What is a razor bump?
To know how to get rid of razor bumps, it is important to understand what exactly razor bumps are.
Razor bumps are a problem that most people using the razor technique for hair removal face daily. It is a condition that leads to inflammation of the skin and the formation of bumps and redness on the skin due to using razors. Razor bumps, in medical terms, are also called Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB).
This blog will discuss how to get rid of bumps fast.
Causes of razor bumps:
Razor bumps are ingrown hairs that grow, usually after shaving or sometimes due to other hair removal techniques. These ingrown hairs appear when hair starts growing back into the skin after shaving.
After shaving, waxing, plucking, or even laser hair removal, the hair may curl and turn inwards, getting trapped due to forming a new layer of skin cells over the hair layer. Razor bumps form as a result of this.
In other words, razor bumps or ingrown hairs grow toward your skin rather than away from it.
Pseudofolliculitis barbae is commonly found in the following areas:
The most common technique for causing Pseudofolliculitis barbae is shaving. Razor bumps, or ingrown hairs, can occur anywhere where you shave, be it your facial regions, legs, hands, underarms, or pubic areas as well.
Usually, the areas with curly and thick hairs are most prone to razor bumps. The chances of developing razor bumps after hair removal are high if you have sensitive skin.
Types of razor bumps:
These razor bumps are basically of two types:
Extrafollicular razor bumps
In this condition, the hair follicles curl and grow inwards without the formation of any skin layer. These hair follicles become trapped inside the skin. The extrafollicular hair exits the follicle and re-enters the skin.
Trans-follicular razor bumps
In this condition, hair gets trapped under one of the layers of the skin (the layer of skin on the top towards the surface). Due to this, a small segment of the hair is visible above the skin. This might even cause skin irritation and itching.
Some might wonder whether pulling this part of the visible hair using a tweezer would be sufficient to get over the bump. But the answer is a clear no. Plucking these hair parts can result in more irritation and cause more irritated skin. Also, the hair follicles might transform into deep and more painful ingrown hairs.
These trapped hairs never exit the follicle, but since they are naturally curled, they curl back into the follicle, causing fluid build-up and irritation on the skin’s surface.
One term that you can confuse with razor bump is “razor burn. In the article’s next section, we will discuss razor burn and the difference between razor bumps and razor burn.
Razor burns occur due to shaving hair removal techniques as well. Razor burns are the red patches and rashes that appear after shaving.
Razor bumps cause tenderness, a burning sensation, itchiness, and small red bumps.
Though the terms “razor bumps” and “razor burns” are used interchangeably, in reality, they are different.
The difference between razor bumps and razor burns:
The cause of a razor burn is shaving, whereas razor bumps are caused by shaved hairs that grow back and become ingrown hairs. Razor bumps more often occur in people with curly hair because the curly hair grows.
Razor bumps heal in a few days and may or may not require treatment, but razor burn takes longer to heal, and you should avoid shaving if bumps are present.
You can avoid razor burn by using shaving cream, not using old razors, and shaving in the opposite direction of hair growth.
Razor bumps look like small pimples, whereas razor burn looks like red blotches across the skin.
Razor burn shows right after shaving, but unlike razor burn, razor bumps take days to appear. It takes longer to heal and might even leave scars and spots in some cases.
How to tell whether you have razor bumps?
When a hair strand is cut off from the skin, it extends beyond the skin’s outer barrier. Sometimes, the hair follicle curls back inwards, towards the skin. This causes the hair follicle to become ingrown in the skin, which most often causes further irritation and swelling. This swelling becomes a small red bump on the skin, which looks like a pimple.
Shaving and other hair removal methods also lead to the development of razor bumps. In the case of facial razor bumps, because of their appearance, some of you might be tempted to pluck and pick these small red bumps, mistaking them for acne.
Ingrown hairs are painful, similar to acne, but acne is caused by pore blockage, whereas ingrown hairs are not.
The most useful method for spotting razor bumps is to watch your skin just after you shave to see whether or not you have developed any redness or irritation.
Symptoms of Razor Bumps
The symptoms are usually self-diagnosable. Due to these painful bumps, you may experience itching, see darker skin tones, small papules(papules are solid, rounded bumps), pustules(pus-filled bumps), and blotchy skin rashes. The surrounding skin is often red and inflamed.
Returning to the article’s purpose, the blog’s next section will discuss how to get rid of razor bumps.
Preventing Razor Bumps
Preventing razor bumps might seem a heavy task, but you need not worry since we’ve covered you. In the following section, we have the answer to how to get rid of razor bumps.
The most common methods you can follow to prevent razor bumps are listed below.
1) DO NOT PLUCK YOUR RAZOR’S BUMPS! (First and one of the most important things that answer your question about how to get rid of razor bumps)
However irritating or painful it becomes, it is crucial to understand that picking your ingrown hairs is not a solution at all. Avoid picking at the small bumps. If you pick your bumps, they might leave a scar/spot on the infected area.
By picking at your razor bumps, you allow the bacteria to spread, interfering with your skin’s natural healing process.
2) Using Aloe Vera gel (Aloe vera gel is an elixir that can answer how to get rid of razor bumps)
Aloe Vera is a common ingredient used as a common razor bump remedy. It is popularly used in many medical ointments. According to many research and theories, aloe vera’s powerful enzymes help reduce inflammation in the affected area. This property makes it an effective treatment for razor bumps.
The method is simple. Just take aloe vera gel directly from the plant and apply it to the affected area. If you cannot get a hold of a natural aloe vera plant, you can choose from many commercially available gels.
3) Apply a baking soda mask.
(Baking soda alone has so many positive effects that you wouldn’t need to search for how to get rid of razor bumps again)
Baking soda is used mainly in cooking but is also a natural treatment for skin issues like acne, razor bumps, and burns. The process is simple; just mix 1 cup of mildly warm water with 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
Let the mixture rest till it dries off completely, and apply it to the infected area. Repeat the process two times a day till you see certain positive results.
4) Razor blade replacement
You must change your razor blades after some time because by constantly using the blades for a certain duration of time, they start to get rusted. Using a dull razor blade would lead to problematic situations.
It would increase the chances of razor bumps. Instead, replace your dull and damaged razor blade with a sharp razor blade once in a while.
5) Take shave prevention measures
Before shaving, always moisten your skin and use a moisturizing shaving cream suitable for your skin. Make sure to always wash your razor carefully before usage.
Shaving right after the shower is advisable as your hair is in its most vulnerable and softest phase after showering. You should shave slowly so as to avoid cuts.
6) Avoid the Use of Razors
The best way to get rid of razor bumps is to avoid the use of a razor at all. Though the bumps are common to all hair removal techniques, they are most prone in the case of shaving. Hence, it is advisable to stop shaving. Instead, one can prefer other alternatives to hair removal methods.
7) For a while, refrain from shaving your skin.
If you have sensitive skin or the occurrence of razor bumps is common, you should refrain from shaving for 2-3 days to prevent razor bumps.
8) Use warm water to rub shaved area
Right after you are done with shaving, if you feel irritation, soak a towel in warm water, apply it on your skin for 10-15 minutes, and massage gently.
This motion helps to remove dead skin cells, which reduces the number of hairs curving back into the skin. The heat from the soaked towel would shrink the razor bump and kill the bacteria. Repeat the process quite a few times if required.
9) Apply lotions
Using creams like hydrocortisone and lotions on the shaved areas can help to avoid the bumps. Salicylic acid and glycolic acid have been proven effective methods for getting rid of razor bumps.
Products with hydrocortisone help in the decrement of swelling, irritation, and redness.
10) Electric razor and single-blade razor
Using a single-blade razor or an electric razor has led to a smooth shave since these remove hair with ease. The trick is to avoid using a dull blade and use a high-quality razor to eliminate bumps.
11) Preventing bumps with skincare
One of the most beneficial pieces of advice on How to get rid of razor bumps is Skincare!
Skin care before and after shaving is necessary to avoid these bumps. The most important step in the skincare routine is to exfoliate gently. Use a soft-bristled face brush to brush the to-be shaved area gently. This helps in preventing the hair follicle from being trapped under the skin.
For exfoliation, use a gentle alpha-hydroxy acid or beta-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid and rub the area with a wet washcloth.
Glycolic acid and the rest of the mentioned products are proven beneficial in removing dead skin cells from the skin barrier, thus avoiding razor bumps and the formation of new razor bumps.
How to Treat Bikini Line Razor Burn
The bikini line, or pubic area, is the most sensitive area of your body. You have to be more careful when it comes to getting rid of pubic hair. When deciding on a cream to use in the pubic area, go through the ingredient.
This would help you loosen dead skin cells off the outer layer of your skin, thus preventing irritated pores.
Advice on shaving facial hair (On how to get rid of razor bumps)
- At all costs, choose your bumps!
- Firstly, avoid razors; if not, tilt your head at an angle sideways and use special facial razors.
- Wash your skin carefully after the process.
- After every cycle, apply a lotion or use products like aloe vera gel to cool and soothe your skin.
- Do not shave when you have dry skin. Make sure to always moisturize it before shaving.
When to see a dermatologist?
Even after changing your shaving techniques and applying the remedies mentioned, it’s time to seek professional help if you continue to get bumps. If not, the ingrown hairs might lead to certain complications that can result in permanent scarring. With board-certified dermatologist treatment, you can get relief and avoid permanent damage to your skin.
The dermatologist won’t not only answer your question about How to get rid of razor bumps but, at the same time would, monitor your skin and other related issues.
Hopefully, this article will answer all your questions about what razor bumps are and how to get rid of razor bumps fast and effectively. Make sure to research the preferable methods and products before their usage.