Razor burn is a side effect of shaving that can result from a variety of causes, including dry shaving, shaving with a dull blade, shaving too quickly or with too much pressure against the skin or shaving too close. It appears as a mild rash, pink or red in color, and generally doesn't last longer than a day or two. It may burn or itch, and severe cases may manifest as welts or raised distinct bumps called pseudofollicultis barbae. Read on to learn how to treat razor burn.
In the case of razor burn, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Make sure to wet the skin and lubricate it with a moisturizing shaving lotion prior to shaving. Use only a clean, sharp blade. Shave in the direction that the hair grows, and do not shave too closely or with too much force. Prior to shaving the face, put a warm wet washcloth on your skin. This will soften beard hairs. For men, washing with a facial scrub will remove dead skin cells and help prevent ingrown hairs. For women, gently wash areas to be shaved with a loofah.
If you do experience a case of razor burn, do not scratch your skin. This will only further irritate the skin and open the door for possible infection. Try applying cool wet washcloths to your skin. Soak a clean white washcloth in cool water or witch hazel and apply to razor-burned areas. Avoid using aftershave or cologne that contains alcohol as it may be irritating to your skin.
Apply aloe vera gel or an emollient cream containing soothing natural ingredients. Choose a product without a fragrance, if possible.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not exercise immediately after shaving as perspiration may irritate freshly shaved skin.
- After shaving, rinse skin with cool water to tighten pores.
- Make sure to rinse and dry your razor after each use. Either pass it over a towel or dip it in rubbing alcohol to help evaporate off the water.
- Never share a razor or use a razor with a rusty or damaged blade.
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