Skin Health

Avoiding Razor Bumps

There are many ways to get rid of unwanted facial and body hair, but shaving with a razor is one of the most common and inexpensive methods. Unfortunately, using a razor sometimes can lead to razor bumps, also called shaving bumps.

“If you’ve ever shaved, you probably know how razor bumps feel,” says board-certified dermatologist Cameron K. Rokhsar MD, FAAD, who is in private practice in New York. “These painful or itchy bumps are caused when shaving irritates the skin,” he says in a news release from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

The good news is that changing your habits when shaving can help prevent razor bumps from developing or cause fewer, less painful bumps.”

To prevent razor bumps, Rokhsar recommends the following:

Grow your hair. If you have the option, stop shaving and grow out your hair, which will eliminate the cause of your razor bumps.

Figure out the direction your hair grows. Shaving “against the grain” causes irritation. To find out which direction your facial hair grows, tightly pull the skin where your hair grows while looking in a mirror. If your hair grows in different directions, you can train it to grow in one direction by gently brushing the area with a toothbrush daily.

Shave when your hair is soft. Shaving at the end of your shower or holding a warm, damp washcloth to the area you’d like to shave loosens the hairs and causes them to swell, so they’re less likely to curve into your skin and cause bumps.

Shave more often. Shaving daily, or at least every 2-3 days, gives hair less time to grow and curve.

Replace your disposable razor after 5-7 shaves and store it in a dry place. If you use an electric razor, clean it every 5-7 shaves.

“Razor bumps can create permanent changes to your skin when left untreated, like deep grooves and raised scars,” Rokhsar says. “If you still get razor bumps after changing your shaving habits, see a board-certified dermatologist to get relief.”

To find a board-certified dermatologist in your area, click here.

you may also like

Recipes We