Are you plagued by the horrid itchiness and irritation of razor bumps? This skin problem can put a dampener on a good, clean shave and leave you desperate for an instant solution. If razor bumps have already reared their unpleasant heads, take heart! Some gentle home remedies may be just what you need to fight the inflammation. You can also prevent a lot of the damage by just changing how you shave.
What Are Razor Bumps?
Razor bumps, razor burn, or pseudofolliculitis barbae causes your skin to become irritated when hair penetrates the skin while exiting the follicle or because it curves back and re-enters the skin. Your body sees it as a foreign object and reacts accordingly, becoming inflamed. This tends to happen more often to those who use a razor to shave off their hair. And that’s because shaving hair leaves it sharp enough to penetrate the skin again.
Some of the symptoms associated with razor bumps or burn include1:
- Sore, itchy skin
- Raised bumps
- Pus-filled spots
- Bleeding when you shave – infected bumps get cut easily and can spread the infection as well
- A condition called sycosis barbae in certain cases, causing large, swollen boils that are red and discharge pus
Who Gets Razor Bumps?
This inflammation could, in fact, happen to anyone who uses a razor to trim their hair, though razor bumps are more common in black men who have beards. In fact, as many as 60 percent of African Americans face this issue. Those with curly hair too often face this complaint.2 It also occurs frequently in those who have sinusitis or hay fever or who are prone to nasal discharge.3
If you’re looking for ways to get rid of razor bumps on your bikini line or bikini area, you are not alone – women experience female razor burn just as much as men. The solutions that follow will rid you of razor bumps on the face, under your chin, on your neck, plus other areas like down there. Just remember, when it doesn’t occur in the beard area, razor bumps or burn is simply called folliculitis.
Get Rid Of Razor Bumps: Natural Remedies To Try At Home
Use these tips and tricks to prevent razor bumps or to treat the problem once it crops up.
1. Apply A Hot Compress
A warm compress with a clean warm wet towel or cloth held to the affected area is a good natural remedy for razor bumps. Doing this opens up your pores, allowing hair that’s trapped inside to potentially come out, easing the problem of ingrown hairs.4
2. Exfoliate With A Natural Papaya Scrub
If you have pustules or inflamed skin due to razor burn, you should avoid using any harsh or chemical-based exfoliants on your skin.5 Exfoliating with a natural scrub can help slough off dead skin cells and ease the problem of ingrown hairs. Combine papaya with yogurt and oatmeal for a scrub that’s gentle on the skin.6 Raw papaya is also a good skin remedy, helping to cut inflammation and removing dead skin from the surface.7
3. Moisturize With Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil has antibacterial properties besides having an emollient or moisturizing effect on your skin. Research has shown that these properties make it an effective treatment against atopic dermatitis, another inflammatory skin condition.8 Moisturizing your skin with virgin coconut oil can help soften and soothe the skin and make it easier to shave.
4. Treat Razor Bumps With Aloe Vera
People with acne are prone to razor bumps. Use aloe vera cream after you shave to reduce redness. Aloe vera is again antibacterial and very cooling and soothing to inflamed skin. It can also heal those bumps. The plain gel can be used on its own for the swelling or redness.9
5. Use Natural Disinfectants Turmeric And Neem
Ayurveda has long used neem and turmeric for their antibacterial properties. One research study found that using a remedy that combined neem and turmeric helped 50 percent of cases of folliculitis to go away in just two weeks of treatment.10
Home remedies suggest boiling neem leaves in water and applying this to the skin using a clean cotton ball. Alternatively, you could use a turmeric-based cream.
Also, add a pinch of turmeric to each of your meals; or drink a glass of water or milk with a spoon of turmeric stirred in daily for a cleanse that cuts inflammation overall.
6. Try Garlic
Garlic or allium sativum is a known antimicrobial and antifungal/antibacterial agent. It is also anti-inflammatory, making it a good remedy for a range of skin problems. The organosulfur compounds in garlic can help inhibit bacterial growth. 11 And that’s why consuming a few cloves of raw garlic every day or adding some grated into your food may not be a bad idea if you want to cure razor bumps.
Shave Right To Treat Razor Bumps
Pay attention to your shaving technique to tackle razor burn naturally and to even prevent it from rearing its head in the first place.12
1. Stop Shaving Or Reduce Frequency
Allow the hair to grow out so that the skin can settle. Avoid shaving for as long as 3 to 4 weeks or until the lesion go away. You can also try cutting down on how often you shave so that the hair is a little longer and can be cut properly when you shave, reducing chances of re-entry. For instance, shave alternate days instead of daily.
2. Soften Before You Shave
Soften the area you plan to shave before you shave it. A wet hot washcloth held to the region for about five minutes helps prepare it for shaving.
3. Use Lubricating Shaving Gels
Running your razor over dry skin can worsen the problem, so always use a lubricating shaving gel or a natural moisturizer like coconut oil.
4. Get The Technique Right
Always shave in the same direction as the hair growth. Don’t go against the grain. Never stretch your skin to shave. A single stroke should be adequate to clear each section.
5. Disinfect Your Razor Blade
Every time you use your blade, or even during a shave, keep rinsing it off with running hot water at high force so that anything stuck on the blades is washed away and the blade is as close to being sterile as possible.
6. Change Your Blade Often
Change your blade as soon as you feel it is getting dull. This may happen as soon as a few shaves for some people and 10 or more for others. You’ll have to watch carefully and change yours. The other benefit from changing the blade often is that you have a clean and brand new razor, one less likely to have bacteria or germs that can infect you.
|↑1||Folliculitis Barbae. British Association of Dermatologists.|
|↑2||Pseudofolliculitis Barbae. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.|
|↑3||Folliculitis Barbae. British Association of Dermatologists.|
|↑4||Shah, Nipa. “Hidradenitis suppurativa: a treatment challenge.” Am Fam Physician 72, no. 8 (2005): 1547-52.|
|↑5||Evaluate before you exfoliate. American Academy of Dermatology.|
|↑6||Tourles, Stephanie L. Herbal Remedies for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-222. Storey Publishing, 1999.|
|↑7, ↑9||Ravisankar, P., O. Sai Koushik, V. Himaja, J. Ramesh, and P. Pragna. “ACNE-CAUSES AND AMAZING REMEDIAL MEASURES FOR ACNE.” Journal of Pharm Research 5, no. 07 (2015).|
|↑8||Evangelista, Mara Therese Padilla, Flordeliz Abad‐Casintahan, and Lillian Lopez‐Villafuerte. “The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double‐blind, clinical trial.” International journal of dermatology 53, no. 1 (2014): 100-108.|
|↑10||Gosh, Sadhan Kumar. “A study on the role of Neem, Haldi, Sajina and Garlic oil (nutriderm oil) in pyoderma and infective dermatitis.” Indian Journal of Dermatology 40, no. 02 (1995): 73.|
|↑11||Wilson, Emily A., and Barbara Demmig-Adams. “Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties of garlic and onions.” Nutrition & food science 37, no. 3 (2007): 178-183.|
|↑12||Pseudofolliculitis Barbae. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.|