Everything was going swell. You shaved your private area no problem. You know how to shave your face or your legs and assumed it was the same procedure. But then a few hours later you noticed a chaffing sensation. You checked below and found them: red, itchy, annoying bumps dotted everywhere. Where did you go wrong?
Gross, I know. It’s a sensitive topic, literally. Razor bumps on your private areas are extra painful and irritating. Some people are prone to razor bumps and others never deal with the infliction. If you’re reading this, then you likely fit into the former group. But that’s okay.
I’ve gathered the resources, techniques, and tips to help you squash razor bumps for good. After reading below, you can put this nightmarish experience behind you.
Table of Contents
What Are Razor Bumps?
When you shave, it may seem like your razor cuts your stubble with ease, but that’s not the case.
You can’t feel it, but your razor pulls your hairs as it glides. The pulled hairs snap, and the force can push them under your skin. As the hair grows back, it curls downwards and causes infection. That’s why razor bumps look like pimples: inside is a little hair curling into itself, and the skin swells as it grows.
Now that you understand the basic nature of razor bumps, let’s look at other symptoms you may have along with razor bumps.
The Many Symptoms of Razor Bumps
Razor bumps are part of a whole list of symptoms that occur when you shave improperly. If you have razor bumps, you likely have some or all the following annoying issues.
- Itchy Skin
- Painful Irritation
- Burning Sensation
This list is not exhaustive. Plenty of other symptoms may occur. Left unchecked, razor bumps can lead to more serious Folliculitis, because shaving over those ingrown hairs causes infections. It’s an uncomfortable, embarrassing chain reaction. If you don’t seek help and continue shaving, the problem will snowball.
So, how to get rid of razor bumps on private area? The number one remedy isn’t a product or secret trick, it’s shaving your nether regions the right way. Read on to learn more.
How to Shave Private Areas Properly to Prevent Razor Bumps
The most important step in eliminating razor bumps is perfecting your shave technique.
Shaving your private areas differs from your face or legs. The most sensitive skin on your body is found below your waist and under your arms. All those bad habits you picked up may work shaving your face, but they’re ruining your untouchable areas.
As you read my special shaving how-to, note any points in your shaving routine that don’t jive. Your best defense against eliminating razor bumps is a great offense.
Using a clipper or trimmer, shave off as much hair as possible. The shorter your hair, the better chance your razor cuts without pulling. Trim your hair when it’s dry, and try different strokes: up, down, and sideways. That way you’ll cut hair even shorter.
Wash the private area thoroughly with a natural soap. You can perform this step (and the next step, Soak) while showering or bathing. Never use shampoo or conditioner on your private areas. Shampoo formulas are designed specifically for your scalp and will not aid in shaving. If anything, they’ll hasten the damage.
Soak in your tub or shower. Alternatively, hold a hot, warm towel on the area for at least ten minutes. You want the area soft and supple. Softer hair cuts easier than tough, dry hair. Remember, any hair your razor pulls causes razor bumps.
You need a gentle shave cream without alcohol or any other chemical that dries out skin. I recommend a moisturizing product. Summon up a decent lather and re-apply as much as you need to while shaving.
Shave with the gain, which for private areas usually means downward. A common shaving myth that will not go away is that we shave against the grain. Do not do this, especially if you have problems with razor bumps. Shaving against the grain causes more irritation than shaving with the grain.
Do not apply pressure when shaving. While easing your way out of razor bump hell, you’re better off aiming for zero irritation then perfectly smooth skin. A little stubble after shaving is better than no stubble and a new batch of bumps.
Also, do not stretch your skin as you shave. Although a great technique for your face, it causes way too much stress to your private areas.
Once you’re finished shaving, rinse the area until no shaving cream remains. You can tell the difference when your skin loses that slippery feeling. Apply a non-alcoholic based topical to protect your skin.
No aftershave! If possible, let the area air out, either by wearing nothing at all or baggy sweatpants. The point is to avoid chaffing for the first hour or two. That way the skin can heal.
The Comprehensive List of Razor Bump Prevention Tips
Aside from perfecting your shaving skills, you can eliminate razor bumps by changing some of your other self-care habits. Below, I’ve fashioned a list of the best tips I’ve learned over my many years of shaving advice and experience.
Think on each tip seriously. Then ask yourself a simple question: How far am I willing to go to prevent razor bumps?
Wait Until Razor Bumps Heal to Shave Again
If you’re suffering from razor bumps now, stop shaving the area. You must treat your razor bumps properly until they’re gone. Shaving an area already riddled with bumps will lead to more irritation and pain.
Do not pick, squeeze or scratch your razor bumps. Some ingrown hairs will release on their own. For the ones that don’t, use a needle or toothpick and lift the hair loop to release them. If the hair hides under skin, you must wait until it pushes through. Cutting or digging into the pimple-like sores will only cause you more pain.
We know that dead skin, dirt, and natural body oils affect the performance of your razor. That’s why establishing (and maintaining) an exfoliation routine is crucial to eliminating razor bumps. With a gentle yet effective product like this, rub down your private areas while you shower.
Scrub with circular motions when you exfoliate. Be mindful of how much pressure you place on your skin. With cleanliness, we often think more is better, but that is a misplaced sentiment. Apply just enough force to feel the effects of the exfoliating stone or cloth.
Use Natural Bathing Products
Who knows how many long-lasting, harmful effects are caused by the chemicals in your typical bathing products? Even if you don’t have razor bumps, toss whatever store-brand stuff you’re rubbing all over yourself. Opt for natural bathing soaps and conditioners; if you understand the ingredients on your soap label, then you’ve got a chance at fighting razor bumps.
I recommend natural soaps like this one. They lather better than the chemical stuff, and they smell great, too.
Try an electric razor
Honestly, some people seem cursed by the shaving gods. No matter how many tips they follow, they get razor bumps. I think the problem often originates in the razor. Even a fresh, sharp razor causes damages skin. And many people live with skin that cannot handle that damage.
If you think you’re one of the razor-banished, consider purchasing an electric razor. We have tons of reviews and comparisons to check out. I’d suggest purchasing a dry and wet capable product. That way you can soften your skin in the shower and shave while your skin is optimally supple.
Alternatives to Aftershave Products
With razor bump prevention, less is more. Over the counter and online aftershaves boast incredible claims, but who knows what the massive list of ingredients on the back of the bottle do to your skin.
Instead of buying yet another aftershave product, go natural. I know of two magic salves that have soothed countless people just like you: aloe vera and coconut oil.
Aloe vera is a gel-like substance derived from a succulent plant of the same name. As a topical, it relieves pain due to minor burns. More importantly, it acts as a barrier between you skin and the environment.
Applying aloe vera protects your skin during the crucial few hours after a shave, and it gives your skin time to heal.
Coconut oil is like aloe vera, but you trade some protection for increased hydration and anti-oxidants. Both products are a great option for reducing razor bumps.
If Nothing Helps, See a Dermatologist
Sometimes no matter what you do, razor bumps return again and again. Not to alarm you, but usually ongoing razor bump struggles stem from problems unrelated to shaving. You may need an antibiotic or steroid. In such cases, visit a local dermatologist.
I know the last thing you want to read on the Internet is “see a doctor.” But treating severe or persistent razor bump cases involves more than what I can offer you, or what you can buy. Plus, it may not be razor bumps after all. There are few similar problems that show signs like razor bumps. Do yourself a solid and visit a doctor if nothing seems to cure your razor bumps.
You Can Beat Razor Bumps
I know right now it seems like you’re doomed with an insurmountable problem. That’s not the case. You can treat and eliminate razor bumps.
We all want perfect, blemish free skin. But fortunately, that means working for it and troubleshooting when things go wrong. Everyone’s skin is different. So go through my list of tips and advice carefully. Be reasonable. For example, if you have oily skin, opt for the tips that don’t exacerbate your condition.
With a smarter shave routine, and better products at your disposal, you can beat razor bumps on your private areas. I bet a month from now, you’ll forget you had razor bumps at all.