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Razor Bumps and Ingrown Hair

What are the Symptoms of Razor Bumps and Ingrown Hairs?

The symptoms of razor bumps and ingrowing hair are unsightly red or darkened, painful bumps which can lead to scarring in severe cases.

What Causes Razor Bumps and Ingrown Hairs?

This occurs when curly hair grows out of the skin, curls round and then grows back into the skin. This happens if the hair is cut too short. Normal hair cut too short will create the same problem. They result in the medical condition pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB). An ideal shave cuts the hair flush with the surface of the skin and avoids any undue friction and/or irritation to the surrounding skin. If you suffer from razor bumps, ingrowing hair and shaving irritation, the chances are that you are pulling the skin too taut during the shave and the hairs are cut too short. Don't pull the skin tight and see if it makes a difference!

People with PFB and razor bumps often have a great tendency to develop ingrown or curled under hairs, which get red, raised and tender.  These bumps often leave dark marks on the skin for many months and sometimes even cause scarring. 

Who Tends to Suffer with PFB?

While PFB can occur in all ethnic groups, it is most common in those with very curly hair and especially amongst African Americans. 

What Treatments are Available?

Treatment of tough cases of PFB often requires special shaving equipment. In fact, some African American men have opted to wear a beard rather than be subject to the pain and embarrassment that often accompanies severe PFB.  Special razors have been developed that cut the hair slightly longer than typical razors.  These razors are available as part of an entire product line called the Bump Fighter ® Shaving System designed exclusively to help control PFB. In addition to these products, Skin food is also helpful for many PFB suffers.

For most people, these over the counter products provide sufficient control of shaving related problems.  In fact, there are no prescription products targeted specifically for shaving related problems.  Vitamin A related products such as Retin A (tretinoin) or Differin (adapalene) may be prescribed in some cases and work by helping exfoliate skin both on the surface and around the follicles.  This results in less chance of the hairs getting caught in the skin and growing inward.

Shaving related problems usually respond well to a combination of proper shaving technique, equipment and products.  For tough or treatment resistant shaving problems, it is always best to consult personally with a dermatologist.

What Can I do to Help Prevent the Problem?

In addition to the tips on shaving, you might find benefit in the use of certain shaving devices and products.  The products and devices tend to be specialized towards serving either those people with tendencies toward ingrown hairs or those with a tendency towards razor bumps and PFB.  A large majority of PFB sufferers and sufferers of shaving problems generally tend to be African American.  The reason for this is that very curly hairs are most inclined to grow inward or curl around to form razor bumps. 

Ingrown hairs and shaving irritation can be greatly improved by simply following these shaving tips . No special shaving equipment is suggested, but experience has shown that re-usable metal shaving handles serviced with disposable blade cartridges tend to provide smooth shaves with less chance of causing shaving irritation and ingrown hairs than electric razors. Without doubt, you can reduce and even negate razor bumps and razor burn by using a safety razor.

Blades should be changed at least once every ten days, more often if skin irritation persists.  Disposable razor blades should are also best avoided when possible.  Shaving gels are important in the treatment of this condition, as a good gel will minimize the friction associated with shaving and reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs and skin irritation.

Products that Can Help

We recommend PFB Vanish and Aloe Cear. Two unique, cosmetically elegant roll-on gel formulated to aid in the relief of ingrown hairs, razor burn/bumps resulting from shaving, waxing, electrolysis and laser hair removal.

Skin Food is another product that can be applied daily after shaving.  It is effective at fighting ingrown hairs and helps calm redness associated with hair removal.

Please see are other common shaving related problems:-
Shaving Rash - What is it and how to treat it.
Razor Burns - What is it and how to prevent it.

For further help and advice on any shaving realted issues please callus on 0141 880 3040, or email



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