Shaving can sometimes lead to inflammation, blemishes and ingrown hair. ‘Shaving bumps’, otherwise known as Pseudofolliculitis barbae, are not acne that occurs after shaving, but a persistent inflammation of the skin caused by shaving. After the hair has been shaved it sometimes curls into the skin as it regrows, causing an inflammatory reaction.
This form of acne from shaving tends to occur more in males with curly hair. Treatment includes allowing the beard to grow for a period of three to four weeks. If this is not possible, shaving every other day will also help to improve the condition. Using an alcoholic solution, containing 1 per cent clindamycin, immediately after shaving can improve this condition.
Although shaving itself does not cause acne, factors such as using the wrong shaving cream or blade for your skin type can irritate or cut the skin, causing infection and an acne-like rash.
If the skin has been cut, change the razor blade daily to prevent cross-infection. Not shaving if you don’t have to will help the skin to heal. Use a tea tree-based shaving gel, or one for sensitive skin, may help to reduce the inflammation. Try not to shave over the spots for a few days.
If you are using electric shavers, clean them regularly to avoid infection. Experiment with a wet or dry shave to see which works best for your skin. Use alcohol-free shaving products. Shaving products with alcohol not only dry the skin, they may also hurt the skin when you apply them directly to the spots.
The best products for shaving burn and acne available in a drug store are those that contain natural ingredients with non-inflammatory properties. Natural ingredients such as aloe vera and emu oil not only help reduce inflammation, they also promote wound healing.
One final shaving tip for people with acne – apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer after shaving to keep the skin hydrated.