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Since so many of us shave, razor bumps and burn is a common problem. It's only a temporary skin issue but, nevertheless, is an annoying one and can even be severe enough to require intervention.
But let's take a step back first -- is razor burn actually the same as razor bumps? Do they have the same preventions and treatments? It depends.
The inflamed, irritated skin that sometimes appears after shaving goes by many names: razor rash, razor burn, and razor bumps.
Ingrown hairs can be a related skin issue brought on by shaving.
Don't worry. We'll cover both of these issues, just in case.
Finally, do shaving bumps and burns have anything else in common with the ingrown hair on legs? Yes: they carry a small risk of infection in some instances.
If your razor burn doesn't improve for more than a few days or worsens, it's best to visit a dermatologist who can prescribe topical antibiotics. The same goes for when you pick at ingrown hairs, breaking the skin open. That can cause scarring as well.
First, let's focus on how to get rid of razor bumps and burn.
If you feel it's only a slight abrasion and you're not pained or uncomfortable, how long does razor burn last if untreated? It should clear up after only a few days, healing progressively.
However, you shouldn't aggravate the area further. Avoid shaving and exfoliation as long as possible -- waiting until after you're fully healed would be best.
There are a few ways to relieve razor burn symptoms and potentially speed up the healing process (just a bit).
This works excellently fresh out of the shower. Simply run a washcloth under cold water, wring out much of the excess water, and put it in place. You can leave it draped, or hold it in against your skin with light pressure.
This over-the-counter topical soothes irritation and itchiness and can reduce redness and inflammation. You may already have some in your medicine cabinet for bug bites. Just don't use it if your razor burn has caused any skin breakage.
Aloe vera's soothing properties are well known, often used on the usual kind of burn. It also moisturizes, which benefits razor burn, too. Aloe-based products like this Nacach Moisturizing Milk will work similarly to pure aloe vera.
If you're having an itchy irritation or uncomfortable sensitivity, witch hazel may suit your needs more than aloe. It's anti-inflammatory and treats irritation and itchiness, like a natural alternative to hydrocortisone. Tea tree oil is another good choice: it's anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. This Nacach Post Wax Refreshing Cream with tea tree and menthol adds a cooling sensation.
Finally, if your razor burned skin isn't incredibly irritated, but you don't want to leave it untreated, just make sure to moisturize. Pat the area dry and gently apply an alcohol-free moisturizer. Shea butter or coconut oil will smooth and soothe so that you could try something like Nacach Body Oil for this one.
The trick to removing ingrown hairs is to be gentle, not rough. You should create conditions where ingrown hairs won't occur rather than figure out how to dig them out of your skin. The Nacach post wax care products mentioned above all help decrease the risk of new ingrown hairs if applied after hair removal.
There are only a couple of other guidelines.
Either chemical or physical exfoliants (salicylic, glycolic, or citric acids versus scrubs or pumice) will do the trick. Use what's right for your skin and the sensitivity of the affected area. It may take a few washes with a few exfoliators to fully free an ingrown hair. Don't try to rush the process, as that in itself could cause abrasions and irritation.
Wait for a little more hair growth. If you shave every day, for example, try every two days. Remember, however, that even long hairs can be trapped beneath the skin. Keep up with the exfoliating.
There's quite some overlap between how to shave legs to avoid razor burn and avoid the ingrown hairs we've already discussed.
Here are a few more tips specifically for razor burn prevention.
Knowing how to get rid of razor burn is only half the battle; the rest of the struggle is knowing how to prevent it. The same goes for ingrown hairs, which you can't even pick at after the fact -- unless you want irritated red blotches, scarred skin, and the risk of infection.
Luckily, preventing razor burn, bumps, and ingrown hairs is as easy knowing how to shave your legs (or face, or bikini line).
Soak, exfoliate, lather up, moisturize, and keep those blades sharp.