Ingrown hair and shaving

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Ingrown hair and shaving
Ingrown hair and shaving

A lot of men suffer from red, inflamed skin and get unsightly and painful bumps after shaving. Sometimes scars appear on the area of shaving, causing severe burning and itching. However, not all bumps on the facial hair are a result of the ingrown hair. If severe skin irritation persists and a small cyst appears, it is most likely to be an ingrown hair problem. Ingrown hair is most likely to appear on face, legs, hands, neck, pubic area and bikini lines when hair from these areas are removed with sharp blades or infected and unclean razor.

This condition occurs when the shaved hair curl back on themselves, getting trapped inside the hair follicle or failing to grow out of it and staying deep beneath the skin. Ingrown hair is, more commonly, known as razor bumps or shaving bumps when the shaved hair grows back into the skin. In medical terms, ingrown hair is referred to as Pseudofolliculitis Barbae or PFB.

Many a times, it is seen that hair does not get removed from the follicles and breaks above or below the skin surface after the skin is shaved. The un-removed hair gets trapped inside the follicle and it curls back into the skin, becoming blunt and causing minor irritations. A sharp, uneven-edged ingrown hair appears in place of a new hair growing back at the shaved area. Ingrown hair can become a big problem if left untreated.

Tips for treatment of ingrown hair after shaving

To get rid of ingrown hair after shaving, it is important to follow certain useful shaving tips that may prevent razor bumps from appearing on the facial hair.

  • If you are experiencing redness, scarring and small bumps after shaving, it is better not to go for shaving every day as skin irritation and itching may aggravate further on shaving daily. A rest of 2-3 days in between close shaves will avoid razor bumps from recurring. You can use electric razors or beard trimmers on days when you do not want to shave off the facial hair.
  • Before shaving, do check that the razor is clean and in good condition. Use of infected blade is most likely to cause red bumps and skin irritation. Be sure not to use old razor that have been used for more than three to four times. Throw away the old ones before they turn blunt and use new blades to avoid any infection. For electric razor users, be sure to remove the rotary blades or foil after using them for some time. In case, electric shavers are used daily, replace them sooner.
  • Wash your face with warm water and a moisturizing soap before shaving to make the facial hair soft and to get a better shave. Shaving right after a hot shower is also good since the facial hair does not get hardened and it is easier to shave off hair when the skin surface is smooth. Splashing some water throughout the shaving process will also avoid itching and redness.
  • Using a good face scrub along with glycolic and salicylic acid will help in exfoliating the area and removing dry and dead skin cells, thereby helping to make the facial hair soft. Exfoliating the area before shaving is effective in managing ingrown hair as softening the hair will ensure that one can get an even cut through the hair and prevent shaving pimples from appearing on the skin surface. You can also use pre-shave oils to make facial hair stand up that in turn would help you uproot them easily.
  • Always shave in the direction of hair growth as shaving against the grain is the cause of ingrown hair and red bumps.
  • Remove the tips of ingrown hairs and clear follicles by using a face brush and a liquid cleanser. Apply the face wash in circular motion to allow facial hairs to stand up.
  • Before shaving the area that had earlier developed ingrown hair, apply an antiseptic so that the skin surface does not get infected again. Use of topical cream regularly may also help in treating the ingrown hair and preventing any further ingrown hair from appearing in the area that had earlier developed razor bumps.
  • After shaving, do remember to use a good-quality shaving lotion or apply a cream that will minimize the chances of ingrown hair and reduce the appearance of redness and scarring. Use of aftershaves will help in unclogging pores while also eliminating any dirt or oils, which causes razor bumps. Shaving lotion can be applied not only on the facial hair but also after shaving the bikini lines, legs and underarms.
  • While shaving, do not stretch your skin or pull your chin, neck or cheeks as doing this may darken the color of the skin, leading to discoloration of the underlying tissues.

Keep these simple tips in mind before and after shaving in order fight ingrown hair.