Grabbing a razor is one of the quickest and least expensive ways to get rid of unwanted pubic hair, whether you're going all-bare or just tidying up your bikini line. Without properly treating your delicate skin, you might end up with unsightly bumps and painful irritation caused by bacteria and ingrown hairs. Although prevention is the best treatment, if you find yourself with an uncomfortable eruption, there are several ways to treat your skin to get rid of the red, itchy razor bumps.
Prevent Razor Bumps
It's important to start with a clean, sharp razor to minimize the likelihood of nicking your skin or transferring bump-causing bacteria, while making it easier to get a close shave. Prepare the area by taking a warm bath right before, or applying a moisturizer that contains glycolic or alpha hydroxy acid the night before shaving to soften coarse hair. Right before shaving, wash the pubic area with a gentle facial cleanser that has salicylic acid in its formula. The salicylic acid kills bacteria that can later cause bumps. Additionally, trimming the hair with scissors before getting into the bath or shower can help keep your razor sharp.
Exfoliate Shaved Skin
Ingrown hairs are the leading culprit of those irritating razor bumps, which is a condition known as pseudofolliculitis. Exfoliating freshly shaved skin helps prevent razor bumps by preventing the hairs from becoming trapped from the get-go. It also helps treat them by freeing hairs that are trapped within the razor bumps. Additionally, exfoliating your skin loosens and removes dead cells that can further block hair follicles, preventing the appearance of more bumps. Try using a washcloth, loofah, sugar scrub or a gentle exfoliating wash to smooth your skin and clear up razor bumps. Wait approximately 24 hours after shaving before exfoliating the skin to avoid additional irritation.
The inflammation and discomfort associated with razor bumps can be painful and itchy. Soothe the area by dabbing on a thin coating of 1-percent hydrocortisone cream. If you're looking for a more natural treatment, try using oatmeal, which contains skin-soothing properties to decrease inflammation. Grind oats into a fine flour-like powder, then mix it with enough water to form a paste. Applying aloe vera gel is another way to clear up the bumps while soothing your skin.
Bacteria can cause pimple-like razor pumps in addition to infecting ingrown hairs, which can cause increased redness, irritation and pustules in the area. As soon as razor bumps emerge, dab on bacteria-killing hydrogen peroxide once or twice daily or wash the area with a zit-zapping facial cleanser. Salicylic acid kills pimple-causing bacteria, making it useful in treating existing bumps and preventing razor bumps when it’s used before shaving. Applying an antibiotic ointment, which is readily available over-the-counter at most drug stores, also fights bacterial infection while easing your discomfort.
See a Doctor
If you've tried treating the bumps at home without any success, see a doctor. You might need oral antibiotics or prescription-strength treatments such as corticosteroids to treat severe inflammation.
- Pleasure: A Woman's Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need and Deserve; Hilda Hutcherson
- Sex, Orgasm and Coochies: A Gynecologist Answers Your Most Embarrassing Questions; Lissa Rankin, MD
- Cosmopolitan: Going Bare Down There
- The Huffington Post: Prevent Razor Burn And Bumps From Ruining Your Bikini Moment
- Good Housekeeping: 12 Things You've Never Thought to Do with Oatmeal
- Cosmopolitan: Get a Perfect Bikini Line
- University of Wisconsin-Madison: Pseudofolliculitis
- Women's Health: DIY Beauty Trick: How to Get Rid of Shaving Bumps
- Natural Remedies: Razor Burn
- Photo Credit Didier Belrose/iStock/Getty Images
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