Razor bumps are one of the most aggravating and painful skin conditions caused by constant shaving. This complication can affect many people; the most predominant target is the African American population. This article will help you understand the real meaning of razor bumps while guiding you with several treatment methods.
Understanding razor bumps and their leading causes
Razor bumps are tiny or big raised spots that automatically show up on the skin after shaving the area. The proper technical term for this skin condition is called Pseudofolliculitis barbae or PFB. The ultimate culprit of its occurrence is shaving by using a razor. The bumps that everyone sees are ingrown hair trapped under the skin.
When people shave their hair, the tip of the hair becomes sharp. As it curls back, the hair penetrates the skin rather than growing in the opposite direction. This trapped hair follicle then can further lead to swelling and bumps that most people dread. People ignore the first signs of razor bumps by confusing them with razor burns. However, ignoring the bumps and continuing the same shaving cycle can lead to a more severe outbreak.
Why are they so often in African Americans?
The fundamental reason for razor burns in African Americans is their hair structure and type. People of African American lineage tend to possess hair that is predominantly wiry and curly. The hair structure is also very coarse, which is again the main culprit of getting bumps. After shaving, their hair creates little circular curly loops. These loops pierce through the skin and start growing under the skin.
Therefore, the only reason that contributes to the occurrence of bumps is their curly hair. According to recent research conducted by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, around 45 to 85% of African American males experience PFB throughout their lifetime. Razor bumps can also affect other POC or Caucasians who have incredibly curly hair. Since PFB is ultra-responsive in black males, it is quintessential to take care of the skin from the start.
Common symptoms of razor bumps
As mentioned earlier, most people confuse razor bumps with razor burns. To avoid this confusion, check our list of common symptoms. If your situation matches the following indications, it is safe to say that you are experiencing PFB.
- Raised area
- Red bumps
- Excruciating pain
- Skin darkening
- Blister-like pustules
- Solid bumps
How to treat them?
Treating razor bumps can be a tedious task as the condition takes a long time to heal. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from starting the treatment. With our expert solutions and tricks, you can resolve your PFB within no time. The first and foremost thing is to avoid shaving for 3 to 4 weeks until the bumps subside. After that, avoiding constant shaves can stop the irritation and damage while your skin recuperates. In addition, you can either follow the cream medication, other remedies or stick to natural healing remedies. We highly recommend following multiple treatments to attain the best result.
With the number of men facing razor bumps on the rise, the market is flooded with various cream solutions. We recommend trying the following cream treatments if you possess mild to moderate symptoms. For severe bumps and secondary infections, you can try multiple over-the-counter antifungals, tretinoin, and hydrocortisone creams. We strongly suggest visiting your dermatologist or doctor before starting any treatment.
This bump stopper aftershave treatment is excellent for men struggling with heavy razor bumps and pesky ingrown hair. The concentrated cream formula works effortlessly to reduce your spots while soothing them. In addition, the product is designed to be compatible with various shaving equipment like electric razors, manual razors, or depilatories.
- The product is relatively affordable.
- It provides heavy moisturization.
- It is ideal for different types of skin.
- The smell of the product is pungent and strong.
- The application can become quite messy.
This Kerah Lane razor bump treatment is an excellent choice for people who wish to heal their PFB without any harsh chemicals. Men with dry, oily, sensitive, or combination skin can apply this cream without side effects. The treatment also reduces redness, rashes, and small pimples.
- The treatment is suitable for dry, oily, sensitive, or combination skin.
- The entire product is vegan-friendly.
- All the ingredients are natural.
- The cream has a runny consistency.
The Lumanere Razor Bumps Solution comes with an ultra-easy applicator for reducing the peskiest razor bumps. The solution contains salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acid that works effortlessly to reduce your skin inflammation, spots, and ingrown hair. The treatment also guarantees to reduce redness and discoloration associated with sun damage and exfoliation.
- The cream comes with an easy roll-on applicator.
- A cruelty-free formula for a greener product.
- The treatment calms the skin, reduces discoloration and redness.
- The smell is extra perfume-based.
2. Other remedies
A. Simple salve
Men can make this simple saltwater salve to help soothe the bumps. To make this concoction, mix a teaspoon of salt with two small cups of warm water. Next, soak a clean cotton pad in the saltwater and apply in a dabbing motion.
Tweezing the hair is one of the oldest and most reliable tricks in the book. You can start by locating your ingrown hair. The next step is to sterilize your tweezer using an alcohol wipe and free the hair by puncturing a tiny hole in the skin. You should immediately stop picking your skin if it starts to irritate the area. You can use a needle if you are unable to get your hands on a tweezer. Finally, only pull out the hair that you can see underneath the skin. Be careful as digging deep can cause scars.
C. Skincare products
It will help if you start using skincare products that contain salicylic acid or glycolic acid. These acids help in healing your bumps at a rapid rate. Night creams containing these acids clear the dead skin cells and also pushes your ingrown hair to move back to the surface.
D. Dry brushing
If tweezing is a little too harsh for your skin, we recommend dry brushing. You can use any skincare brush or even a soft-bristled toothbrush to achieve the results. Move the soft-bristled brush in a circular motion to remove dead skin cells. This technique also works in untrapping the hair under the skin. In addition, daily brushing can help clear the current razor bumps while discouraging the new ones from forming.
E. Exfoliating scrubs
Same as dry brushing, an exfoliating scrub can scrub away your dead skin cells that are clogged in your pores. You can buy any mild exfoliating scrub available on the market or make a DIY mixture with sugar and oil. Almond or olive oil works the best to nourish and hydrate your skin. Apply the sugar mixture and rub it in deep, circular motions for a few minutes. Then, rinse with warm water to remove all the dead skin.
3. Natural remedies
A. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is universally known for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. This oil works efficiently to open your pores which ultimately loosens your ingrown hair. In addition, the essential oil reduces redness to a greater extent. You can mix 15-20 drops of tea tree oil with two cups of warm water. Soak a clean washcloth and apply over the bumps for a minimum of 20 minutes. You are free to repeat this process a few times a day.
B. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a naturally cooling agent that also possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties. You can opt to extract the gel from an aloe leaf for extra quick healing. Apply the gel generously over the area and let it dry. Reapply the aloe vera gel a few times till the inflammation stops.
What type of shaving is best for razor bumps?
While treatments are necessary, it is also essential to pay attention to the shaving process. We recommend switching to an electric shaver if you have PFB. You can follow these shaving dos and don’ts to avoid further inflammations and bumps.
- Avoid shaving the areas with bumps; you should wait for the spots to heal entirely before dragging your razor on that area.
- Try to follow a schedule where you shave every other day instead of daily. Doing this can improve your PFB to a greater extent.
- If you must use a blade, try to soften your beard with hot water before shaving. Hot water opens out pores that will cause lesser tugs and pulls while shaving. Use a decently lubricating shaving cream or gel.
- Do not shave against the grain, as it will pull and tug your skin. Try to shave with the grain to keep your bumps and skin safe. Use one stroke over a single patch to keep the skin less irritated.
- Using an electric shaver can help a lot as these shavers do not provide a close shave. Move the shaver gently without pressing much against the skin. You can also use a barber’s clipper with the extra guard to prevent a closer shave.
- Do not forget to wrap up your shaving routine by applying an aftershave that treats bumps.
Do razor bumps leave scars?
Yes, razor bumps can leave scars that can go under a semi-permanent status if handled without care. Scars are a common occurrence among people that have been suffering from razor bumps for a long time.
Continuous shaving can irritate your skin, and in response, your body produces collagen to repair the damaged skin. This step can sometimes direct to keloid scarring. Keloid scarring happens when collagen spreads further into the healthy tissues, thus leaving with a noticeable scar.
These scars are highly noticeable on African American skin and therefore are very difficult to hide.
Prevention of razor bumps
If your facial skin is prone to razor bumps, preventing it beforehand is your best bet. The easiest way to avoid bumps is by shaving less frequently or stopping the shaving sessions completely. If you cannot give up shaving, try switching to an electric razor. Always wet your beard and apply a generous layer of shaving cream before shaving.
Jump on the habit of exfoliating your skin almost regularly. As mentioned earlier, regular exfoliating can remove dead skin cells, dirt, dust, oils and loosens any trapped hair. Include products with glycolic or salicylic acids, retinoids, or benzoyl peroxides for follicle opening.
Alternative hair removal methods
We understand if you do not wish to continue shaving. Luckily, you can try various alternative hair removal methods to get the same results as shaving. Using hair removal creams or depilatories is a good option for men who want to achieve a clean shave. You can also brush up the cream in various patterns to create different beard shapes. Try to use mild hair removal creams if you are under the healing process.
Since these creams contain heavy chemicals, they can irritate your skin. Therefore, avoid using hair removal creams if your skin is sensitive, inflamed, or red. Another good option to get rid of your hair is permanent laser hair removal. You can get your hair removed via a professional within a few sittings. However, laser treatment requires multiple sessions and the results are relatively permanent, so consider going under the laser only if you are 100% sure of a clean shaved look.
This wraps our article featuring all the possible razor bump treatments. There is no need to worry, as razor bumps do not pose any significant health problems. However, the appearance of these bumps can lower one’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Generally, the treatments mentioned in this article works effortlessly to reduce the blemishes and ingrown hair, further completely nulling the issues. Proper practice of preventative measures can keep your skin safe and nip the problem in the bud. If the condition persists or the preventive adjustments don’t work, we highly recommend seeking professional help.