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Ingrown hairs that form after shaving and using other hair removal methods are known as "razor pimples." Razor pimples are known medically as pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB).

While hair begins to grow down into the skin but instead of up and out, ingrown hairs form. The hair may curl & turn inward following shaving, waxing, or plucking. A hump develops as a result of the hair becoming stuck as the fresh skin cells grow over it.

Anywhere that a person shaves or removes hair, such as the face, head, legs, armpits, and pubic region, might develop razor bumps.

Taking precautions before, while, and after shaving, forgoing shaving altogether, or experimenting with a different hair removal technique are all ways to treat razor bumps, as well as administering topical salicylic acid, retinoids, or antibiotics.

Learn how to avoid razor bumps from appearing and how to cure them in this article.


Razor bumps cannot be eliminated or managed immediately, but there are several methods that can be used to help. In the next sections, we go over these tactics.

Stop shaving.

Even while it's not always practicable, the only surefire approach to stop razor bumps is to quit shaving.

An American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that after ceasing to shave, fresh hair can continue to expand and cause further razor bumps to develop. After roughly 3 months, the bumps should go away.

Apply salicylic acid

Salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, helps razor bumps heal by clearing clogged pores, removing dead skin cells, and treating inflammation.

And according to AAD, salicylic acid can aid in the treatment of acne, making it a viable alternative for those who experience both acne and razor bumps.

Salicylic acid is present in a number of items, including:

  1. cleansers
  2. toners
  3. lotions
  4. peels

Try using glycine acid

By eliminating dead skin cells from of the skin's surface, glycolic acid, like salicylic acid, aids in skin peeling. The alpha hydroxy acid glycolic acid is.

The chance of hair entering the skin again is decreased by glycolic acid, which also minimizes the curvature of the hair.

 A glycolic acid solution can aid in the elimination of razor bumps and can make the skin appear smoother by accelerating the skin's natural sloughing process.

Shave bumps could be treated with a glycolic acid chemical peel.

Carefully use scrubs

Dead skin cells that clog pores & keep hairs stuck inside can occasionally be removed with the use of a mechanical or manual scrub. These skin care scrubs could use ingredients like sugar, salt, crushed fruit pits, or small beads.

By physically sloughing off dead skin cells, scrubs may be able to remove dirt and liberate ingrown hairs.

Many scrubs, nevertheless, could affect people with delicate skin. When someone's skin is becoming inflamed or irritated, they might not be the best choice.

Gentle skin brushing

A gentle brush can assist remove dirt and dead skin cells that block pores while also guiding hairs out of the pores to prevent them from getting caught there.

Ingrown hairs are less likely to occur if the hair is trained to grow in a single direction with brushing.

Useful brushes for the skin include soft toothbrushes, face brushes, and skin care brushes.

Use a hot washcloth.

Ingrown hairs can be removed by using a warm, damp washcloth on the skin. This method works best when combined with another technique, such as brushing, to soften the skin and draw out the hair.

A hot shower or sauna are additional methods for steaming the area.

Take medical care into account

To lessen inflammation and control infection, a doctor or pharmacist may suggest over-the-counter (OTC) lotions, serums, and cleansers that contain steroids or antibiotics. Razor pimples and acne can also be avoided with a moderate retinoid.

A doctor could recommend medicine if over-the-counter remedies do not work. This might be a more potent retinoid, like:

  1. tretinoin (Retin-A)
  2. adapalene (Differin)
  3. tazarotene (Tazorac)
  4. It could take retinoids many weeks to start showing results.

Test out a different hair removal method

It is possible to attempt an alternative hair removal approach as shaving is the one that frequently results in razor bumps.

Depilatories, which destroy the hair, lower the chance of razor bumps. On the other hand, they have chemicals in them that might irritate the skin. If someone has sensitive, already-red, or already-inflamed skin, they shouldn't use these items.

Though it might be pricey, laser hair removal is a more long-term solution. The hair usually grows back finer and lighter than before, although a person will need to visit a dermatologist for numerous treatment sessions.

Differences in skin tones with razor bumps

Razor pimples on dark skin can result in hyperpigmented papules as well as skin-colored papules.

The pictures below demonstrate the various skin types and tones that razor pimples can affect.

Tips on shaving safety

Pre-shaving precautions may help lower the chance of razor bumps:

  1. Use a non-comedogenic cleanser or one with salicylic acid or glycolic acid to clean the skin. These can aid in pore cleaning and surface skin cell removal. Pore clogging is less common with non-comedogenic products.
  2. Only shave while the skin is extremely moist, such as during or right after a shower. As an alternative, give the region a 5-minute soak in a warm, moist towel before shaving.
  3. When shaving, use a moisturizing lotion or gel and wait a minute or two.
  4. While shaving, make sure the shaving cream is moist; otherwise, rinse your skin and apply more freely.
  5.  Avoid skin care products with irritants because they could exacerbate inflammation.

Following are some suggestions for preventing razor bumps when shaving:

  1. Avoid shaving too closely. Leave the hair 0.5–3 millimeters long instead.
  2. To enable a longer cut, use a single-blade razor or an electric razor with a programmable preset.
  3. Slowly shave while going against the direction of hair growth.
  4. When shaving, avoid tugging the skin too tightly.
  5. Be careful not to over-shave or hold the razor too near to the skin.
  6. When shaving, it's crucial to take good care of the skin:
  7.  To lessen the chance of irritation, thoroughly rinse off any shaving cream residue with warm water.
  8. For five minutes, apply a cool compress to the skin.
  9. Use an aftershave designed to avoid razor bumps.
  10. The razor should be washed, dried, and kept in a dry area.
  11. Every 5-7 shavings, replace the blade on a single-use razor.
  12. A person should consult a doctor if none of these remedies work or if their symptoms are severe.

How do razor bumps develop?

When someone shaves their face, armpits, or pubic region, razor pimples may appear.

Hair is removed by shaving, leaving a pointy, sharp edge. The hair can re-enter the skin by either retracting under the skin or curling back around and entering the skin's surface.

Inflammation may result from hair that reenters a follicle and sets off an immunological response.

What causes razor bumps to form?

Razor bumps can form when someone shaves their face, armpits, or pubic area.

Shaving leaves a pointed, sharp edge when the hair is removed. In order to re-enter the skin, the hair can either curve back around and penetrate the surface of the skin or retract under the skin.

Hair that reenters a follicle and triggers an immune reaction may cause inflammation.

The following actions raise the risk:

  1. shaving very nearly the skin
  2. shaving on the face, neck, or under the jawline
  3. removing hair from the legs, pubic area, or underarms
  4. Razor bumps can also be caused by personal circumstances, such as:
  5. where people lose their hair, there may be skin folds or scar tissue.
  6. they allow any sort of hair to reenter the skin.
  7. tightening hair curls
  8. hair that develops in many directions
  9. rough hair
  10. a particular genetic trait involving the protein keratin in the hair follicle


A physician can identify razor bumps by examining a patient's skin and learning about their symptoms.

Seeing the hairs under the skin, they could perform a test called a dermoscopy. This can aid in eliminating other potential lesion sources including acne and tinea barbae.


In most cases, razor pimples do not seriously harm your health. Their appearance, however, can be irritating and have an impact on a person's self-confidence.

It is advised to consult a healthcare expert, such as a dermatologist, for advice if home cures do not relieve the condition. These consist of a dermatologist-prescribed skin lotion and laser hair removal.

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