Razor bumps are small, raised areas on the skin’s surface that often show up after shaving. They affect both men and women, most often on the face, neck, or pubic area. Also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, these irritated areas develop when the hair curls back into the skin. Treatment and prevention consists of creams, cortisone injections, and antiseptic agents. Permanently removing the hair using laser treatments is another option.
Razor bumps are referred to as that because they are often a result of shaving, waxing, or plucking the hair. They can occur anywhere on the body where the hair is removed with these methods. When the hair is cut, it falls back below the surface and the end begins to grow into the skin. Curly, dark hair may make an individual more likely to develop razor bumps.
Encouraging the pores to open before shaving can help prevent or reduce the appearance of razor bumps. Use hot water to open pores and soften hairs by taking a shower or placing a washcloth with warm water on the face. Shave in the direction the hair grows to prevent irritation. Thick shaving gel protects the skin and applying moisturizing lotion afterward soothes it.
If the razor bumps, or ingrown hairs, are not treated, the area may become infected. They may be painful and large, and cause scarring when the bump erupts and drains. Shaving quickly, roughly, or too close to the skin are common causes. Dull blades also increase the likelihood of irritation.
Be sure to consult with Dr. Zizmor for a customized skin treatment plan.