It’s frustrating when all you want is a smooth, silky hair-free skin and you end up with razor burn. Razor burn can affect any part of the body and it can be quite unsightly. It is especially embarrassing and annoying when it’s your bikini area that gets irritated. Luckily, once you know what to do, you can treat razor burn quite effectively and even better, you can prevent it completely. Let’s take an in-depth look at razor burn and how you can avoid this bothersome skin problem.
What Causes Razor Burn?
There’s no single factor that causes razor burn. It can be caused by:
- Using an old, dull razor
- Using a razor that clogged with hair or shaving products
- Shaving without a shaving gel or cream
- Shaving against the direction in which your hair grows
- Going over a single spot repeatedly
- Using irritating shaving products
Signs of Razor Burn
Razor burn is not the same things as razor bumps. If you have razor burn, your skin may feel inflamed or irritated. You may also notice small red bumps, itchiness, and sensitivity to touch. The condition may also be accompanied by a hot or burning sensation and the symptoms occur shortly after you shave. On the other hand, razor bumps occur when the hair is growing back in and it curls into your skin instead of growing out. The symptoms of razor burn are temporary, and they will naturally go away with time. However, there are simple things you can do at home to relieve your discomfort.
How to Treat Razor Burns
The first thing you need to do if you want your razor burns to heal quickly is to stop shaving the area. You can then use a variety of remedies to get relief from your symptoms. If you’re itchy or the area feels hot, simply applying a cool washcloth to the area can help to calm your skin. Aloe or avocado oil can also help.
Relieving Dryness or Irritation Caused by Razor Burns
You’ll need to clean your skin with a gentle cleanser and pat it dry. Be careful not to rub your skin since this can cause even more irritation. Once the area is dry, apply an alcohol-free lotion, moisturizer, or aftershave product to moisturize and calm the area.
Coconut Oil and Sugar
If you want to use a natural remedy, you can make one using a few ingredients you may already have around the house. Coconut oil not only softens the skin, but it has antibacterial properties. If you add a gentle exfoliant like sugar, you can get rid of dead skin cells without further hurting your skin. Simply mix coconut oil with honey and sugar to make a scrub. Apply it to the irritated area, leave it for ten minutes, and then wash it off with warm water.
You can treat inflammation with either over-the-counter remedies or do-it-yourself mixtures. Here are some of the things you can try.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Black Tea
ACV is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, and it can soothe your skin especially when used along with black tea. Dilute the vinegar with an equal amount of water and apply it to the affected area. Then, place a black tea bag into hot water for a few minutes and then put it in the refrigerator for about ten minutes. Use the tea bag to massage your inflamed skin for a few minutes. Do this several times a day for the quickest relief. This treatment isn’t recommended for sensitive skin.
Tea Tree Oil and Olive Oil
Tea tree oil is an antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory product while olive oil helps to smooth the skin. Mix the olive oil with a few drops of tea tree oil and leave the mixture on the skin for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water.
Oatmeal and Yoghurt
Oatmeal can also reduce inflammation and irritation caused by razor bumps while the probiotics in yogurt boost hydration and restore the protective barrier of your skin. Mix equal portions of these two ingredients and add a little honey. Apply the paste to your skin and leave it for 30 minutes or until dry then wash it off with warm water. You can repeat this treatment twice a day for a few days.
If you’d rather not mix up products in your kitchen, you can get a topical cream containing hydrocortisone from the pharmacy. Hydrocortisone reduces swelling and calms redness and it can help to make you more comfortable while you heal. If you notice signs of infection like pustules or welts, see your doctor. They’ll prescribe something to clear the infection and they can advise you on how to prevent razor burn in the future.
How to Prevent Burns When Shaving
You can prevent razor burn by developing good shaving habits. Using an anti-chafing product can also help you to keep your skin hydrated and protected on a daily basis. Exfoliating regularly will make a big difference. Here are some things to keep in mind every time you shave.
- Always use a shaving cream or gel
- Don’t pull your skin tightly
- Shave in the direction your hair grows using short strokes
- Rinse your razor blade frequently
- Rinse your skin with cold water after you shave to close the pores
- Don’t use a dull razor
If your skin is sensitive, you may find that shaving less frequently or using another hair removal method is better for your skin.
Prognosis When You Develop Razor Burns
Razor burns will usually clear up quickly even without treatment. However, over-the-counter or DIY remedies can bring faster relief as long as you avoid irritating the area further. You only need to consult your doctor if you notice signs of infection or the skin is taking a really long time to clear up. If your skin gets inflamed every time you shave or none of the tips mentioned here work, you should also talk to your doctor. In addition, you should consider whether you’re having an allergic reaction to a product you’re using to shave.