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How to Prevent Razor Burns, Cuts, and Irritation

Reduce irritation with these simple changes to your shaving regimen

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When men get ready for any special event they really look forward to a clean and close facial shave. But, with regular shaving comes the frustrations of getting razor burns, bumps, and cuts. These complications not only cause pain and discomfort, but they may also show redness or rash-like features on the skin.

 

Razor Based Irritation and Pseduofolliculitis Barbae

In the scientific community, razor bumps and ingrown hairs on the face and beard area are known as pseudofolliculitis barbae. It basically means an irritating or inflamed condition that occurs after shaving hair from the beard area. The newly shaved hair can bend in on itself to cause an ingrown hair and lead to a red bump. Scientists believe that pseudofolliculitis barbae occurs mostly in people who have coarse hair and curly haired beard, but not always. Since all men have different facial skin types their shaving challenges and symptoms also vary.

 

Tips on Preventing Shaving and Razor Injuries

In order to prevent some of these irritating conditions like razor burns, itches, and cuts, the following simple changes to your shaving regimen may help.

Avoid dry shaving

Dry shaving is when you do not use any sort of shaving cream or lubricant prior to shaving. Some of the consequences that may occur from dry shaving are improper shaves and skin damage, like scrapes or deep cuts. This occurs because there is no lubrication or hydration for the hair to be removed from the skin.

Therefore, it is important to wet the beard area with lukewarm water to loosen the hair and to provide lubrication while shaving. Then, apply shaving cream because not only does it protect your skin, but it may also provide a better shave.

Implement gentle strokes

While shaving, it may be beneficial to let the razor or mechanical device that you are using do the work. When the razor or device is pressed aggressively on the skin it may cause a deep wound. It may be helpful to stroke gently over the shaving cream to prevent such damage.

If you are finding yourself pressing hard to get a good shave, it might mean that your razor is dulling and needs to be replaced.

Change and check your shaving tool

Regularly updating your shaving razor or device may also prevent shaving irritations. If you begin to feel a significant tug or pull on your skin while you shave, it may be time to switch your blades. Switching your blades regularly allows for a cleaner shave and helps to provide protection from razor burns or rashes. You may also opt to use single-blade or double edge safety razors. These razors are believed to provide more of a gentle and angular shave than most 3-5 multi-blade razors. However, they are very sharp and be careful if you are using them for the first time.

 

What Happens If I develop an Irritable Razor Injury?

It’s inevitable that at some point you’ll get a razor wound or rash on your skin and some of these tips may help with the irritation that comes with it.

Itchiness

After a shave, some men may face a feeling of itchiness or heat on their skin. To aid this, aloe vera or jojoba oil may be beneficial. Aloe vera consists of antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties that may soothe the affected areas after a shave. Natural oils act as natural lubricants that may provide cooling as well as protection through antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Dryness

If you feel that your skin has become dehydrated after shaving, then you may want to apply a thicker natural oil such as coconut oil. Research shows that coconut oil may reduce dryness and increase the skin’s texture through its essential properties.

Bumps and inflammation

When you encounter an inflammation on the skin you might consider using tea tree oil or an oatmeal wash. Researchers believe that tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is comprised of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that may prevent as well as aid in the healing of skin infections when applied to the skin. Oatmeal is the derivative of oat grains (Avena sativa) and is considered to have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that may aid in skin allergies or irritations. Scientific studies show that applying products containing oatmeal may allow for proper moisturization and relief from skin irritation.

 

With any new skin regimen, always test a small area of your skin before you attempt these tips and remedies and discuss your skin and shaving conditions with a healthcare provider.

 For further reading on shaving technique, click on the link below:

Shaving How-to: Mastering the Wet Shave

Five Tips for Reducing Razor Burn

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