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 scarring.
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.
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.
Following these shaving instructions can help prevent razor bumps from forming:
Razor bumps are common among African Americans and people with tightly coiled hair.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology|
|Last Revised||May 25, 2011|
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