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How do I Treat Razor Burn Bumps?

By J. Beam
Updated May 17, 2024
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Razor burn bumps are those annoying, and often painful, irritated red bumps that appear after shaving. The bumps are the result of newly cut hair curling back into the hair follicle. This can sometimes lead to ingrown hairs if the hair doesn’t resurface through the follicle and may even lead to infection. The best treatment for razor burn bumps is prevention, but there are some things you can do to minimize irritation, pain, and the appearance of razor burn.

There are three common products that can be used as treatment and prevention of razor burn bumps. One is hydrocortisone cream. After shaving, apply a small amount of hydrocortisone cream to the area. This will reduce redness and irritation by reducing swelling and the flow of blood in the tiny blood vessels of the skin. Glycolic acid is another ingredient found in many shaving gels and moisturizers. It is a natural way to rid the skin of dead cells that may lodge in pores and hair follicles and cause further irritation. The last product, aloe, is available in tons of moisturizing products, aftershave creams and gels, and as a basic first aid ointment. Aloe is soothing to the skin and a natural remedy for burns and stings.

Aside from these easy to find products, there are other simple remedies and preventions for razor burn bumps. Apply a warm compress to skin before shaving, or shave in the shower. Warm water and steam will soften both the skin and the hair follicle. Apply a moisturizing shave cream or gel designed for sensitive skin rather than shaving with soap. Use a sharp razor each time you shave and shave with the direction of hair growth, not against it. When you finish, apply a cold compress to the skin to calm and close pores before applying after shave products. Avoid products that contain alcohol as they can further irritate the skin and cause stinging and burning.

If irritation is severe or signs of infection appear, you may need to quit shaving until the skin heals. If it is possible to avoid shaving for a period of three to four weeks, skin will be given a chance to heal completely and will reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs and further irritation. During a shaving hiatus, practice good skin care, including regular cleaning, exfoliation, and moisturizing to help prepare skin for shaving once more.

In the event that razor burn bumps appear to be infected or result in areas of skin that do not heal properly, you might want to apply a topical acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide or another antibiotic cream to the affected area. If signs of infection persist, you should see a dermatologist or physician as staphylococcus bacteria may be present.

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