Shaving can become a painful hassle, especially if It becomes a daily ritual. The worst part of the shave, well apart from the occasional nick, is the bumps. The nasty bumps are not only unattractive but can be irritating, itchy and painful. They are annoying on the legs and torture on the bikini line! The need to run to a restroom and scratch is real when you have the bumps. However, you can say bye to all the redness, itchiness and pain.
Why do you get razor bumps?
Before knowing how to prevent and treat them, find out how they happen. The razor bumps form when hair gets nicked or when it curls under the skin causing inflammation. They mostly occur on skin parts that fold like the underarms. This is because they experience some skin on skin contact plus the area has lots of moisture. Sometimes the bumps happen in areas where your hair grows thicker like the neck, face, underarms and bikini area. The thick hairs lead to more oil production and cause more irritation. The result is infection and inflammation. Those whose hair is sensitive, coarse and have darker skin also tend to get bumps more.
How to get rid of the annoying razor bumps
Sometimes it pays to wait it out. Give the bumps time to go away. Do not shave the affected area until they heal or until they go away. Shave less often like once or twice a week.
You can also apply a cold compress to the area. Find a clean wet washcloth and gently place it on the area for a few minutes. The cold compress reduces pain or redness caused by the razor. It also soothes your skin.
Pat, the area, dry after this and moisturize. An alcohol-free moisturizer hydrates the area, softens and protects the skin. It prevents itching and irritations. You can also use one with shea butter or Aloe Vera. They help hydrate and smoothen the skin.
If your skin has any reaction to any of these products, stop using them. It could lead to blockage of your hair follicles leading to ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs grow out, curl, and penetrate the skin. They cause pimple-like bumps, inflammation, itching, and irritation. You can prevent the ingrown bumps by exfoliating before shaving. It helps remove dead skin and prevents the ingrown hairs for embedding. Remember not to try and use tweezers or a needle to remove the ingrown hairs. You could get a bacterial infection.
There are also some home remedies you can use to soothe the razor bumps. Do a patch test before using any of them. Patch tests make sure your skin does not react to any of the products. Spread a thin layer of the products, let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse off using cold water. The home remedies include: Two uncoated aspiring tablets plus a teaspoon of water mixture, Aloe vera, Witch hazel, Coconut oil, and Tea tree oil.
You can also use a topical cream if the area takes time to heal. Using a hydrocortisone cream reduces inflammation. If these remedies do not work, visit a doctor for an antibiotic and stronger steroid to treat the infection.
Preventing the razor bump
Start by changing the razor you are currently using. Make sure it’s sharp and clean all the time. Use a single blade. Avoid the multiblade as they traumatize the skin.
Ensure you don’t get bumps by exfoliating the skin first before a shave. Wash the part first to soften the hairs, then lubricate the area using a cream or oil. Shave with the grain or in the direction that hair is growing. Shave in a steamy shower, and do not leave the razor in the shower to prevent dampness that leads to bacteria. Also, don’t shave in a hurry. Take your time and be gentle with your skin.
If you still get razor bumps after taking precautions, then maybe it’s time to seek alternative methods like laser hair removal or waxing.