How to Prevent Scars When Shaving

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Whether removing unsightly stubble from the legs or the face, dragging a sharp razor across the skin can often end in disaster. The human body offers no smooth planes, as its bumps, curves and angles create prime snag spots for even the most careful shaver. A little nick here and there isn't uncommon but can result in scarring if not treated right away. Bacteria infects surface shaving wounds, prolonging healing time and resulting in a larger wound area. Protect your skin and keep it looking smooth with prompt treatment of nicks and cuts, no matter how small.

Things You'll Need

  • Exfoliating product
  • New razor
  • Tea bag or styptic pencil
  • Tissues
  • Aftershave with witch hazel
  • Topical antibiotic gel
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Moisturizer
  • Clean needle
  • Exfoliate the skin with a loofah, shower gloves or body scrub before shaving to loosen the dead skin cells that clog and dull razors. A dull razor snags more easily and affects your hand pressure while shaving.

  • Select a new razor or change out the old blades for each new shave.

  • Make smooth, low pressure strokes against the skin. Hard pressure increases the chance of accidental cuts.

  • Stop the blood flow of nicks and cuts immediately. Soak a tea bag in cold water and apply it to the cut to slow the bleeding, or wet the tip of a styptic pencil and press it against the cut. Use tea that is high in tannin content, such as black or oolong tea, as tannin helps stop bleeding. Apply at least 5 minutes of pressure to deep, heavily bleeding cuts with a facial tissue.

  • Apply aftershave that contains witch hazel to slow any bleeding and prevent infection.

  • Dab a small amount of topical antibiotic gel over each cut to prevent infection, which can increase scar appearance. If necessary, place an adhesive bandage over the cuts.

  • Moisturize the skin just after shaving to keep it soft and supple. For the face, use a gentle facial moisturizer, aftershave balm or aftershave lotion, which are non-greasy and will not clog pores. For the body, select a lotion with an anti-inflammatory ingredient like menthol or lactic acid to help calm skin and prevent razor burn bumps.

  • Treat ingrown hairs promptly, as they form bumps that increase shaving accidents. Snag the base of each ingrown hair with a clean needle and pull it gently from the skin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Treat multiple nicks at once with an alum block, which stops bleeding and helps prevent razor burn.

References

  • The World's Best-Kept Beauty Secrets: What Really Works in Beauty, Diet and Fashion; Diane Irons
  • The Art of Shaving; Myriam Zaoui and Eric Malka
  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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