Razor Bumps Ingrowing Hair

Razor bumps is a common skin infection that develops in the hair follicles. Razor Bumps can appear anywhere on the skin, except for our palms and soles. Other common areas for ingrown hairs are the armpits, pubic area, and legs. An ingrown hair occurs when shaved or tweezed hair grows back into the skin. It can cause inflammation, pain, and tiny bumps in the area. It’s most prevalent in black men who shave facial hair. But ingrown hair can affect anyone who removes hair by shaving, tweezing, or waxing. You can avoid ingrown hair by not removing hair. If that’s not an option, you can use hair removal methods that lessen the risk of developing ingrown hairs. Laser hair removal has helped much in treating this problem since laser induces delayed hair growth, re-growing hair is thinner, and some hair follicles are lost permanently.

What is Razor Bumps Treatment?

Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a common chronic inflammatory disorder occurring most often in the beard area of men who shave, especially in men with darkly pigmented skin and tightly curled hair. It may also develop in other shaved areas, women, and any racial group

It usually looks like a sudden acne breakout. Each spot may have a red ring around it, which is a sign of infection. Ingrown hairs most commonly appear in the beard area, including the chin, cheeks, and neck. They can appear on the scalp of those who shave their heads.

Other communal areas for ingrown hairs are the armpits, pubic area, and legs. It may seem like small, robust, rounded bumps (papules), small, pus-filled, blister-like lesions (pustules), skin darkening (hyperpigmentation)



Pseudofolliculitis barbae primarily affects men of African descent with darkly pigmented skin. The prevalence ranges from 45% to 80%, depending upon the particular study. Men of all races may develop pseudofolliculitis barbae within the beard area, but it is less common and is usually mild in those with lightly pigmented skin and straight hair. Women who shave may also develop pseudofolliculitis barbae, especially in the groin.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Razor Bumps Treatment?


Symptoms can vary. You may not feel anything. Sometimes, the infection causes itchy skin. It’s also possible for your skin to feel pain. Also called pseudo-folliculitis or razor bumps, men often see these on the beard area when they shave.

In men who shave, inflammatory papules appear in the beard area and the anterolateral neck. Pustules and even abscesses may be seen. However, the mustache area, which may also be shaved daily, does not develop pseudofolliculitis barbae.

Skin darkening results from firm blemishes, as can hypertrophic scars and keloids, especially in longstanding diseases. Chronic lesions may cause the hair to create grooves in the skin; the anterior neck and submandibular areas are prone to this complication. Once the grooves have formed, shaving becomes extremely difficult.

How Can I Get Razor Bumps?

You get Razor Bumps when you damage your hair follicles. Once damaged, it’s easy for germs to get inside the follicles and cause an infection. A common source of bacteria is Staph aureus, which is found on our skin. Other organisms on our surface can also create an infection. You can damage your hair follicles by:

  • Touching or rubbing your skin frequently
  • Wearing tight clothing
  • Having skin rub against the skin
  • Shaving

Many people get Razor Bumps from hot tubs. This is so common that there’s a condition called “hot tub Razor Bumps.” This can happen when tight clothing rubs against your skin while bicycling on a muggy day. The damage can also happen while using a hot tub or whirlpool.

When your skin is damp and hot, it’s easier to damage your hair follicles and get an infection. Acne-like breakouts tend to appear on skin covered by your bathing suit when this occurs. Most people see breakouts about 12 to 48 hours after using the hot tub.

What Causes Razor Bumps?

While many things can damage your hair follicles, the following are common causes of Razor Bumps:

  • Hot tub (improperly maintained)
  • Shaving, plucking, or waxing
  • Tight clothing or equipment
  • Medication applied to the skin, such as coal tar
  • Medicine, you take
  • Weight gain

The disorder is thought to be caused by intrafollicular and trans-follicular penetration of tightly curled, coarse hairs within the beard area. When shaved, tightly curled hair is usually cut at an oblique angle, creating a sharp tip at the distal end of the hair that enables it to penetrate the skin 1–2 mm from where the hair exits the follicle.

Thus, trans-follicular penetration occurs when the cut hair grows out of the follicle typically but penetrates the skin as it grows in a spiral fashion back toward the skin surface. Once the hair penetrates the dermis, an inflammatory reaction ensues.

More recently, an additional genetic risk factor for pseudofolliculitis barbae was reported.

How Can I Get Rid of Razor Bumps?

The acne-like breakouts tend to go away on their own if you: Have a healthy immune system and stop doing what causes the Razor Bumps. To clear your skin more quickly and get relief, apply warm compresses to the area.

When using warm compresses, dermatologists recommend that you: Apply a warm compress at least 3 to 4 times a day and leave the compress on your skin for 15 to 20 minutes each time. If a warm compress helps you feel more comfortable, you can apply it more than four times a day. When shaving, plucking, or waxing causes the infection, you’ll want to stop doing these things for 30 days.

Do I Need to See a Dermatologist to Treat Razor Bumps?

It can be helpful to see a dermatologist to make sure you have Razor Bumps. The infected hair follicles can look like another skin condition, such as acne. A board-certified dermatologist can tell you whether you have Razor Bumps and give you tips to help clear them. Some people need medication, such as an antibiotic, to remove the Razor Bumps.

Seeing a dermatologist can also be helpful if you develop razor bumps from shaving and cannot stop shaving. Some men can continue shaving when they apply medication to their skin. Your dermatologist can also give you tips to reduce the irritation shaving causes.

Can I Prevent Razor Bumps?

Sometimes. Here are a few common causes and things you can do to prevent getting Razor Bumps: Please wear loose clothing when hot and humid. A tight dress tends to rub against your skin. When it’s hot and humid, the constant rubbing can injure your hair follicles, causing Razor Bumps.

If you wear tight clothing while working out, you may be able to prevent a flare-up by changing off your clothes immediately after working out and showering. Use well-maintained hot tubs. You’re more likely to get Razor Bumps from a hot tub or whirlpool improperly maintained. If you’re unsure whether the acid and chlorine levels are controlled, you may want to skip the hot tub or whirlpool.

This will help you avoid getting hot tub Razor Bumps. Wash your bathing suit or wetsuit after each use and let it dry. Washing your suit after each use and allowing it to dry completely before wearing it helps reduce your exposure to bacteria that can cause Razor Bumps.

Follow these tips when applying medication to your skin. Some people develop Razor Bumps when using the medicine on their skin, such as coal tar. You may reduce the risk of developing Razor Bumps by:

  • Applying the medication in the same direction in which your hair grows.
  • When possible, I am not covering the treated area with a bandage or clothing.

How to Shave If I have Razor Bumps?

Hair structure and direction of growth play a role in ingrown hairs. A curved hair follicle, which produces tightly curled hair, encourages the hair to re-enter the skin once the hair is cut and starts to grow back. Shaving creates sharp edges in this type of hair, especially if the hair is dry when shaved

. Pull your skin taut during shaving — which allows the cut hair to draw back into the skin and re-enter the skin without first growing out Tweeze — which also can leave a hair fragment under the skin surface.

When hair penetrates your skin, your skin reacts as it would to a foreign body — it becomes inflamed. Shaving is a common cause of Razor Bumps. You may be able to reduce your risk by following these shaving tips: To help prevent ingrown hairs, avoid shaving, tweezing, and waxing. If that’s not an option, use these tips to make ingrown hairs less likely:

  • Wash your skin with warm water and a mild facial cleanser before shaving.
  • Apply lubricating shaving cream or gel a few minutes before shaving to soften the hair. Or apply a warm compress.
  • Use a sharp razor every time you shave. See what works best for you. Further study is needed to determine whether a single- or multiple-blade blade is best for preventing ingrown hair.
  • Avoid close shaves.
  • Don’t pull your skin taut while shaving.
  • Shave in the direction of hair growth.
  • Rinse the blade after each stroke.
  • Rinse your skin and apply lotion after you shave.


The following hair removal methods also may help prevent ingrown hairs:

  • Electric razor or clipper. Avoid the closest shave setting and hold the razor or clipper slightly away from your skin with the blade.
  • Chemical hair remover. The chemicals in hair-removing products (depilatories) may irritate your skin, so test on a small area first.
  • A cream to decrease hair growth. Eflornithine (Vaniqa) is a prescription cream that reduces hair regrowth when combined with another hair removal method, such as laser therapy. Further study is needed to prove the usefulness of this method.
  • Laser-assisted hair removal has helped much in treating this problem since laser induces delayed hair growth, re-growing hair is thinner, and some hair follicles are lost permanently.

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