The symptoms of razor bumps and ingrowing hair are unsightly red or darkened, painful bumps which can lead to scarring in severe cases.
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.
While PFB can occur in all ethnic groups, it is most common in those with very curly hair and especially amongst African Americans.
Treatment of tough cases of PFB, razor bumps and ingrown hairs 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.
A good quality safety razor that uses a single blade to cut the hair will help to provide relief from PFB, razor bumps and ingrown hairs. Use either a double-edged safety razor, such as our own Braveheart razor, or a single edge razor, such as the OneBlade razor. The single blade cuts the hair on the surface of the skin and not below it. Using a good quality pre have and shaving cream will also help, as they provide good lubrication and protection during shaving. 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.
In addition to our tips on shaving, you might find benefit in the use of certain shaving devices and products. The products and devices tend to be specialised 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 safety razors using disposable blades tend to provide smooth shaves with less chance of causing shaving irritation and ingrown hairs than electric razors or multi bladed cartridge 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 cream is also important in the treatment of this condition, as a good quality shaving cream will minimize the friction associated with shaving and reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs and skin irritation.
We recommend AloeClear. A 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.
Below is a selection of recommended products to combat razor bumps and ingrown hairs:
For further help and advice on any shaving realted issues please call us on 0141 880 3040, email [email protected], or use the LiceChat function on our website.
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