One of the most common questions I receive from men always has to do with razor bumps. It is estimated that up to 80% of African American men suffer from razor bumps at some point during their lives.
Bumps, also called Pseudofollicultis Barbae, can occur in any area that hair is temporarily removed by shaving, waxing or tweezing. These painful bumps and pustules occur when hairs curl back into the skin causing your body to perceive them as “foreignâ” (like a splinter) and produce an inflammatory response. This inflammation can cause bumps, pus, discoloration and keloidal scars.
We always want to look neat and stay comfortable as the case may be. Here are a few tips to help put the bumps to rest and keep you smooth, neat and office- ready.
Preventing Razor Bumps:
- Don’t cut hair too closely. Focus on looking “clean-shaven, not necessarily feeling silky smooth”. If using a razor can be avoided, use electric clippers to trim hair to about a millimeter in length. This is short enough to be considered office appropriate and keeps bumps at bay.
- Change shaving techniques. If you must use a razor, use a single-edged razor and shave in the direction your hair grows. Remember, “Go with the grain!
- Do not repeatedly shave the same area, this worsens the case. Do not stretch or pull skin while shaving.
- Always Shave while your hair is wet and use a moisturizing shaving cream or gel. Softening and hydrating the hair allows the razor to cut the hair cleanly with less force causing less irritation and reducing irregularly cut hairs that are prone to becoming ingrown.
- Shave at least every 3 days to reduce the time hairs have to grow and curl back into the skin.
So what if you still have bumbs? People ask this question every now and then. Not to worry
Here are some remedies to keep you cool and office ready. There are many home remedies that claim to get rid of ingrown hairs if they do occur, but some are more eﬀective than others. Here are eight of the best remedies to help reduce razor bumps.
- ALOE VERA
Aloe Vera is a traditional remedy for helping soothe irritated skin. If you have an Aloe Vera plant at home, then snip oﬀ the tip of a leaf and squeeze the gel inside directly onto the skin to get rid of razor burn. You can also buy Aloe Vera gel, but be careful to choose a brand that contains no artiﬁcial colors or fragrances. One step further – choose a shave cream that contains Aloe Vera that provides the soothing beneﬁts like our own Bevel Shave Cream (check it out?
- HOT COMPRESS
You can make a hot compress by soaking cotton wool in hot water and pressing it gently against your skin. The heat opens up your pores, allowing the trapped hair to become free. This method is also very effective.
- HYDROCORTISONE CREAM
Hydrocortisone cream has an anti-inﬂammatory eﬀect similar to that of witch hazel, but is much stronger. It is sold in most pharmacies as a treatment for swollen and irritated skin. Apply a small amount of cream to help reduce razor bumps.
- LEMON JUICE
Lemon juice is naturally acidic and so helps to stop bacteria from colonizing ingrown hair follicles. Apply lemon juice to razor burn to help reduce redness and prevent infection.
A treatment that works naturally, but may sound strange at first, is using honey on the areas of your skin affected by razor bumps. Honey is actually an excellent antiseptic and will also hydrate your skin. Apply the honey to your problem area and let it sit for about five minutes, then wash your face with water and pat dry. Bee honey is also good for removing dark circles under your eyes. This nice one-two from the honey will help relieve the symptoms of the razor burn while eliminating the bacteria slowing down the healing process.
- Baby Powder
Baby powder can be used as a substitute for an aftershave and works great on sensitive areas. Sprinkle small amounts of baby powder onto the problem area and gently rub it around. This will cool the area and soothe any irritation you are suffering from. Baby powder works great in this way due to its cooling properties and ability to calm inflammation. Baby powder also smells great and will leave your skin feeling soft.
If you are having a problem but the area is much too sensitive for vinegar, try baby powder as an easy and gentle solution.
- Baking Soda
Another simple home remedy found to relieve razor burn fast is using baking soda and water. Baking soda fights against all kinds of itching symptoms and has anti- inflammatory effects that help with other symptoms caused by everything from allergies to bug bites.
Take a bowl of water and add baking soda until you have a paste-like consistency that you can work with. Spread this mixture over the affected area. Baking soda will relieve the itching and pain that accompanies the rash.
A common rule is to mix three parts water with one part baking powder and apply the mixture using your finger or a cotton swab. Let it stay on the skin for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off and pat drying.
Cucumbers are used in a variety of ways to help the skin heal. You can simply take a slice of cucumber and rub it gently over the problem area for a few minutes; this should hydrate and soothe the area. Chill the cucumber in the freezer for a few minutes for an added soothing effect.
You can also make a makeshift cream with cucumbers and milk. Smash or dice the cucumber and mix it with the milk. Apply this creation to your razor burn and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.
- PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
The best way to get rid of razor bumps for good is to change the way you shave. You need to use the correct shaving cream and after shave oil to prevent irritation as well as the correct razor to get the cleanest shave without cutting into your skin. For an example of the kind of high-quality shaving products you should be using to care for your skin.
What do you think about these remedies, share your experience if you have tried any of them.