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Top tips to prevent and treat razor bumps

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

tips to prevent treat razor bumps

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  • Razor bumps, triggered by ingrown hairs, may be treated at home using strategies to reduce the irritation, such as allowing the area to grow out, stopping scratching and wearing loose clothing to avoid friction. Using an exfoliating cream with salicylic acid or glycolic acid, or a soft brush may help release the hair and remove the bump
  • Razor bumps are also called pseudofolliculitis barbae. You may reduce the number you get by exfoliating dead skin before shaving and preparing the skin by wetting it and using a lubricating lotion or gel; consider an electric razor since a close shave with a razor blade increases your risk
  • Razors are meant for shaving with the grain of your hair growth, not against it. Do not stretch the skin and be sure to use the fewest number of strokes possible to reduce irritation
  • Razor bumps may be annoying and uncomfortable but they often resolve on their own; recognize infection early, looking for signs such as increased redness, pain and pus. Mild cases may be treated at home with warm compresses several times daily and an antiseptic solution

As the summer months are upon us in the U.S., more people are shaving bikini lines, legs and chests to get ready for swimsuit season. Increased shaving activity, friction and curly hair are all factors increasing the risk of pseudofolliculitis barbae, commonly known as razor bumps, ingrown hairs or shaving bumps.

This common skin condition usually happens with shaving and is an inflammatory response triggered by hair being trapped beneath the skin. The condition is most noticeable around the beard and neck area but may occur anywhere hair is shaved or tweezed, including the underarms, pubic area, face and legs.

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