6 tips to help avoid razor burn

Man shaving

It’s mid-November, and if you are participating in “No Shave November,” the finish line is in sight. After a month of not shaving, you will probably be ready to trade your bearded look for a fresh, shaven appearance, but the look of a fresh shave can quickly disappear due to razor burn. This skin irritation appears as a red rash and causes a burning sensation that can be itchy and swollen. Dr. Keith Lopatka, a dermatologist with  Lakeview Dermatology in Chicago offers the following advice to avoid razor burn:

  • Avoid using a dull razor by replacing a razor after five uses.
  • Shave in the direction of the hair growth (with the grain).
  • Use short strokes.
  • Shave in the shower. Take a hot shower and shave after being in the shower for a few minutes; the heat and moisture will soften your hairs.
  • Never dry shave. Always use a shaving aid such as shaving cream or gel.
  • Be sure to clean the razor thoroughly. Rinse your razor after every pass you take.

If you follow these tips and still end up with razor burn, Dr. Lopatka suggests using Aloe Vera on the irritated area after shaving. Lotions containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid can also help. If you have razor burn often you can also use an antibiotic ointment on the area when you finish shaving. Applying ice packs and avoiding shaving until the burn disappears can also be helpful. Most of all, Dr. Lopatka warns patients to stay away from products containing alcohol. “Alcohol tends to dry the skin and clogs pores,” he says. If your razor burn becomes a major concern, check with your physician for additional hair removal options and treatments.

To learn more about men’s dermatology issues, visit lakeviewderm.com. On the site, men can make appointments, find helpful tips and screening information and also find a doctor.

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