Shaving is an easy and quick way to get rid of unwanted hair. But it’s also notorious for leaving behind red, irritated skin patches. If your skin is on fire after shaving, it’s likely a razor burn or rash. Razor burns can be itchy, cause discomfort, and even be painful.
This condition may occur anywhere you shave, from your face to your legs and underarms. Today, we’re delving into what exactly this skin condition is, and how to get rid of razor burns and avoid them. So, without wasting any time, let’s begin:
What Are Razor Burns?
Razor burns are a skin irritation you develop after shaving. This condition can occur on almost any part of the body you shave, from the face to the neck, legs, armpits, and groin area.
Shaving with a dry razor, dull blade, or too quickly can all cause razor burns. This skin condition normally shows up soon after you shave and can last from a few hours to a few days.
Razor Burns Vs. Razor Bumps: What’s The Difference?
Razor burns are vastly different from razor bumps (or pseudofolliculitis barbae). Razor bumps occur due to the growth of ingrown hair. When you shave, some hair strands curl inwards back into your skin and grow under the surface. Another major difference is in appearance.
Razor bumps look like tiny skin-colored pimples on your skin. However, razor burns are skin irritation and look like blotchy skin rashes. Razor bumps also take time to develop, while razor burns appear almost instantly.
What Does A Razor Burn Look Like?
Razor burn looks like a reddish and irritated patch of skin. Sometimes they appear as streaky red rashes on the area you commonly shave. Other symptoms may include:
- Having pain or discomfort right after you shave
- Having a burning or stinging sensation after you shave
- Having itchiness and redness aftershave
- Having tenderness and swelling aftershave
What Causes Razor Burns?
As mentioned previously, razor burns occur due to the interaction between the razor blade and your skin. When you move a blade across your skin, tiny cracks in your skin’s top layer occur.
When blood fills up these cracks, they appear as skin irritation and cause discomfort. If you have naturally sensitive skin, you are at a higher risk of developing razor burns when shaving. Some of its other common causes are:
- Dry shaving (i.e., shaving without cream, shaving gel, soap, or water)
- Shaving too soon
- Shaving too fast
- Shaving with an old and dull razor blade
- Shaving against the direction of growth
- Using products that irritate your skin
How To Get Rid Of Razor Burn Fast?
There are several ways to treat and get rid of razor burns. We will be discussing a few in the following paragraphs:
1. Use A Cold, Wet Cloth
When you notice skin irritation from razors, put a cool washcloth on them. You can get instant burn relief by applying a cool, damp cloth. It’s one of the easiest ways to end the pain and itch of a rash. Cold water brings immediate relief and can stop swelling, soothe the skin and slow the progression of a skin rash.
2. Use Aloe Vera Gel
You must have heard about aloe vera’s healing properties. Many people use it to treat sunburns. But do you know you can also use it to treat razor burns? In fact, aloe vera can help you get rid of razor burns in one hour or even less. It nourishes, moisturizes, and soothes your skin while treating the affected area simultaneously.
3. Try Home Remedies
Home remedies like apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and witch hazel extracts can also help stop the inflammation from razor burns. Other home remedies, like trying an oatmeal bath and using over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream, can also be very effective, depending on your skin condition.
The following ingredients can also help protect your skin’s outer layer.
- Wheat germ
- Jojoba seed oil
- Evening primrose oil
- Vitamin E
- Yeast Extracts
- Green/White tea
- Comfrey (a plant that can reduce inflammation)
- Bisabolol (a liquid that’s the main ingredient in many skin products)
- Panthenol (a skin moisturizer that can heal wounds)
4. Apply An Emollient
If dry and easily irritable skin, use an emollient like an aftershave or a moisturizing cream/lotion. Don’t use products that may contain fragrances, alcohol, or other forms of irritants. Natural oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil are also excellent moisturizers. They can moisturize and heal your skin.
5. Consult A Skin Specialist
Call your primary healthcare provider if these home remedies and OTC products fail to heal and clear up your condition within 1 to 2 days. Long razor burns mean you may have developed a skin condition that requires immediate treatment. They can best recommend you a suitable antibiotic or cream to treat your disease.
How To Get Rid Of Razor Burn?
Use the tips below to avoid developing razor burns in the first place:
Shave On Moist Skin
Before you shave, make sure your skin is moist and soft. Never shave without water or shaving gel.
Shave Immediately After Showering
The best time to shave is after showering. This is when your skin is clear of any dead skin cells and excess oils that can clog up your blade.
Use A Lubricant
Always use a lubricant such as shaving cream, shaving gel, or soap before shaving. These products soften your skin and create a barrier between the razor and the skin. Therefore, the blade can glide easier over your skin.
Shave In The Direction Of Hair Growth
Shaving on the opposite side of your hair growth can create resistance between the hair and the razor blade. You should minimize this resistance by shaving in the direction of hair growth.
Use Proper Strokes
Don’t shave in haste or too quickly. You should use light and short strokes to remove the hair. Moreover, avoid shaving over the same skin section more than once.
Clean Your Razor Often
Your razor should be clean. After every few strokes, rinse it properly to remove any soap or hair that may have been collected between the blades. A clean blade offers the best glide.
Rinse Your Skin After The Shave
Once you are done, rinse your skin with cold water. You can also apply a cold washcloth to soothe the new skin cell.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Always moisturize after you are done shaving. You can use a hydrating cream or lotion to heal your skin barrier. Just avoid any products containing fragrances, alcohol, and other irritants.
Keep Your Razor Dry
After shaving, clean and dry your razor. Wet razors invite various bacteria that can irritate your skin the next time you use the razor. Therefore, you should store it dry to prevent bacteria growth.
Replace Your Blade Often
Razor blades go dull after a few uses. You should always try to keep them sharp and free of any dust. Toss your blade into the bin after 5-6 uses.
That’s pretty much all about how to get rid of razor burns. It’s a very common skin condition in people who shave. While it causes irritating skin rashes, it usually clears up within a few days. You should try the remedies mentioned above to treat this condition and keep in mind some basic things to avoid it in the future.
See your healthcare provider if the skin burns don’t go away with home treatment and other OTC options. They can better diagnose your condition and suggest suitable treatment. Good luck!
How Long Do Razor Burns Last?
Razor burns can last from a few hours to a few days, depending on your skin condition. It usually clears up on its own. However, you can use various home remedies and OTC options for quick healing.
Why Am I Getting Razor Burn All Of A Sudden?
If you are getting razor burn suddenly, the reason may be dry shaving, shaving too fast, using an old razor, or shaving against the direction of hair growth.
How To Treat Razor Burn On The Pubic Area
The skin on the pubic area is often very sensitive. Therefore, we suggest using natural skin products like apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, witch hazel extracts, or tea tree oil mixed with water to stop the inflammation.
How To Treat Razor Burn Overnight
To treat razor burns overnight, we suggest using aloe vera. It is known for its healing and soothing properties. So, aloe vera can treat razor burns overnight.