It is imperative to know how to avoid razor bumps not only because the problem is a cosmetic concern, but can be painfully frustrating, as well.
Those who have scanty hair growth all over their body, don’t experience this problem as often as others. Those with significant hair growth, especially thick or curly, are the ones who are more susceptible to razor bumps. Because curly hair is cut at an angle, it can cause new growth to take root, inwardly (extrafollicular hair). This causes the hair (which is now sharper) to re-penetrate the skin. When the hair stays put instead of exiting the follicle, it causes fluid buildup and inflammation. This is known as transfollicular hair.
Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a common problem among men who experience razor bumps on the face from shaving. It doesn’t appear only on the face, but others parts of the body. These bumps can later develop into angry pustules that resemble pimples, since the irritation aggravates with every shaving session. When these appear around the pubic region, they’re called pseudofolliculitis pubis.
How to Prevent Razor Bumps
- The best way to evade razor bumps is not to shave at all, if you’re skin is super sensitive or excessively curly.
- You must give your skin a gap of at least 2-3 days post a close shave. However, if you use an electric shaver, then you can shave after a day. The ideal length of facial hair should be no lesser than 1 mm, where it would be better to maintain a stubble instead of a clean-shaven look.
- You should shave in the shower, since the hair will soften at the root and make shaving easier to perform.
- With each shaving session, use a new blade. The sharper the blade, the lesser the risks of getting a razor bump. A blunt blade will cause unsightly nicks that will later get infected and inflamed. A hair-clogged blade is as good as a blunt blade. So get rid of it, pronto, or clean it with a disinfectant.
- The recommended way to shave is towards the direction of hair growth. Going against it injures the skin. Don’t repeatedly shave one spot for a closer shave. Instead, use a good shaving cream prior to shaving, to soften the hair follicles. Doing this is enough to give you a smooth shave with just one stroke.
- And, as a final advice, it is a good idea to disinfect the blade before and after shaving; you can use rubbing alcohol, too.
If you do get a razor bump, massage a little facial oil into the infected area or apply a dollop of crushed aspirin tablets to it, for swelling to come down. Hydrocortisone cream can help diminish a severe-looking razor bump. After you’re done shaving, exfoliate your face using a gentle face scrub (meant for super-sensitive skin, only), and then moisturize the area using a good face cream, followed by aftershave. And more importantly, do not pick at the pustules or it’ll leave nasty scars behind.