How To Get Rid Of Razor Bumps?

When hair grows back into the skin instead of up and out, ingrown hairs form. Hair that has been removed by shaving, waxing, or plucking may curl and turn inward. The hair becomes stuck as new skin cells grow over it, causing a hump to appear. Razor bumps can develop anywhere on the body where hair is shaved or removed, such as the face, head, legs, underarms, and pubic area.
How to get rid of razor bumps
Razor bumps are more than simply an irritation; if left untreated, they can lead to lasting damage.

Razor bumps can be irritating, unpleasant, and tender, in addition to being an aesthetic issue. If the condition is not treated, it can lead to the following lesions in addition to papules and pustules:

  • Persistent flesh-colored bumps: These lesions are hypertrophic scars that can lead to keloids if left untreated.
  • PIP: Postinflammatory pigmentation, often known as dark spots, can appear on patients who have razor bumps.

What causes razor bumps?

this is how razor bumps happen

Curly-haired people have bent hair follicles. The majority of African Americans have bent hair follicles. The bulk of Caucasians and nearly all Asians have straight hair follicles, which explains why African American men have more razor bumps. Lesions of razor bumps can be found on the board, especially on the neck and below the jawbone. 

Ingrown hairs

The hairs that arise from the follicles of curly hair tend to be tightly coiled because their hair shafts are bent. This is true of both beard hair and other body hair. A single curled hair creates a sharply pointed tip after shaving, which can grow right back into the skin if angled toward the body.

Sharp hair penetration triggers a mistaken immune response in which your body’s immune system misidentifies penetrating hairs as “foreign invaders.” Your immune system overreacts by attacking hair with white blood cells, resulting in acne-like inflammation papules and pustules.

Parallel hair penetration

Hairs can grow parallel to the skin and enter the side of the follicle if they’re shaved too near. This penetration also triggers an immunological response, resulting in papules and pustules.

Reemerging hairs

Furthermore, newly growing hairs from below can puncture and worsen inflamed areas. As a result, increasing hair or plucked hairs may traumatize an existing papule or pustule.

How to shave correctly to reduce razor bumps?

Instruction on how to shave to reduce razor bumps

If you have razor bumps, you should learn how to shave correctly. Allowing your hairs to grow long enough to prevent them from growing back into the skin can be beneficial, or you may decide to quit shaving altogether! Although most individuals do not choose this option, growing a beard is arguably the best strategy to avoid razor bumps.

If you choose to continue shaving, the sections below will provide you with some advice on avoiding razor bumps. The key to these methods is to keep the shave as close to the skin as possible to prevent ingrown hairs. Hairs clipped too short have a higher chance of curling into the skin as they grow, resulting in more razor bumps.

Whatever method you select, make sure to use the sharpest tool possible when shaving.

Razor shaving

Correct technique for razor shaving

Like washing your face, shaving is a little more involved than some people assume, especially if you have skin issues like razor bumps.

By using a guarded razor, you can avoid a close shave. The Bump Fighter or the Aveeno Bump Fighter Razor are also good options. Both of these products should be available at your local drugstore. These razors include a plastic coating that stops the razor from directly contacting the skin, reducing skin harm.

Here are some of my shaving suggestions for a pain-free and healthy shave:

  • Before shaving, soften your hair. After you’ve taken a hot shower, try shaving. Steaming your beard softens it. Before shaving, wash your face to eliminate grease and make hairs more upright, making them simpler to cut. Lather the beard region with a non-irritating, lubricating shaving gel such as Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel, Edge, or a benzoyl peroxide-containing prescription shaving foam such as BenzaShave.
  • Shaving gels moisturize your hair while lubricating the razor blades against your skin.
  • Shave in a downward motion. Don’t go against the grain. Shaving in the same direction as the hair grows (usually down) causes less pulling on the hairs and reduces the risk of cutting them too short. Shaving across the grain reduces skin irritation.
  • Reduce the number of times you shave. Repeated shaving may result in hairs being cut too short, which is a waste of time and energy and a waste of time and energy.
  • When shaving, avoid stretching the skin because this results in a tighter shave and increases the risk of ingrown hairs.
  • If you don’t have to, don’t shave every day.
  • Don’t apply aftershave or cologne on the shaven areas. Instead, rinse thoroughly with warm water after shaving and use a gentle moisturizing aftershave lotion like Cetaphil Lotion.
  • At regular intervals, rinse your razor to remove any cut hairs. It aids in the reduction of skin drag. Change your blades at least once a week and more often if skin irritation continues.
  • Use caution while using double, triple, or quadruple razors, as they will shave you twice, three times, or four times! These current razors are so good at doing that they shave beneath the skin’s surface, aggravating the situation.

Electric shaving

Propper technique to using electric shaver

Another way to minimize the shave’s closeness is to use an electric razor with mild pressure. Like a wet razor, an electric razor should be cleaned regularly to avoid hair clogging the mechanism.

You want the hairs to be dry and stiff before you start shaving with an electric shaver, so they’re easier to cut. As a result, unlike a wet shave with a blade, you should not begin by washing your face or thoroughly wetting your beard with water.

Instead, use a pre-shave lotion explicitly made for electric shavers (such as Lectric Shave). These lotions, which are generally alcohol-based, dry out your skin’s oils and moisture, causing your whiskers to stand straight up.

Use electric hair clippers that leave the hairs long after being cut. Immediately after shaving, aim for a “five o’clock shadow.”

Home remedies for razor bumps

Home remedies for razor bumps

The good news is that razor pimples are easy to deal with over the counter acne treatments. You can begin by self-treating it with the physical way I describe in the following section. Topical benzoyl peroxide drugs can also be used (see “Buying benzoyl peroxide” later in this section). If the outcomes aren’t satisfactory, get advice from your dermatologist. He can assess your situation and guide you through the following stages.

Physically stopping razor bumps

By delicately lifting a curled hair with a small needle or toothpick before reentry, it can be flipped up before it has a chance to plunge into the skin.

  • Inspect your beard to look for possible diving hairs or for hairs that have already taken the plunge. Those that are pointing back toward your skin or those that are resting flat are excellent possibilities.
  • Lift the hair between the follicle and the tip with a fine needle or toothpick.
  • Gently pull the hair’s sharp pointed end away from your skin.

Using a needle or toothpick too vigorously can cause further irritation.

Benzoyl peroxide for razor bumps

Benzoyl peroxide for razor bumps

The most prevalent over-the-counter acne medication is benzoyl peroxide, the most efficient treatment for razor bumps. It is available in various strengths ranging from 2.5 to 10%. There’s no evidence that anything higher than 2.5 percent is better than the higher concentration, and smaller concentrations are less expensive and maybe less irritating to your skin. Benzoyl peroxide is sold under the brand names Clear By Design, Clearasil, Fostex, Neutrogena, and Noxzema, to mention a few.

If your skin is really sensitive, a cream or water-based product may be more soothing; but they may be more potent if you can tolerate alcohol-based treatments. Experiment with the different products until you find the best one for you.

Here are a few pointers on how to use it:

  • Once or twice a day, apply benzoyl peroxide sparingly in a very thin coating to the entire razor bump-prone area. You may need to keep using it for as long as the razor bump persists, or you can try ceasing it for short periods once the razor bump has subsided.
  • Avoid abrasive, harsh, or drying soaps and cleansers when using benzoyl peroxide.

Be patient; your razor bumps may take a long time to react to treatment. You may not see any improvement for six to eight weeks.

It’s normal for the treated area to get dry, but it’s usually relatively mild. When you start using benzoyl peroxide, you may notice a minor burning sensation or skin reddening. These signs and symptoms typically go away after two to three weeks.

Other OTC products for razor bumps

example of OTC product for razor bumps

Topical fruit acids, such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid, products containing lactic acid, and mixes of all three are also touted as razor treatments, in addition to benzoyl peroxide. They’re not as effective as benzoyl peroxide, and I mention glycolic acid here.

Glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), is the most prevalent chemical found in over-the-counter razor bump products, along with benzoyl peroxide. It’s present in many cosmetics and moisturizers. Alpha-Hydrox and Neo-Strata are two glycolic acid formulations. Glycolic acid and other AHA-containing cleansers can be used before shaving with a razor, and AHA-containing moisturizers are recommended after shaving.

Hydrocortisone cream: Hydrocortisone cream, a topical cortisone for itching and irritation, is available over-the-counter. Use a small amount once or twice a day to relieve itching or stinging.

Prescription treatments

Prescription treatments for razor bumps

Combining benzoyl peroxide with topical antibiotics

If over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide doesn’t work for you, prescription benzoyl peroxide mixed with a topical antibiotic like Benzamycin, Duac, or BenzaClin gel might.

You might also ask your doctor about combining a prescription for a generic topical antibiotic like clindamycin or erythromycin lotion with over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide to save some money. Place them one on top of the other to make a stack.

As with applying benzoyl peroxide alone, it may take six to eight weeks for the product to work, and the same potential side effects of dryness and irritation may also apply. Benzoyl peroxide is also available as BenzaShave, a prescription shaving foam.

Prescription Akne-Mycin (erythromycin, 2%) ointment may be ideal for you if you have super sensitive skin. It could take six to eight weeks to work. It is gentler on your skin.

How to apply

  • Once or twice a day, apply the medication sparingly in a very thin coating on your razor bump-prone areas.
  • If you must shave, do so after using the medicine. Allow at least 30 minutes for the least amount of irritation.
  • Apply a moisturizer over the drug to avoid dry skin and other irritation.

Using topical retinoids

Using topical retinoids

Topical retinoids tend to help diminish the inflammatory lesions of razor bumps, similar to how they help with acne. Topical retinoids might serve a double role for you. Retinoids not only help to alleviate some of the inflammatory lesions associated with razor bumps, but they also help to lighten PIP (if you have it).

Prescription retinoids include adapalene (Differin), tazarotene (Tazorac), Avita, and tretinoin (RetinA).

Apply topical retinoids to razor bump-prone areas in small, thin, pea-sized doses. Because creams are the least irritating, you should start with a cream-based retinoid rather than a gel. All retinoids can produce mild skin irritation over the first few weeks. You may experience some discomfort, such as stinging or burning, as well as moderate skin scaling. If you have a sensitivity to the retinoid you’ve been prescribed, use it every other day or even less frequently until you’ve become acclimated to it.

In most cases, maximum improvement happens within three to four months.

oral antibiotics for acne bumps

Going for oral antibiotics

When your beard develops papules and pustules, becomes extremely itchy, or your scars appear to be growing, it’s time to seek more aggressive treatment. When this happens, your dermatologist may decide to treat your razor bumps with both oral and topical medications. Antibiotics have an anti-inflammatory effect that aids in healing inflammatory lesions (papules and pustules).

Cortisone injections

When scars grow unattractive, or papules become itchy or uncomfortable, one of the most common treatments is to inject cortisone into the lesions. In addition to oral and topical antibiotics, the shots are given. Intralesional cortisone injections (a relatively painless operation) can be beneficial in reducing inflammatory papules and hypertrophic scars, as well as their size. They also assist decrease itching. Because razor bumps are a chronic condition, this usually necessitates multiple treatments.

Henry, Dr. M. (2013, May 30). Razor Bump Treatment For Black Men: How-To Make Them Disappear. Black Enterprise; www.blackenterprise.com. https://www.blackenterprise.com/eliminating-razor-bumps-guide-black-men-skin/

Nast, C., & @gqmagazine. (2018, October 5). How to Shave Your Face the Right Way | GQ. GQ; www.gq.com. https://www.gq.com/story/how-to-shave

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae: Prevention and Treatment. (2016, October 14). Pseudofolliculitis Barbae: Prevention and Treatment; www.uspharmacist.com. https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/pseudofolliculitis-barbae-prevention-and-treatment

Jones, J. (2021, September 6). How to Get Rid of Razor Bumps and Post-Shave Irritation | The Manual. The Manual; www.themanual.com. https://www.themanual.com/grooming/how-to-get-rid-of-razor-bumps/

NYU Langone Skin Expert Offers Practical Advice and Best Practices for Dealing with Ingrown Hair or “Razor Bumps.” (n.d.). NYU Langone News; nyulangone.org. Retrieved March 20, 2022, from https://nyulangone.org/news/nyu-langone-skin-expert-offers-practical-advice-and-best-practices-dealing-ingrown-hair-or-razor-bumps

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae: Prevention and Treatment. (2016, October 14). Pseudofolliculitis Barbae: Prevention and Treatment; www.uspharmacist.com. https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/pseudofolliculitis-barbae-prevention-and-treatment

Related
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Feedback:

HealthNip does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.