TEN THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE RAZOR BUMPS – Maybe because I’m a bearded man, I care too much about how I look. I’m even more sensitive to my beards too because it’s kind of like another extension of myself. I’m very particular about how I style it, the length of my goatee and even the people who I let touch it. Yes, I’m serious, and if you’re reading this, it’s obvious we’re aboard the same train.
Beards look extremely perfect when styled right, in Nigeria, we don’t really call it styling, we say ‘carving’; so lemme rephrase, beards look perfect when carved right. It makes you want to be seen everywhere, you suddenly want to run errands you don’t need, and take strolls even when you shouldn’t (and of course, you’d want to do this in broad day light).
But then, there’s the pain that most bearded men have to suffer; the pain of having razor bumps. A glitch, on a perfectly drawn feature. It’s more like a typo on a perfectly written love letter, zapping all the romance from it. It’s so obvious it makes you conscious of yourself. So conscious that you have to think twice about taking that stroll you didn’t even need in the first place. How else would you even show the beards off? Razor bumps happen to the most of us, sometimes it’s all our fault, sometimes it’s not. It’s our fault because we could have prevented them if we wanted to, and sometimes they appear when we least expect them. They are not very predictable so we can’t really always blame ourselves.
What are Razor Bumps?
Razor bumps is a condition on the human skin common in the facial areas which have hair, the pubic area and the under arm in which the shaving off of hair causes inflammation and bumps.
Razor bumps are mostly common in men (bearded men especially) who constantly shave to reduce excess hair from the jaw. It usually occurs a few days after shaving and self diagnosed (i.e. you do not need a doctor to decipher if you have razor bumps, and yes, laboratory tests are also not required).
Still wondering what razor bumps are? Here’s a layman’s explanation:
Razor bumps are tiny or small bumps that look like pimples but are a wee bit tougher than normal pimples which appear on clean shaven skin and roughens them up. In other words, it makes clean shaven skins ‘bumpy’. Razor bumps also cause irritation on the skin. They itch a lot but scratching them is not a good option. Scratching of razor bumps could cause them to spread thereby causing more irritation, it may even cause a bacterial infection if the skin breaks, more impacted hair or an infection. They may even develop into permanent scars when scratched.
If you have razor bumps, you should know that you’re not alone, and it isn’t a terminal disease. So when you notice these bumps, chill, because you’re definitely not about to die or even be disfigured for life.
There is an estimated 1.5million cases of razor bumps on a yearly basis in Nigeria alone. Most times, the bumps may take a few weeks or even days to be cured, while sometimes, it would take way more time than aforementioned. It could take a couple of months. It just depends on the case of razor bumps and what you do to cure it.
Here are answers to some of the few questions about razor bumps that I stumbled upon online
Are Razor Bumps permanent?
Cases of razor bumps vary in the length of time at which they occur. As previously stated, most cases of razor bumps come and go without any form of medication apply to them. Some people have testified to this fact and said that the bumps that appeared on their skin few days after shaving, disappeared a few days after when they first noticed them without them doing a thing to cure the bumps. While this is true, some cases of bumps take more time, say a few weeks or months to be cured. Sometimes, minor bumps that may seem quite harmless can develop into permanent scar tissue; this means “they do not plan on going away”.
Can you shave if you have Razor Bumps?
A lot of people think it is impossible to shave when you have razor bumps but truth be told, it isn’t. You actually can shave when you already have razor bumps. I know you’re thinking about the pain, and how much it would hurt. It would be extremely bumpy and painful shaving over dry skin that is already affected with razor bumps and there’s an easy less painful way around it.
When you shave over dry and irritated skin, it is likely to break open and cause even more irritation but that doesn’t mean you should just quit shaving. Although it is also advisable to let the hair grow out and trim it while the razor bumps heal, sometimes you just have to shave and there’s no way around it. If then you must, all you have to do is wet the skin before shaving.
I don’t just mean shave immediately after a bath, apply formulated shaving cream or gel over the irritated skin, this will prevent it from breaking open while shaving and cause the razor or shaver to glide easily over the affected area while still effectively cutting hair. This helps avoid more infection and irritation. The same harm shaving over dry irritated skin would cause is also the same scratching it with the nails would.
Can deodorants help Razor Bumps?
It is already clear that razor bumps do not occur just beneath the jaw area of bearded men but also in the arm pit area too. Razor bumps affect all areas a razor can shave. A deodorant may not cure the bumps as expected but it isn’t entirely useless. Using a good deodorant on razor bumps or on irritated skin would help soothe it.
It may reduce the irritation or itching writhing a couple of days. You should know that the pain or itch isn’t soothed instantly so it only makes impact after a couple of days. It also helps reduce the redness of the bumps. Deodorants contain aluminum chloride which helps in cleansing bacteria so this means that it could also help in the healing of razor bumps.
How can I shave without getting razor bumps?
Razor bumps do not occur every single time you shave, but they occur mostly when you shave with the same clippers or shaving razor that you’ve you’ve used a couple of times. It is possible to have a clean shave and also avoid getting razor bumps. Things as common as the right razor and a very good shaving cream or gel matters a lot. All you have to do is trim the hair you’re about to shave first, shower for a few minutes say 5 minutes or more, or soak in warm water, exfoliate your skin before applying a shaving cream, then go ahead and shave. When shaving, also concentrate on the line of hair only. If you do this right, your skin would definitely be smooth as it should be and you have successfully avoided getting razor bumps.
If you already have razor bumps, here are ten things you should do. These options of things to do would either make them heal or prevent them from reappearing. If you constantly stick to these, they sure would work for you.
1. Use warm and cold compress
Most of the time, shaving of hair leaves the skin vulnerable and even irritated. The razor scrapes the surface of the skin in a bid to remove hair but at the same time causes it to break open and therefore lead to an infection which makes it itch and become irritable. Most good barbers know about this so before and also after a shave, they place a cold towel or a hot one against the skin beneath the hair before and also after a shave on the bare skin. This is mainly done to cease irritants.
Sometimes, a wet towel is placed within a heater and when it’s heated up, placed upon the skin to be shaved or one that has been shaved. Ice cubes can also be placed against the skin instead of a heated towel. The compress helps soothe the skin and heals already irritated skin and if the routine is followed, causes bumps to dry up.
2. Let the razor bumps heal
It is advisable to leave an already irritated skin be and avoid putting it through more stress especially when we have no better shaving remedy. Shaving against an already irritated skin can cause more irritation and also slow down any healing process already in occurrence. A healing process is very simple to follow through, all you have to do is let the beards grow back but instead of shaving them, the beards are trimmed down a bit to keep them neat and tidy. This is a very good option because it gives the skin enough time to heal.
3. Have a shaving routine
It’s best to have a shaving routine as it helps keep the skin healthy both before and after a routine shave. You could start off with a shower, this helps prepare the skin for a shave. A soak in warm water is also advisable as it also does the same thing a shower would. Next thing to do would be to gently exfoliate the skin before applying the right shaving gel or cream that would suit your skin. A hot towel can also be used to cleanse the skin before applying a good aftershave to avoid any sort of irritation. Sticking to this shaving routine heals bumps and also prevents it too.
This should be a done as a steady routine as it not only soothes the skin but also leaves it smooth and soft even days after a shave. It involves applying exfoliating lotion on the skin to help rub off the top layer and reduce irritation. It also works well to free the hairs up thereby making shaving easy.
5. Avoid shaving the irritated area
This is a bit similar to the first option but doesn’t involve growing out your beard but involves using different methods other than shaving to remove hair. You could try using a good hair removal cream if that works for you even using a pair of tweezers if you have the patience for that.
6. Avoid scratching or picking the bumps
Scratching the bumps would only cause more irritation. It causes the bacteria to spread across the skin thereby increasing the irritation and making more bumps to appear over the skin. Instead of making it go, you only end up making it worse. Ignore the itch and find other ways to soothe it, try a deodorant.
7. Cleanse your skin always
Cleanse of the skin helps a whole lot. A clean skin is a healthy skin and a healthy skin is easier to shave without the risk of bumps. Cleansing your skin also removes dead cells that can also cause irritation. This is an easy method to keep up.
8. Use home remedies
Home remedies are very much effective in healing irritated skins. Using honey, aloe vera, black or white tea lemon juice, aspirin paste, etc. helps to clear razor bumps from the skin. Making up you own cold or hot compress is also effective. Use of baby powder or coconut oil is also a good home remedy.
9. Avoid old and dirty razor
Previously used and dirty razors do more harm than good, as it introduces bacteria to the bare skin. It is safer to use new razors each time you want to shave.
10. Avoid clippers that are either too sharp or too blunt
Overly sharp clippers or blunt ones either cuts the skin open or opens it up using blunt force and introduces bacteria into it.
Do you also have other ideas on how to deal with Razor bumps in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world, please share in the comments below.