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by Paul Koutras June 08, 2018

We love to get information from other people in the industry. This is a guest post from Laura Chow from zwivel.com. Enjoy!


When most guys shave they anticipate hair-free, smooth skin once they’re finished, but that isn’t the case for everybody. No, some men find their skin filled with ugly, itchy red bumps afterward instead. These are known as razor bumps -- or pseudofolliculitis barbae.

If you’re a man who shaves regularly, you might be all-too-familiar with this post-shave irritation.

Men are more prone to razor bumps than women because they shave more often, and usually on the face where the skin is most sensitive. While many men experience razor bumps, they’re particularly common among guys with naturally curly hair.

African-Americans are at an increased risk for razor bumps because their hair is usually tightly curled and can easily burrow back into the skin. In fact, The Journal of Investigative Dermatology notes that people with curly hair are 50 times more likely to experience razor bumps than those with straight hair.


Growing a Beard

Unfortunately, the only way to prevent razor bumps entirely is to grow a beard and stop shaving altogether. Many men do choose to grow beards in order to avoid the irritation that results from shaving.

Growing a beard can be fun and is even a source of pride for some guys, but it does require a lot of care and maintenance. So if growing a beard doesn’t sound like an attractive option to you, here are a few other razor bump prevention techniques you can try.


Shaving Tips to Avoid Razor Bumps

Proper shave technique reduces razor bumps. If you aren't shaving correctly, you double the risk of razor bumps.

So how do you shave correctly? Start by applying hot water to the skin. Leave a hot towel on the area for five to 10 minutes to open the pores. Next, apply a healthy amount of shaving soap to the skin and lather it well. Using a quality razor, shave in the same direction as the hair growth. Shaving properly considerably reduces the risk of developing razor bumps.

Try to shave after you shower. A lot of men prefer shaving prior to showering but it’s better to wait, as the moisture from the shower will help prevent razor bumps from forming.

Use warm water and a gentle soap to cleanse and keep the bumps away. Choose a hypoallergenic wash for the body and a specially formulated product to wash your face.

Pre-shave soaks are extremely useful for anyone who already has razor bumps before they shave.

Choose a quality razor. The cheaper designs can pull on the skin and are much more likely to leave razor bumps behind than a quality product.. Never settle for less and select a razor that pampers rather than irritates.

Apply aloe vera, baby powder, or witch hazel to your freshly shaved skin. These will help soothe and protect your skin. You can also use an aftershave containing these ingredients.


Treating Razor Bumps

If, despite your best efforts, you still get razor bumps, here are a few more ways to treat them.

  • Avoid shaving while the skin is irritated by bumps. This will only further increase the irritation. 
  • Try not to scratch. While razor bumps can be itchy, scratching only makes the problem worse.
  • Apply a topical cream to the affected area to reduce itching and redness and kill bacteria. Topical creams for razor bumps can be purchased over-the-counter at most beauty stores and pharmacies.
  • Home remedies such as antibacterial soaps or tea tree oil can also be used to soothe razor bumps and other cases of folliculitis.

If the bumps become more serious or look like they’re infected, be sure to visit your doctor immediately, as this could lead to scarring.

Paul Koutras
Paul Koutras

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