As attractive as our bearded African men look, not every man can rock a full beard. Some prefer a clean shave, but dealing with razor bumps after every shave can be pretty daunting.
That is why you must embrace skin care and proper grooming as a man. And this is by educating the people of African heritage on how to treat razor bumps on black skin. Even better, how to prevent them. This article looks at all these. Keep reading to learn more.
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What Are Razor Bumps?
Razor bumps are small, rounded inflammations that develop on shaved skin, mostly on men’s faces and necks.
After you have shaved, waxed, or tweezed, the new hair may curl backward and start growing inwards into the skin. Alternatively, the new hair follicle may face resistance from dead skin and be forced to curve and grow inwards. This ingrowth of hair causes irritation in the skin that manifests as dark or red bumps, known as razor bumps.
The bumps are common amongst men and primarily African Americans. About 85% of black American men experience this skin condition. This is because most black men’s hair is coarse and curly. As such, it’s more likely for the hair to curl and cause ingrown hairs that cause bumps.
The scientific name for razor or barber bumps is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB). It is also known as:
- Pseudofollicultis pubis when it occurs on pubis area
- Folliculitis barbae traumatica and
- Barber’s itch
Besides on the face and neck, razor bumps can appear on any other shaven skin, including pubic areas, legs and underarms.
People Also Read: 5 Ways to Deal With Bumps on Black Skin
Treatment for Razor Bumps on Black Skin
If left untreated, PFB can cause pus-filled lesions known as pustules, keloid scarring, and discoloration on the affected skin. Therefore, if you have noted these rounded bumps, here’s how to treat razor bumps on black skin at home and medically:
One of the natural ways to get rid of razor bumps is by growing out your hair. If you already have PFBs, shaving too soon may irritate the already affected skin, causing the razor bumps to escalate. Therefore, you want to avoid shaving for about 4-6 weeks.
This gives the bumps enough time to heal. You can use a prescribed cream to ease the razor bumps during this period. After it has healed, shave using a new technique to avoid ingrown hair.
Additionally, when you allow your beard or hair to grow, it’s unlikely to curve inwards. This will, therefore, hinder the appearance of new PFBs.
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Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin that may be in the way of hair follicles, causing it to turn inwards.
When exfoliating, use scrubs to help you get rid of as much dead skin as possible. However, you first have to test the severity of the scrub. The affected skin could be too sensitive for a face scrub. Avoid using very abrasive scrubs that can cause further damage to the skin.
You can also use sugar and olive oil to make homemade exfoliating scrub paste.
Apply the scrub on the affected skin in a circular motion and allow it to sit for about five minutes. Gently rinse the paste with warm water, cleanse and moisturize the skin.
It also helps when you use skin care products like cleansers, lotion, and moisturizers with the following composition:
- Alpha hydroxy acid– helps to reduce your hair’s curvature, reducing the likelihood of it curving and re-entering the skin.
- Beta Hydroxy acid– This acid helps to unclog the pore, after which you can free the trapped hair. It also helps remove dead skin and ease inflammation.
Use Tweezers to Draw the Trapped Hair
Adding to our list of how to treat razor bumps on black skin is tweezing out the ingrown hair. You can draw the ingrown hairs if the affected skin isn’t too large or inflamed.
Start by cleaning the area with warm water to soften the skin. Exfoliate to remove the dead skin and open up the pores to allow you to tweeze out the ingrown hair. Please be careful not to pluck out the hair since it may cause the razor bumps to reappear.
Seek Medical Treatment
When all the above steps fail, please see a certified Dermatologist for medical treatment. The Doctor will examine you and advise on how to treat razor bumps on black skin. Your options range from:
- Prescribed Over-The-Counter (OTC) retinoids, serum, creams and antibiotics
- Stronger retinoids like Tazarotene, Tretinoin, and Adapalene
- Hair extraction through sterile incision and
If you’ve been wondering how to treat razor bumps on black skin, you can try exfoliating, drawing out the ingrown hairs, or growing out your beard as home treatments. However, if the bumps escalate, please seek medical advice. Either way, don’t downplay PBPs because they can easily worsen into keloids, which are harder to treat.
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