How To Prevent And Treat Razor Burn
Razor burn is a skin irritation that many people who shave experience. It can happen to any part of your body that you shave. It is usually defined by a rash, skin redness, itchiness, swelling, tenderness, burning sensation, and red bumps. In this article, we will discuss how to prevent razor burn, and how to treat razor burn if you do end up with the uncomfortable condition.
Be Certain It’s Razor Burn
Many people mistake razor burn and ingrown hairs for one another. Razor bumps are the result of ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs occur when a hair that has been shaved, plucked, or waxed grows back in at an angle, which can leave the hair follicle irritated and swollen. In some cases, there will be an infection in the hair follicle, and it will cause a swollen, red, and pus-filled bump around the hair follicle. Razor burn is not marked by large, swollen bumps. Razor burn may develop small pus-filled bumps, but they usually aren’t painful to the touch in the manner that ingrown hairs are.
How Can You Avoid Getting Razor Burn
If you are prone to getting razor burn, here are some precautions that you can take to prevent razor burn in some cases:
Shave After Showering
Directly after you shower, the hair is going to have the softest texture. You should shave then before the hair becomes coarse and stiff again. Most women shave in the shower for this reason.
Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliating your skin removes the old and dry skin from your skin, which is often what will become red and irritated by razor burn. It also can clog up your razor as you shave. Exfoliate prior to shaving so that this doesn’t happen.
Use A Good Razor
You should always use a high quality, sharp razor in order to shave. A dull razor will cause more cuts, razor drag, and razor burn than a sharp razor will.
Go for a good quality razor, because cheaper or disposable razors typically become dull before the first complete shave is finished.
Light Short Strokes
There is a method to shaving that you should be following in order to prevent razor burn. Use light, short strokes with your razor. Shave in the direction that the hair grows, not against the grain. Rinse your blade after each stroke, so you have a clean and unencumbered razor running across your skin.
Rinse your skin with cold water after shaving. Use only a non-alcohol product, such as a post-shave lotion or aftershave cream.
Check Your Clothing
Don’t wear tight clothing that hugs your skin, or is very chafing to your skin. This will increase the chance of irritation in your skin and could cause razor burn to develop.
What If You Get Razor Burn?
If you do end up with razor burn, don’t panic. There are some remedies that you can try that should help to alleviate the uncomfortable condition.
Avoid Touching It
If you do find yourself with a case of razor burn, don’t touch it. Also, don’t shave over the area again until the razor burn has cleared up, as it will be much more irritated and painful after another pass with the razor before it heals.
Use A Compress
Try using cool compresses against your skin to help alleviate the uncomfortable burning and stinging of razor burn. Place a cool cloth against the affected area, and leave it in place for twenty minutes. This should help the affected area feel cooler and much less swollen and irritated.
You may want to try a liquid astringent in order to relieve the burning irritation on your skin. Astringent liquids include witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, and tea tree oil. They may help to alleviate the burning and swelling of razor burn if gently swabbed onto the affected skin.
Try Natural Oils
Certain natural oils can help to relieve the bothersome effects of razor burn, as well. Try avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, or sweet almond oil. They can be swabbed onto the affected area liberally, and they have been shown to help reduce swelling and irritation.
Don’t Use Alcohol
Alcohol is going to further dry out and irritate your already chaffed and irritated skin. Don’t use any product that contains alcohol on your affected skin until the razor burn has completely cleared up. Also, if you use a product that contains alcohol, chances are it is going to be painful, and sting incredibly badly.
The same aloe vera products that you use at home to treat sunburn can be used to treat razor burn. It will sometimes ease the burning sensation in the skin that razor burn causes, and will also work to reduce the swelling and irritation in your skin.
Try sitting in an oatmeal bath, or using it on the affected parts of your body. The soothing effects that oatmeal baths have on hives and itchy skin can extend to razor burn, and offer some relief, especially in severe razor burn cases.
Try making a paste out of baking soda and water, and then applying it to the affected areas of your skin. Allow the paste to dry on your skin, and then gently rinse it off with cold water. Pat the area dry gently.
You can certainly use a commercial aftershave lotion to calm the razor burn or try to prevent it from occurring in the first place. However, be sure to check the ingredients carefully, as you don’t want to use a product that contains any alcohol. Commercial products that contain alcohol will only further irritate your skin.
Diaper Rash Cream
In severe cases of razor burn, you may want to try a commercial diaper rash cream. Diaper rash and razor burn are very similar skin irritations, and diaper rash cream can help with the redness, irritation, and burning sensation you’re feeling. Apply a light layer of diaper rash cream to the affected areas, and reapply as necessary, or according to the package directions.