using remedies which help to soothe the affected area can prove to be very beneficial. Aloe Vera gel is anti-inflammatory in nature. Along with that, it helps to moisturize the skin. It is best to use freshly extracted aloe Vera gel on the skin.

You will need:

  • Freshly extracted aloe vera gel

How to:

  1. After shaving, pat dry your skin.
  2. Apply a thick layer of aloe vera gel onto the skin (wherever you have shaved) and massage it into the skin.
  3. Make sure it is completely absorbed.
  4. You need not wash your skin after applying the gel.
  5. Use aloe vera gel to moisturize the shaved areas at least two times a day.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory in nature. It helps to reduce inflammation as well reduce itching.

You will need: 

  • 3-4 drops of tea tree oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil

How to:

  1. To use tea tree oil, simply add 3-4 drops of tea tree essential oil to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. 
  2. Apply this oil to the shaved skin and the area affected with razor bumps.
  3. Use tea tree oil along with coconut oil on your skin at least two times a day. You need not wash the oil after applying it. 
  4. The razor bumps will disappear within a few hours.
  5. Do not use tea tree essential oil directly onto the skin. 

Aspirin paste

Aspirin helps to reduce inflammation and is very effective. Aspirins also contain small amounts of salicylic acid. Salicylic acid helps to exfoliate the skin gently. This helps to heal the razor bumps and prevent the ingrown hair from occurring again.

Remedy 1

You will need:

  • 2 tablets of aspirin
  • A few drops of water

How to 

  1. Simply mix two tablets of aspirin with a few drops of water.
  2. Once you have obtained a paste, apply it over the razor bumps.
  3. Wash away the paste with cold water after 10 minutes.
  4. Apply the aspirin paste on the affected area once a day.

To make an aspirin toner:

Remedy 2

You will need:

  • 2 tablets of aspirin
  • 100 ml of water
  • A cotton ball

How to

  1. Dissolve two tablets of aspirin with 100 ml of water.
  2. Use this solution as a toner. 
  3. Apply it over the shaved areas using a cotton ball and wash after 30 to 40 minutes. 
  4. You may use this toner two times a day for effective results.

Baking soda

Baking soda helps to reduce inflammation and get rid of redness and itching caused due to razor bumps. It can be used on sensitive areas of the body as well. To use baking soda,

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of water 

How to:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup of water. 
  2. Apply this solution onto the affected area using a cotton ball and let it stay for at least 10 minutes. 
  3. Then rinse it off using cold water.
  4. You can repeat this remedy 2-3 times a day.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can help to reduce inflammation as well as treat ingrown hair effectively. Applying apple cider vinegar to the affected area will also reduce redness as well as itching caused due to razor bumps. To use apple cider vinegar, 

You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1tablespoon of water

How to:

  1. Apply the apple cider vinegar over the bumps using a cotton ball. 
  2. If you have very sensitive skin then you can dilute 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of water. 
  3. Leave the vinegar on the skin for at least 10 minutes. 
  4. Then rinse off using normal water. 
  5. Apple cider vinegar acts as a quick remedy and can make razor bumps heal within 1 day. 
  6. You can use this remedy twice a day to get relief. 

PRECAUTIONS FOR RAZOR BUMPS

The best way to deal with razor bumps is to prevent them from appearing in the first place. There are several precautions you can take:

Use sharp razor blades

For each shave you do, make sure you are using sharp blades. This will make it easier for the hair to get removed. Using a blunt razor blade, on the other hand, will cause the razor to tug onto the skin and remove hair in an uneven fashion resulting in razor bumps.

Exfoliate your skin prior to shaving

Exfoliation will remove the thick layer of dead skin cells and make it easier for the new hair follicle to grow out of the epidermis instead of getting curled inwards.

Do not dry shave

Dry shaving can cause razor burns along with extreme itching. Dry shaving will also leave you more susceptible to getting cuts and ingrown hair which will be much harder to treat.

Do not use a razor with a single blade.

Use a razor consisting of multiple blades to get closer and even shave. This way, you will not have to shave the same area of skin multiple times to get the hair removed.

Do not exfoliate the affected area immediately

The scrubs mentioned in the remedies above must be used before shaving the skin. Using a scrub over freshly appeared bumps will lead to more irritation and redness.

Do not use a razor blade more than two times or when it begins to get blunt

OTC PRODUCTS

OTC products include:

  • Tend skin liquid – roll-on
  • Barc bump down razor bump relief
  • The body shop – tea tree oil.

MYTHS AND FACTS

MYTHS  FACTS
Razor bumps only happen to women. This condition is associated with shaving. Anyone who shaves may experience these bumps. Men may get them too and sometimes more often because they tend to shave more frequently.
Genetics has no role to play in the condition. The fact is that people who have naturally curly hair may get more ingrown hair and consequently more razor bumps. This is because their hair pattern of hair growth causes the hair to curl underneath the skin.
One must always shave in the direction opposite of hair growth. It is recommended to shave in the direction of hair growth. Shaving against the direction of hair growth may give a cleaner shave but will cause the hair to curl inwards and lead to bumps.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can conditioner be used instead of shaving cream?

Yes, a conditioner can be considered an emergency replacement for shaving cream. However, conditioners do not lather well and can make the skin too slippery. This may make you miss certain patches of the skin while shaving.

How many times can I use a blade? 

Ideally, you should use a new blade every time you shave. But you can get two to three uses out of your blade provided that you keep it dry and clean.

Why is it important to moisturize after shaving?

Moisturizing the skin after shaving makes it softer. This makes it easier for the hair follicle to come through the skin and prevents it from growing inwards and leading to a razor bump.

What is dry shaving?

Dry shaving refers to shaving without using shaving cream or other lathering agents.

Can razor bumps lead to scarring?

If left untreated, then the bumps may lead to minor scarring. Do not scratch the bumps. Also, do not go over the affected area with a razor before the bumps have disappeared. 

What is the permanent treatment?

Diode laser hair removal can help. It also helps to get rid of the ingrown hair and the scarring due to it. However, razor bumps can be easily managed at home or with help of mild exfoliating ointments.

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