It’s summer and most women striving for smooth, hair-free skinare back to their daily routine of shaving…so razor bumps and razor burn are bound to appear for many women. Not only are razor bumps unsightly, but they can also be painful and persistent in the sensitive areas women tend to shave daily. Beyond irritation, they can also cause cysts and scarring and can be difficult to prevent and treat. If you have a basic understanding of this irritation condition, you may have an easier time preventing and treating them. Here are 10 tips and an introduction to razor bumps.

Razor Bumps – What Are They?

PseudofolliculitisBarbae, called razor bumps are small, irritated bumps on the skin that develop after shaving, according to WebMD. Although they usually resolve on their own, occasionally medical treatment is needed, including prescription topical ointments such as steroid, retinoid or antibiotic creams, oral antibiotics, and in severe cases, steroid injection.

How Are They Formed?

Certain types of razors, and improper methods of shaving can produce razor bumps. Additionally, tweezing, waxing and plucking can also cause razor bumps. Laser hair removal, electrolysis, and depilatories are the only methods of hair removal that do not produce razor bumps.

10 Tips For Prevention

There are many products available to help with razor bumps if they do flare up, but here are 10 tips to help prevent them.

  1. Exfoliate the area prior to shaving.
  2. Take a warm bath or shower to soften the hair.
  3. Use a sensitive-skin formula shave gel or cream rather than soap.
  4. Shave with a sharp, clean razor and consider “old school” razors like 2 or 3 blades over newer, 5-blade razors, which according to experts can cut hair below the skin’s surface, causing bumps and irritation. (source: redbook.com)
  5. Never use dull, old razors, as they can irritate skin, and house bacteria, especially if they are stored in a damp environment like a shower.
  6. Always shave in the direction of hair growth. Going “against the grain” of hair growth causes hair to be cut below the skin’s surface, causing razor bumps.
  7. Do not use too much pressure on your razor and don’t shave the same spot multiple times.
  8. Use a cold-water rinse after shaving to close pores.
  9. If you do have razor bumps, give that area a rest and don’t shave for a few days.
  10. Moisturize the area with a product containing soothing ingredients such as aloe and chamomile. If needed, a over-the-counter product such as hydrocortisone or Neosporin can be applied.

If your quest for smooth, hair-free skin in the summer is being thwarted by unsightly razor bumps, try some of these tips to help.Having a basic understanding of this painful and annoying condition will help you prevent reoccurrence and help you reach your goal of smooth, stubble-free summer skin.