Razor bumps, also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, are small, raised areas on the skin’s surface caused by ingrown hair. They affect both men and women, most often on the areas frequently shaved (face, neck, or pubic area). Razor bumps can also occur after waxing, plucking the hair or using a depilatory. When the hair is cut, it falls back below the surface and the end begins to grow into the skin. Curly, dark hair may make an individual more likely to develop razor bumps.
Proper shaving technique can help prevent or reduce the appearance of razor bumps. Use warm water to soften the hair by taking a shower or placing a washcloth with warm water on the face. Shave in the direction the hair grows to prevent irritation. Thick shaving gel protects the skin and applying moisturizing lotion afterward soothes it.
If the razor bumps, or ingrown hairs, are not treated, the area may become infected. They may be painful and large, and cause scarring when the bump erupts and drains. Shaving quickly, roughly, or too close to the skin are common causes. Dull blades also increase the likelihood of irritation.
Treatment consists of topical creams, topical antibiotics, and/or cortisone injections. Permanently removing the hair using laser treatments is another option.
Please use the form below to ask questions about our Dermatology or Podiatry services. Someone from the practice will contact you to answer your question. You can also call the office at (248) 435-6622 to speak with someone directly.