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How To Deal With Razor Bumps?

4 Aug

Razor bumps, popularly known as barber’s itch are a very common skin condition that occurs due to shaving. Razor bumps, medically termed as pseudofolliculitis barbae, is a condition, where after the shave the hair begins to grow back and the curly hair starts curling into the skin instead of coming out of the follicle straight, leading to the itchy and irritated skin.

There are tiny red bumps developed on the skin, causing painful pimples and irritation, also resulting as scars in some cases. Razor bumps are most problematic for people with tightly curling thick hair. The razor bumps can also be caused due to clogging of pores. The clogged pores can prevent the exit of the hair through the follicle and cause the in-growth of the hair.

Although, man’s face is the most commonly affected area of razor bumps, it can also occur in women and in any other body part, where the hair is plucked or shaved. Especially, where the skin is sensitive and hair is curly such as; genital areas, chest or legs. A close shave is most likely to result into the razor bump as closely shaven hair has sharp edges that penetrate into the skin. Here are some of the effective ways answer the question-how to deal with razor bumps.

 Razor bumps can be divided into two major categories:

Transfollicular: Also known as ingrown hair, transfollicular in a condition, where the hair cannot get through the follicle opening and turns back while keep growing inside the tiny follicle, causing inflamed, red and swollen skin.

Extra follicular: Slightly easier to prevent than transfollicular, extra follicular hair grows sideways under the skin and is visible as a thin line. This condition occurs normally when the follicle is distorted and damaged.

How to prevent, sooth or heal razor bumps?

Keep the face clean & change your shaving habits: Correct shaving method is the easiest and best way to avoid and prevent razor bumps. Make sure you face is clean before shaving. Soften the hair by washing the face or the area to be shaved with warm water. Use a sharp blade to shave.

The most important and correct method of shaving is with the grain, which is in the direction of the hair growth. Close shave against the direction of the hair growth is most likely to result into the razor bumps. Do not press the blade too hard on the skin or do not make repeated strokes as it will cause irritation to the skin. Wash your face with cold water and clean it thoroughly to avoid clogging of pores that may also result into razor bumps. Don’t forget to apply aftershave treatment to sooth the skin after a shave. Exfoliate the face on regular basis to avoid clogging of pores due to dirt, sweat or pollution.

Aloe: If you already have razor bumps, Aloe is an effective and time tested way to sooth or heal the razor bumps and get rid of them. Aloe is a genus containing approximately 500 species of flowering succulent plants. The most popular and effective of these plants is Aloe Vera. Aloe not only acts as the healing agent; but is also very effective to sooth the pain, irritation, burning and inflammation of the skin. Some species of Aloe especially Aloe Vera is very popularly and commonly used in herbal or alternative medicines.

The history of Aloe Vera being used as herbal healing and soothing agent is dated back to the Middle Ages, where Greeks and Romans used Aloe Vera to treat wounds. Aloe works wonders with the razor bumps as well. Apply an Aloe based cream on the affected area to get relief from the discomfort and also for the quick healing.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E oil is also a popular and effective way to sooth the razor bumps. Application of vitamin E oil after shaving can also prevent the occurrence of razor bumps. Vitamin E was first used as a therapeutic agent in 1938 and since then it is widely used as an antioxidant. Antioxidant also helps to keep the pores opened to prevent the razor bumps.

Lavender Oil: Lavender oil is used therapeutically in alternative medicine as a pain reliever or antiseptic for minor burns and injuries. Lavender oil has been used as a herb and natural perfume agent for more than 2500 years. Lavender oil was widely used by Arabs, Egyptians, Roman, Indians and Phoenicians. Lavender oil was also popular in Medieval Europe. Lavender oil is also effective in soothing razor bumps.

Tea Tree Essential Oil: The first usage of tea tree oil was traced in Eastern Australia, where the indigenous Bundjalung people used tea trees for the traditional medicines. The popularity of tea tree for its therapeutic elements grew during the 1920s. Today, the scientific studies have proved the beneficial medicinal properties of tea tree in topical (on body surface or skin) application. Tea tree oil is beneficial with antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Tea tree oil is also popular for its beneficial cosmetic properties. Application of tea tree oil in razor bumps not only sooths the inflammation and irritation; but also helps the razor bump to heal faster, while preventing any kind of scar on the skin. A tea tree based cream is certainly most beneficial in razor bump condition of the skin.

Glycolic Acid: Glycolic acid has been known for its capability to improve the texture and appearance, while improving the skin conditions such as; acne scarring or hyper pigmentation. In severe and aggravated cases of razor bumps, glycolic acid works wonders while preventing the scar on the skin. Clinical trials have proved the glycolic acid-based peels to be an effective and well-tolerated therapy, resulting into the significantly lesser number of lesions due to razor bumps on the face and neck. Glycolic acid is also said to reduce the amount of sulfhydrylbonds in the hair shaft, resulting into the straighter hair growth, thus reducing the chances of re-entry of the hair shaft into the follicular wall or epidermis. Glycolic acid also exfoliates the skin to avoid any clogging of pores to cause razor bumps. It also sooths the skin to prevent the reoccurrence of the razor bumps.

Usage of a cream containing the most effective, soothing and healing agents namely, tea tree oil, lavender oil and glycolic acid is the best way to deal with the razor bumps. 

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2 Responses to “How To Deal With Razor Bumps?”

  1. Smelby October 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    I have done alot of the things suggested on this site but the thing that helped the most is a product from SwedishSkinCare.com called Razor Burn Freedom. Just Try It!

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