Razor Bumps

A close shave shouldn’t lead to irritation, pain, or scarring.

Razor bumps aren’t just a problem for how people look. If they’re not treated, razor bumps can become serious problems, including:

  • Difficulty in careers
  • Disfiguration
  • Low self-esteem
  • Problems in social relationships

Occasional razor bumps may not be cause for concern. But if you have chronic, painful razor bumps, you may need to see a doctor. Our dermatologists know how to handle even the most challenging razor bumps. We’ll provide the treatment options you need and tips to avoid getting razor bumps in the first place.

What are razor bumps?

Razor bumps are a common skin condition also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae. Most hair grows out with no problems or irritation. But sometimes, hairs can pierce the skin but turn inward as they grow. This inward turn causes a razor bump.

Razor bumps often form in the area of shaved skin. The beard area is a common location for men. Both men and women can get them at the nape of the neck (the back of the neck, just under the hairline) after haircuts.

Who gets razor bumps?

People with tightly curled hair are at particular risk for razor bumps. Anyone with darker skin can develop them.

What do razor bumps look like?

Small bumps at the area of shaved skin are the most typical symptom of this condition. Without treatment, razor bumps can grow much larger.

Some of the other symptoms include:

  • Painful or infected sores
  • Sores that erupt and drain
  • Scarring
  • Keloids -- raised, thickened scars -- particularly in people with darker skin

What are my treatment options for razor bumps?

Our doctors can offer patients with razor bumps an array of treatments. These treatments include:

  • Antibiotics to reduce infection and swelling
  • Creams applied to the skin
  • Injections of cortisone to relieve large, painful razor bumps
  • Laser therapies in severe cases

Of course, we want to make sure your skin is as healthy as possible. We’ll show you the best methods of shaving, as well as which shaving creams and instruments to use, to lower your risk in the future.

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