Women and men both suffer from irritation after shaving. Unfortunately, some people experience extreme reactions that can appear as acne or a rash that is itchy and sometimes painful. Razor bumps are incredibly common, and those with coarse and curly hair typically experience this condition more often. Dermatologists find it is a skin condition that affects many African Americans, and clients seek relief from professionals when the conditions are unmanageable.
Ingrown hairs cause razor bumps. The curlier hair likes to grow sideways or back, which causes irritation on the skin. The hair follicle may get irritated and appear as acne or rash-type bumps with hair visible inside. Unfortunately, some who suffer from razor bumps get puss-filled bumps on their skin which can cause the skin to discolor. Beyond the aesthetic concerns of many who suffer from this skin condition, it can be irritating, itchy, and downright painful. If you suffer from razor bumps, here are three things you should consider.
Shaving Is Not the Only Cause of Razor Bumps
Although the popular name would suggest otherwise, there are other reasons people suffer from this common skin condition, scientifically called pseudofolliculitis barbae. The other causes of this skin condition can show up after waxing, plucking, and threading. Threading is a hair removal process that started in Iran and is now trending in America. This hair removal process is best known for shaping eyebrows, but the process can cause significant skin irritation.
Since shaving is one of the causes of razor bumps, many throw money away trying to find a good shaving cream or perfect razor to prevent this breakout from occurring post-shave. However, many over-the-counter products have many ingredients that are known to cause skin irritation. Those fortunate enough not to have highly sensitive skin may never realize it, but anyone who must carefully choose their facial products should visit a dermatologist for professional advice.
What NOT to Do When Razor Bumps Appear
The worse thing someone can do who is experiencing razor bumps is trying to get the hair out using tweezers or another sharp object. If the skin breaks, it is more vulnerable to infection. Bacteria may enter, and this can make the skin condition significantly worse. If an ingrown hair gets infected, it is critical to go to a licensed and reputable dermatologist to have them professionally take care of the irritated areas. The men and women with formal education in dermatology have the equipment, training, and experience to help clients facing these challenges with razor bumps and ingrown hairs. Top dermatologists have cleaners and topical creams they may prescribe to help decrease inflammation and itching while the skin heals. Some prescription creams have been shown to prevent future breakouts and can be prescribed by a professional.
Over-the-counter products may help with mild cases, but anything that is causing pain and irritation may have long-term cosmetic damage to the skin and should be looked at by a licensed dermatologist. It is best to contact a reputable dermatology office in your area if this is a skin condition you suffer from regularly.
Prep the Skin and Soothe it After
If activities, such as shaving, cause irritation, spending some extra time on the front end can save lots of time if it helps the skin prepare for the agitation. It is recommended to moisten the skin with warm water ahead of time to make the skin more supple and soften the skin where the hair follicles are, so if possible, shower before shaving. Other suggestions are to shave in the direction of the hair growth, rinse frequently, and use quality products that are not rusted from being left to dry naturally. Using razors with soothing gel strips has been shown to help clients who suffer from razor bumps. It is never suggested to dry shave! Follow up with a cool rinse after shaving and apply moisturizer.
Think of your skin as your body’s biggest organ because it is! Taking care of our skin and addressing skin condition concerns with a professional removes the guesswork of what products to use and how to keep our skin healthy. Contact an experienced dermatologist in your area and visit for a thorough consultation. If Atlanta is your home, you will be glad when you contact Dr. Sherrie Straughn. At Buckhead Dermatology, clients receive exceptional services with a caring touch. Dr. Straughn offers more than 25 years of experience in the field and is an active member of the Skin of Color Society, specializing in black skin care. She is dedicated to helping clients in the community experience their skin’s optimum appearance.
When it comes to your skin, do not settle for anything but the best professional advice. Find a local and licensed dermatologist to help address all your skincare concerns, including those pesky razor bumps!