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How to Get Rid of Razor Bumps: Causes, Care & Prevention

Experiencing razor bumps? Here is everything you need to know about them. Including their most common causes and a shaving routine you can adopt to reduce their appearance.

What are razor bumps?

Razor bumps appear as small, red and inflamed bumps on the skin's surface, typically in areas where hair has been recently shaved, such as the beard area for men or the legs and bikini line for women. Razor bumps are often caused by ingrown hairs, which curl back into the skin and cause irritation. People with curly or coarse hair are more prone to developing razor bumps.
Facts Overview

Razor Bumps

Cause: Razor bumps are a result of ingrown hairs and inflammation after shaving, causing red, itchy bumps.

Insight: They are more common in individuals with curly or coarse hair due to the hair's tendency to curl back into the skin.

Prevention: Proper shaving techniques, exfoliation, and moisturising can help prevent shaving spots.

Treatment: Over-the-counter treatments with ingredients like Salicylic Acid or Glycolic acid can provide relief from razor bumps.

man applying Nivea serum on his face

Razor bumps vs razor burn?

Razor bumps and razor burn are two common post-shaving skin issues that can cause discomfort and irritation after shaving.

Razor bumps, also known as ingrown hairs or red spots after shaving, occur when hair curls back into the skin, resulting in small, painful bumps. They are often mistaken for pimples and tend to be more prevalent in areas where shaving is common, like the face, neck, legs, underarms and bikini line. 

On the other hand, razor burn is a result of skin irritation when applying excessive pressure when shaving or shaving on dry skin. It manifests as redness, discomfort, and sometimes tiny red spots.

Proper shaving techniques, skin preparation, and post-shave care can help prevent both of these shaving-related issues, ensuring a smoother and more comfortable shaving experience.

5 Common places for razor bumps:

Razor bumps can occur in various areas where shaving is common. Here are some common places where razor bumps are often experienced:

  1. Face: 
    For men, razor bumps on the face are common, particularly in the beard area. Shaving against the grain or using improper techniques can lead to ingrown hairs and bumps on the face.

  2. Neck: 
    Razor bumps on the neck are due to the sensitivity of the skin in this area. This is a common issue for men who shave their beards. Using incorrect shaving techniques can lead to irritating red spots after shaving on the neck.

  3. Underarms: 
    Shaving the underarm area can also lead to razor bumps. The curved shape of the underarms and the coarseness of hair in this region can increase the likelihood of ingrown hairs and irritation.

  4. Bikini Line: 
    Women who shave their bikini line may experience razor bumps and pimples after shaving  in this area. The skin around the bikini line is sensitive and ingrown hairs can be especially uncomfortable in this region.

  5. Legs: 
    Red bumps after shaving on the legs are common, particularly among individuals who shave their legs regularly. Ingrown hairs can develop if the hair is not shaved properly or if the skin is not adequately moisturised.

It's important to note that while these are common areas for razor bumps, they can technically occur anywhere on the body where shaving is performed. 

Nivea Men Sensitive Face Moisturiser

6 common causes of razor bumps

To effectively prevent and manage spots after shaving, it's crucial to understand their underlying causes. Here are 6 common causes of razor bumps:

1. Improper Shaving Techniques
Using improper shaving techniques is a common culprit for razor bumps. Shaving against the grain of hair growth, applying excessive pressure or using a dull blade can all contribute to the irritation of hair follicles. Additionally, going over the same area repeatedly can increase the risk of shaving spots.

2. Lack of Lubrication
Inadequate lubrication during shaving is another leading cause of razor bumps. Shaving without the use of a shaving cream, gel or foam can result in friction between the razor and the skin. This friction can irritate the skin, leading to redness and bumps.

3. Sensitive Skin
Individuals with sensitive skin are more prone to razor bumps. Sensitive skin may react strongly to the action of shaving, leading to increased inflammation and the development of bumps.
4. Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hairs occur when a hair strand grows back into the skin instead of outward. This can happen after shaving, especially if the hair follicle opening becomes blocked by dead skin cells or debris. Ingrown hairs can lead to razor bumps and are more common in areas with tightly curled hair.

5. Tight Clothing and Friction
Wearing tight clothing that rubs against freshly shaved skin can exacerbate razor bumps, particularly in areas like the neck and underarms. The friction between clothing and irritated skin can worsen inflammation.

6. Frequent Shaving
Shaving too frequently, especially when the skin has not had time to fully recover, can increase the likelihood of razor bumps. Allowing the skin some time between shaves can help prevent irritation.

Understanding the causes of red shaving bumps is key to preventing them. Adopt a proper shaving technique, use suitable products, and care for your skin before and after shaving for a smoother experience.

8 ways to get rid of shaving spots

How to get rid of razor bumps

Getting rid of razor bumps can be achieved through a combination of preventive measures, home remedies and, in some cases, medical treatments. Here are some tips to help you get rid of razor bumps:

  1. Exfoliation:
    Gently exfoliate the affected area with a mild exfoliating scrub or a soft brush to help remove dead skin cells that may be trapping hairs.

  2. Moisturising:
    Apply a moisturising lotion or aftershave to the area after shaving to soothe the skin. Look for products that contain ingredients like Chamomile, Vitamin E or Aloe Vera, as they have anti-inflammatory properties.

  3. Warm compress:
    Applying a warm compress to the affected area before shaving can help open up the hair follicles, making it easier to shave without causing irritation.

  4. Avoid tight clothing:
    Wearing tight clothing can exacerbate irritation and friction in the affected area. Opt for loose-fitting clothing until the bumps have healed.

  5. Topical treatments:
    Over-the-counter products containing ingredients like Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide can help exfoliate and reduce inflammation. Apply them as directed on the product label.

  6. Stop shaving for a while:
    If your razor bumps are severe or painful, consider letting the hair grow for a few days to allow the inflammation to subside.

  7. Prescription treatments:
    If you have chronic or severe razor bumps, consider seeing a dermatologist. They can prescribe topical or oral medications to help manage the condition.

  8. Laser hair removal:
    In some cases, if razor bumps are a recurring problem, you may want to consider long-term solutions like laser hair removal. This can permanently reduce hair growth in the affected area.

Remember that it may take time for razor bumps to heal completely, and consistency of these steps can help reduce their occurrence in the future. If the condition worsens or persists despite trying these solutions, consult a dermatologist for professional advice and treatment options.

How to avoid shaving spots

NIVEA MEN Shaving Routine To Reduce Razor Bumps

young man applying Nivea washing gel on his face

Step 1: Pre-Shave Preparation

Cleansing: Start by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any impurities from your skin, preparing it for a smooth shave. Formulated with Chamomile Extract, Vitamin E and menthol, the NIVEA MEN Sensitive Face Wash helps to gently remove dirt and oil without drying out the skin.

Exfoliation: Exfoliate 2-3 times a week, use a mild exfoliator to remove dead skin cells. This helps prevent ingrown hairs and promotes smoother shaving.

Step 2: Shaving

Apply Shaving Cream or Gel: Before shaving, apply a shaving cream or gel to create a protective barrier and ensure a smooth shave. Made with Chamomile and Vitamin E, the NIVEA MEN Sensitive Shaving Gel helps to soften your facial hair with a thin gliding layer for a non-irritating shave. 

Shave Properly: Use a sharp, clean razor and shave in the direction of hair growth. Avoid going over the same area multiple times to minimise irritation.


Step 3: Post-Shave Care

Rinse and Pat Dry: After shaving, rinse your skin with cold water to close the pores and remove any remaining shaving cream or gel. Pat your skin dry gently with a clean, soft towel.

Apply an Aftershave Product: After shaving apply aftershave to help reduce the irritation, razor burn and bumps that could be caused by shaving. NIVEA MEN offers a range of aftershave products. These products soothe the skin, reduce redness and provide hydration.
man applying Nivea shaving foam on his face
Moisturise: Use a moisturiser suitable for your skin type to hydrate it. The NIVEA MEN Sensitive Face Cream helps to moisturise and soothe your skin. Made without alcohol, the cream is fast-absorbing, non-sticky and non-greasy cream to help your skin feel comfortable and smooth.

Sun Protection: If your routine involves daytime shaving, finish with sunscreen. Sunscreens help protect your skin from harmful UV rays, which can exacerbate the irritation and redness associated with razor bumps. 

By incorporating NIVEA's skincare products into your routine, you could reduce your razor bumps and help to prevent new razor bumps from forming.

Razor bumps on the body

Razor bumps on the body can be frustrating and uncomfortable.  While razor bumps are commonly associated with facial shaving, they can affect various parts of the body, including the legs, chest, back, and bikini area, where hair removal is prevalent.

Preventing razor blade irritation on the body requires careful shaving with a sharp razor, following the hair's direction and regular exfoliation to remove dead skin cells. Moisturising after shaving also helps to reduce friction. The NIVEA Rich Nourishing Body Lotion  is enriched with a combination of caring ingredients, including NIVEA's Deep Moisture Serum, Almond Oil, and Vitamin E to help protect the skin and provide deep moisture. 

In cases of severe razor bumps on your body, it may be essential to seek advice from a dermatologist, as they can provide tailored solutions to manage and prevent razor bumps on the body effectively.

Razor bumps at a glance

Razor bumps are a common skin concern, often occurring on places that have been shaved. However, they can be effectively managed through a dedicated skincare routine, allowing for their reduction and prevention. By also following proper shaving practices, exfoliation, moisturisation and sun protection tips, you can significantly improve your shaving experience for a smoother, irritation-free skin.

Although razor bumps are typically not considered dangerous, it is highly recommended to consult a dermatologist for an evaluation to rule out any underlying or potentially serious skin conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are razor bumps?

Razor bumps, also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae or ingrown hairs, are small, red, and inflamed bumps that often appear on the skin after shaving. They are caused by hair that curls back into the skin, leading to irritation and inflammation.

Where do razor bumps commonly occur?

Razor bumps are commonly found in areas where hair is regularly shaved, such as the face (for men), legs, bikini line (for women), neck, and underarms.

What causes razor bumps?

Razor bumps can be caused by various factors, including improper shaving techniques, lack of lubrication, sensitive skin, ingrown hairs, tight clothing, frequent shaving, and more.

How to prevent razor bumps?

To prevent razor bumps, you can follow proper shaving practices, exfoliate your skin regularly, use shaving creams or gels, shave in the direction of hair growth, and avoid tight clothing that can rub against freshly shaved skin.

How can I get rid of razor bumps?

Getting rid of razor bumps can be achieved through exfoliation, moisturization, warm compresses, topical treatments with ingredients like Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide, and in some cases, prescription medications or laser hair removal.

When should I see a dermatologist for razor bumps?

You should consider seeing a dermatologist if your razor bumps are severe, painful, infected, or persistent despite home remedies. A dermatologist can provide professional guidance and treatment options.

Are there any specific skincare products to help with razor bumps?

Yes, there are skincare products, such as aftershave lotions and creams, that are formulated to soothe the skin after shaving and reduce the risk of razor bumps. Some contain ingredients like Aloe Vera, Chamomile or Tea Tree Oil, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

Can laser hair removal help prevent razor bumps?

Yes, laser hair removal can be an effective long-term solution to reduce the occurrence of razor bumps. It works by permanently reducing hair growth in the treated area.

How long does it take for razor bumps to heal?

The healing time for razor bumps can vary depending on their severity and the treatment used. It may take a few days to a few weeks for razor bumps to completely heal.

Can anyone get razor bumps, or are they more common in certain skin types?

While anyone can develop razor bumps, they are more common in individuals with curly or coarse hair because the hair is more likely to become ingrown. People with sensitive skin may also be more prone to these shaving spots.