Razor bumps, also called
pseudofolliculitis barbae, are small, irritated bumps on the skin. They develop
after shaving, when strands of hair curl back on themselves and grow into the
skin. Razor bumps cause irritation and pimples. They also may cause
How are razor bumps treated?
The best way to treat
razor bumps is to stop shaving. If you cannot stop shaving, use a clean needle
to release the embedded hair shaft. This usually stops razor bumps from
developing, depending on how bad they are.
But if shaving is restarted,
razor bumps typically return.
Severe razor bumps that do not go
away with home treatment may be treated with medicine you spread on the skin,
such as hydrocortisone, antibiotic, or tretinoin cream.
Do shaving alternatives stop the development of razor bumps?
Razor bumps will typically go away if shaving is stopped.
Hair removal products (depilatories) can be used instead of shaving. But these
products can irritate the skin and should be used only once or twice a week.
Or you can prevent irritation from shaving by having beard hair removed permanently with laser treatments or electrolysis.
Can razor bumps be prevented?
shaving instructions can help prevent razor bumps from forming:
Take a hot shower before shaving, to soften
the hair and open the pores.
Use a thick shaving
Don't stretch the skin when shaving, and always shave in the
direction your beard grows. Use the fewest razor strokes possible. Rinse with
Use an electric razor if it can be adjusted to a higher
After shaving, press a cold wet cloth against your face
for 5 minutes.
Who is at risk for razor bumps?
Razor bumps are
common among African Americans and people with tightly coiled hair.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.