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Razor Bumps: Causes, Prevention and Treatments

tips to avoid razor bumps
Posted date on Mar 18, 2024

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae also known as Razor bumps is one of the commonest skin conditions seen in men who start shaving.  There are multiple myths about the condition and treatments.

Let’s try to understand what Razor bumps are.

These are red raised lesions and can sometimes be filled with pus. This rash of small bumpy lesions on the face is also known as Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB). Though face is the commonest site, this can also be present in other shaved areas like the pubic region and underarms.

what are razor bumps

When the hair is shaved very close to the skin, it develops a sharp tip that can grow and curve downward and enter the upper layer of the skin. Penetration can be intrafollicular (piercing the skin surface) or transfollicular (Retract beneath skin surface and pierce follicular epithelium). 

This leads to a foreign body reaction. Also the injured follicles become highly susceptible to infection and can lead to folliculitis barbae.

Having understood what causes pseudofolliculitis barbae, let’s try to understand how can we prevent these

  • Wash the beard with warm water and use a shaving cream. Always avoid dry shaving 

  • Avoid very close shaves.

  • Single blade razors work better than double or triple razors as first blade can pull out the hair and second blade cuts it and makes it susceptible for penetration

  • Harder the beard the longer one should leave the shaving product on to allows hair to soften

  • Always have in the direction of hair growth and use short strokes without stretching the skin

  • After shaving, rinse the beard area well and dry with a clean towel 

  • Maintain good razor hygiene and change razor blades frequently

In case you develop it, what are the treatment options?  

preventing razor bumps

Well as they say, prevention is the best cure and also the easiest. However, if you develop this frequently, it is advisable to stop shaving for some time. This will help hair above skin to act as a lever and pull the ingrown hair out. Warm water compresses will help ease the pain and irritation. Consult with your dermatologist to see if you would need topical antibiotics or any other treatment. 

razor bump treatments

Laser hair removal is also a good option for treating ingrown hair. However, permanent reduction may not be a practical treatment option for most males especially on the face. 

Discuss the available treatment options and pick the one which is most suited and practical. Recurrence should be avoided as it can lead to permanent scarring.

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