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The Relation of Shaving Bumps and Acne Breakouts

Jul 12, 2008
Little "shaving bumps," known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, are similar to acne breakouts. They are generally caused when hair follicles get inflamed by shaving. When you shave or pluck your hair, it often gets trapped inside the follicle. This can cause puffiness and itching.

Anyone can get shaving bumps, but it is very common in people who have curly hair. Fortunately "shaving bumps" are preventable and by following a few simple steps you can learn how to "shave smart" and have fewer breakouts.

You should always start with warm water when you are going to shave. This will allow your skin to get hydrated to make it more pliable; in doing so, you will also be increasing the flow of blood coming into the area you are preparing to shave. In order to achieve these effects, many have found shaving in the shower to be helpful.

Another important thing to keep in mind for reducing Pseudofolliculitis barbae is to use the right shaving cream. Using filmy or thinner kind of shaving creams will aid the razor to move smoothly over the skin without any difficulty, thereby decreasing inflammation.

Selecting the right razor is as vital as selecting the right cream. Try using an electric razor. You may not get a close shave, however you may lessen the likelihood of an acne outbreak. Some people may rather use a blade for shaving. If you are using a blade, try to use a new blade every time you are shaving. Double and triple edges blades take the hair out of the follicle, and this result in a shave that is in fact beneath the epidermis. The epidermis develops over the opening of the follicle as part of the natural healing. And when the hair grows back, it makes an effort to escape from the closed follicle, and this in turn causes the skin to inflame.

Try getting in the habit of shaving with the grain. For both men and women, this means shaving down, instead of up. Doing this will cut down on irritation and may help reduce nicks and cuts, too. Remember the closer you shave, the more likely you are to get shaving bumps.

After your shaving is over, you may have to put a gentle alcohol-free toner (or witch hazel) or antibacterial gel. This will help to destroy the bacteria prior to it getting into the open follicles, and this helps you to prevent Pseudofolliculitis barbae before it begins. You get Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in gel form and this averts Pseudofolliculitis barbae.

These simple steps will go a long way to prevent Pseudofolliculitis barbae in most people. If shaving bumps are still persistent even after you have tried these steps, you may want to consult a dermatologist. They may be able to prescribe a more aggressive topical acne treatment.
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What is the best acne scar treatment available? You will find the best acne information in David Warple's articles.
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