Razor bumps and razor burns are often used interchangeably, but they are different skin conditions. Razor burns can cause itchy rashes, tenderness, and redness. Razor bumps, on the other hand, are ingrown hairs due to cut hair strands that twist back into the skin and grow underneath the surface. This can cause red or skin-colored bumps that look like pimples.
The razor that you use, the way you shave, and even your skin type can cause razor bumps and burns. Shaving dry skin using a manual razor and using a dull razor blade can increase the chances of developing razor bumps and burns. Aside from those, if your skin is naturally sensitive, you are also more prone to develop skin irritation when you shave.
If you often experience razor bumps and burns whenever you shave, and you are looking for ways on how to prevent and treat them, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are giving you tips on how to avoid and treat razor bumps and burns.
How to Prevent Razor Bumps and Burns
Before we give you the treatments you can try for razor bumps and burns, we are first giving you tips on how you can prevent them.
- Exfoliate your skin before shaving.
One of the things you can do to prevent razor bumps and burns us to exfoliate your skin first. This can help prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs by removing dead skin from the surface. To exfoliate your skin, you can use a loofah or a gentle scrub to gently scrub your skin before shaving.
- Use a sharp razor blade when shaving.
Using a sharp razor blade when shaving can protect your skin from razor bumps, burns, and nicks. If the razor blade feels rough on your skin or it pulls your body hair, then those can be signs that it’s time to replace your blade.
- Make sure that your skin is hydrated before your shave.
When you shave dry skin, it can increase irritation. Therefore, before you shave, soak the area you plan to shave for three to five minutes in warm water during a bath or shower. Then apply some shaving gel to maintain moisture while you shave.
- Pick the right razor.
To prevent razor bumps and burns, it’s better to choose a razor that has three or more blades. It’s because the blades are spaced more tightly together on the razor head, meaning it can glide easier across your skin. Aside from that, more blades will also allow a closer shave in fewer strokes, preventing irritation.
- Shave in the direction of your hair growth.
If you have sensitive skin, it’s better to shave only in the direction of your hair growth to prevent irritation. Take your time in shaving and do it lightly with steady strokes. It’s also great if you can learn more about how to shave each area of your body to reduce the chances of getting razor rashes and bumps.
- Moisturize your skin after shaving.
After shaving, it’s great to apply an oil or a moisturizing lotion to preserve moisture and as well as add an extra layer of protection from razor burn and bumps. When choosing a moisturizer, pick an alcohol-free one.
How to Treat Razor Bumps and Burns
If you couldn’t prevent having razor bumps and burns after shaving, then don’t worry because there are lots of things you can do to treat them. Here are some of the best tips we can recommend.
Treating Razor Bumps
Razor bumps can range in size, and they can either have a red or white pus-filled bump. Nothing can really make razor bumps go away instantly, but there are some ways you can try that can help in removing them faster, and as well as allow the skin to heal. Here are some of the strategies you can do.
If the ingrown hair is visible on the razor bump, it can help if you use sterile, pointed tweezers to pull it out. When you remove the trapped hair, it can help in getting rid of the razor bump fast. Before tweezing, you need to sterile the tweezers with alcohol and clean your hands and skin using soap and water.
However, if the hair is not visible on the surface of the skin, using tweezers could make it worse. It can only injure the skin and cause more irritation or infection. Also, do not try to pick or squeeze the bumps because they could get worse or can cause scarring.
- Use Scrubs Cautiously
A mechanical or physical scrub can also help in removing dead skin cells that plug the pores and keep the hairs trapped inside. These scrubs usually contain sugar, salt, or tiny beads. They can remove debris and free the ingrown hairs by sloughing off dead skin cells physically.
However, some people might have a skin reaction to the rough texture of scrubs, most especially those who have sensitive or inflamed skin. Therefore, if your skin is sensitive, red, or irritated, use scrubs with caution. Here are some of the scrubs you can try:
- GiGi No Bump Body Scrub for Ingrown Hair and Razor Bumps
- Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub Ultra Hydrating and Exfoliating Scrub
- Neutrogena Men Exfoliating Razor Defense Face Scrub
Use Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid can help in exfoliating and peeling skin cells. It can penetrate oil glands in your skin to unclog pores and fight inflammation at the same time. It works to alleviate razor bumps and remove dead skin cells. With this, the ingrown hair will make its way out of the pore. Aside from that, salicylic acid can also help in reducing the appearance of the bump.
There are many products that contain salicylic acid, and they are available in drugstores and even online. Here are some that you might want to try:
- LAVO Tea Tree Gel with Salicylic Acid for Razor Bumps
- Paula’s Choice Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant
- Solimo Salicylic Acid Body Wash
- CeraVe Renewing Salicylic Acid Body Cream for Rough and Bumpy Skin
Brush Your Skin Gently
Using a soft brush is another way to remove dead skin cells and debris that are clogging the pores in the areas where you shave. You can use a skincare brush to do this. Brushing your skin can help guide the hair out of the clogged pore, preventing it from getting trapped underneath. Brushing the affected area daily can help in removing the razor bumps and as well as prevent new ones from forming.
- Apply a Warm Washcloth on Your Skin
You can also apply a warm washcloth on your skin to help soften it and draw out the ingrown hair. You can also try steaming the area in a sauna or hot shower. Then pair this technique with any of the other treatments we shared above.
Treating Razor Burns
Razor burns are patches of inflamed skin that is a result of shaving fast. They can occur anywhere you shave, including your legs, face, and underarms. If you are tormented by razor burns every after shaving, then here are the ways you can do to soothe your skin and reduce the risk of getting it again.
- Apply Aloe Vera on the Affected Area
Aloe Vera can soothe and heal burns. In fact, it can help in healing first and second-degree burns. If you are treating your razor burns with Aloe Vera, you can simply apply a thin layer of pure Aloe Vera gel on the affected area. You can harvest it from an aloe plant or purchase ready-made gels from pharmacies and as well as online.
- Use Coconut Oil
Aside from Aloe Vera, you can also use coconut oil on your skin. Based on a study, it is safe and effective when it comes to healing burns. Researchers believe that coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. You just need to apply a thin layer of organic, expeller-pressed coconut oil to the area with razor burns.
- Make a Baking Soda Paste
Since baking soda has a cooling effect on the skin, it can also help in alleviating razor burns. You just need to add some baking soda to filtered water until you form a thick paste. Then, apply the baking soda paste on your skin and leave it on until it dries. After that, rinse it thoroughly.
- Use Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is known to be a natural astringent and anti-inflammatory due to its tannin content. It is commonly used to soothe pain, burns, and minor skin irritation. Therefore, you can also apply it to your skin that has razor burns. Use a cotton pad and apply witch hazel to the area affected as needed.
- Try a Colloidal Oatmeal Bath
Colloidal oatmeal is the result of grinding oats into a fine powder. According to research, colloidal oats contain phenols that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it can help in soothing, cleansing, and moisturizing the skin, making it effective for razor burn relief. You just need to soak in a colloidal oatmeal bath once every day for 10 to 15 minutes.
These are the best ways on how you can treat and prevent razor bumps and burns. Remember that prevention is always better than cure. That’s why to prevent experiencing razor bumps and burns, the best way is to change the way you shave. And use high-quality shaving products as well to keep your skin smooth and flawless. We hope the tips we shared will help you in getting rid of razor bumps and burns, and as well as avoiding them in the future.