Ever experience having redness and a burning feeling on your skin after you shave? Or maybe developing pimple-like bumps on your skin? Perhaps you have experienced having razor burns or razor bumps before, but you don’t know what it is. That is why in this article, we are going to help you determine the both of them and give you some tips on how to avoid and treat them.
What is a Razor Burn?
Razor burn is a kind of skin irritation that happens when you shave, which is why if you shave regularly, chances are you’ve probably experienced it at least once. More often than not, a razor burn is only temporary irritation, which generally disappears a few minutes after you shave. However, sometimes razor burn can be more than just a little rash and can probably stick around for days, it depends on the skin’s sensitivity. A razor burn usually occurs to people that have sensitive skin. But, it can also be an effect of improper shaving such as shaving over the same area too many times or if you use a razor that is old and dull. Razor burns don’t just happen to people who shave their face, it can also occur to those people who shave their legs, pubic area, and armpits.
Razor burns are caused by shaving blades to shear skin cells and the hairs. Removing these surface skin cells typically won’t cause bleeding. Still, our body does react to this by increasing the blood flow to the area, which in turn can cause redness and inflammation.
How Can You Tell if You Have Razor Burns?
As we mentioned, razor burns can affect any part of the body that you shave, this includes the face, legs, underarms, and even the pubic area. You can identify if you have razor burns if you develop these symptoms after you shave:
- burning sensation
- small red bumps
What Causes Razor Burns?
You can have a razor burn for several different reasons. There isn’t any specific thing like the type of razor or shaving lubricant that you should avoid.
These following scenario can often lead to developing razor burns:
- If you shave using an old razor If you use a razor that is clogged with shaving cream, hair, or soap
- If you shave over a single spot several times
- If you shave too quickly
- If you are using products that irritate your skin
- If you shave without using any lubricant such as shaving cream, soap, or water
- If you shave on the opposite direction of your hair
It would be best if you remembered that a razor is a tool that you should maintain. It would be best if you replaced them as needed. Also, remember that it doesn’t matter if you’re using the right lubricant and if you’re shaving in the correct direction, if you have a dull or clogged blade, you have a high chance of developing a razor burn.
What is the Difference Between a Razor Burn and a Razor Bump?
Although the terms are somewhat synonymous, razor burn and razor bumps are considered two different situations. A razor burn often happens after you shave while razor bumps are caused by shaved hairs growing back, which becomes ingrown hair.
These ingrown hairs might look like raised bumps or acne. This happens when you remove your hair by shaving, waxing, or tweezing. When your hair grows back, it will tend to curl into your skin instead of away from your skin.
Just like razor burns, razor bumps can also have symptoms such as a red rash, inflammation, and tenderness.Razor bumps often occur to people who have curly hair, this is because their hair is more likely to curl back into their skin. There is a severe type of razor bumps, which is called pseudofolliculitis barbae. This condition often occurs in about 60 percent of African American men and in other people who have curly hair. In some difficult situations, this condition may need a piece of advice and treatment from a doctor.
How Can You Treat Razor Burns and Razor Bumps?
Treating razor burns and razor bumps are just as simple as waiting it out. But if symptoms are too annoying and irritating, you can try to use gentle methods or remedies to reduce your symptoms. However, it would help if you remembered to avoid shaving the affected area again so that the razor bumps or burns could heal properly.
Soothing itching or heat: If you’re getting uncomfortable with all the itching and heat, you can try and apply a cold washcloth to the affected skin to calm your skin. You can also use aloe vera or avocado oil because they have cooling effects, and they can be safely applied directly to the surface.
Relieving irritation and dryness: If symptoms such as dryness and irritation start appearing, you should rinse your skin and pat it dry with a clean towel. Remember not to rub the affected area because this can further irritate your skin. Once the skin is patted dry, you can apply emollient such as an aftershave, lotion, or other moisturizers. Keep in mind that you should not use products with alcohol because they can irritate your skin even further. If you want a natural and organic way to moisturize your skin, then we suggest that you use coconut oil to help hydrate your skin.
Reducing inflammation: To treat inflammation, you try using home remedies or over-the-counter options such as apple cider vinegar, water, equal parts tea tree oil or witch hazel extract or try having an oatmeal bath for 20 minutes. You can also try applying a topical cream that contains hydrocortisone. This ingredient can help reduce any swelling and redness on the skin.
Treating small bumps: If you are experiencing razor bumps, we suggest that you should avoid shaving the affected area until the sores and bumps heal. Keep in mind that it may take up to three to four weeks before they completely heal. But while you’re waiting it out, you can apply a topical cream like cortisone if there are any related inflammation.
If you notice that the razor bumps are starting to have signs of infection, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. Signs of infection often include pustules and welts.