Razor Bumps 101 – What Are They And Why Do We Get Them

Razor bumps. No one likes to hear those two words, especially African American men. According to blackenterprise.com, “It is estimated that up to 80% of African American men suffer from razor bumps at some point in their lives.” Men tend to suffer from razor bumps more often than women as they typically shave the same area daily. Not only can they be irritating, they can also cause cysts and scarring and can be difficult to prevent and treat. If you understand the how’s and why’s of this painful condition, it may be easier to prevent. Here’s an introduction to razor bumps.

What are razor bumps?

According to WebMD, razor bumps, or pseudofolliculitisbarbae, are small, irritated bumps on the skin that develop after shaving. They can at times be severe, causing scarring and occasionally require medical treatment. Treatment of severe cases can include prescription topicalssuch as steroid, retinoid or antibiotic creams, oral antibiotics, and in severe cystic cases, even steroid injection.

Who can get them?

Anyone that shaves can suffer from razor bumps, including women and men of any ethnicity. They are, however, more common in people with curly hair, since they are formed when the hair curls back under the skin, forming a bump or pustule. Women tend to develop razor bumps around their bikini area and men obviously get them on their face, neck and head, or other areas where they shave daily.

How do we get them?

Unfortunately, razor bumps can develop each and every time you shave. Tweezing, waxing or plucking can also cause razor bumps. The only methods of hair removal that do not produce razor bumps are laser hair removal, electrolysis, and depilatories. Certain types of razors, and certain methods of shaving can produce razor bumps. Going against the direction of hair growth while shaving is not recommended, as this can produce more razor bumps.   Always shave in the direction of the hair growth.

How can we prevent them?

If you have a severe case of razor bumps, you should seek medical treatment, but most razor bumps will resolve on their own. You should avoid shaving irritated areas until the inflammation has subsided. There are many products available to help with razor bumps and detailed shaving techniques available to help prevent them from flaring up.

If you shave, you are susceptible to razor bumps. If you arm yourself with the proper information and techniques, hopefully you can begin to understand the cause of this annoying condition and take steps to lessen occurrence of these painful bumps. Hopefully, we’ve provided some useful information for you…follow along as we continue to explore prevention and treatment of razor bumps and help you deal with them effectively.

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