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shaving cause acne

Does Shaving Cause Acne?

Does Shaving Cause Acne? Yes, But You Can Avoid It!

When you first hear “shaving cause Acne” it sounds like another hoax. If you have not experienced it yourself, it can feel like a myth or legend. Unfortunately, shaving Acne is real. Shaving does cause Acne, and it can get quite severe. The Acne can get so bad that it can lead to hair loss and other more severe health issues.

However, it is not the Acne you think it is, nor is it shaving itself that causes it. Thus, you can ignore most of the clickbait articles you see about it online. That does not mean you can ignore it, just that myths surrounding it are wrong. You see, pseudofolliculitis barbae, the medical term for shaving Acne, comes from improper shaving techniques. Thus, you can prevent it by practicing a proper and safe shaving regimen.

Most people do not use proper shaving tools either. Caught up in the marketing of modern multiblade razors, most people buy razors with more blades than they need. You only need one or two blades to achieve the clean-shaven look you desire. The extra blades end up cutting into your skin creating pockets where bacteria and irritation can form, leaving you with the severe Acne and rashes people associate with shaving.

The Medical Complications That Come from Shaving

Improper shaving cause Acne in two different but related skin conditions. The first is pimples after shaving face, pimples after shaving legs, and anywhere else you like to shave. The other is an inflammation rash that forms on the skin. Both conditions have the same cause, and usually come together. Though, that is not always the case. Either way, they can lead to scaring and permanent hair loss.

What is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae?

Shaving bumps is by far the most prevalent form of Acne. It develops when you shave too deeply leaving pockets in your skin above your cut hair follicles. The skin eventually grows over the cut hair which then must bore through the skin to grow. This bumps up the skin as the hair breaks through creating the Acne.

What is Folliculitis Barbae?

Besides cutting into your skin, your razor causes friction against your skin. This can irritate some people resulting in an inflammatory rash. While friction is the usual cause, you can develop the rash from allergic reactions to your shaving cream as well. Regardless, this Acne is a bacterial infection where bacteria clings to your damaged skin and hair. The lesions can be painful, discharge pus, or bleed, putting you at risk for more severe infections

Shaving Acne Complications and Health Risks

Whatever the form it takes, you should never ignore it when your shaving cause Acne. If you do not get treatment as soon as possible, the Acne can lead to worse problems down the line. Some of these complications include:

  • Darkening of the skin
  • Tissue scarring
  • Temporary and permanent hair loss 
  • Sinuses, abscesses, and infection spreading

Diagnosis and Treatment when Shaving Cause Acne

Only your doctor can determine if your Acne is the pseudofolliculitis barbae variety as you need magnification to see the ingrown hairs. You can self-diagnose the infection by the painful pustules it creates. Either way, your doctor might want to check for bacteria if you have a severe case of Acne.

What is the treatment?

If your doctor discovers that you have shaving Acne, your treatment will depend on the severity of your condition. Your doctor may just recommend letting the beard grow for 30 days to eliminate the ingrown hairs. You should then follow it with a proper shaving regiment that keeps your skin moisturized.

Medical Treatments

For severe cases, your doctor may prescribe medical treatments for when your shaving cause Acne. For folliculitis barbae and sycosis barbae, you would require a topical or oral product for acne. This will kill the bacteria while allowing your skin to heal. Antibiotics is the only treatment for this type of Acne, but you can apply it anywhere and on your own terms.

For pseudofolliculitis barbae, you need something more. Your doctor may prescribe any of the following medications depending on your situation.

  • Hydrocortisone cream to reduce minor inflammation and itching
  • Topical acne treatments to suppress follicular hyperkeratosis
  • Tretinoin, corticosteroid, and hydroquinone to decrease inflammation, hyperkeratosis, and pigment
  • Oral tetracyclines to reduce inflammation.  
  • Photodynamic therapy

You can also use Korean skincare products and Acne treatments if your Acne is mild enough.

How to Prevent Shaving Acne

You can prevent shaving caused by Acne from forming or reoccurring just by following a proper, long-term shaving regimen. This works well for both man and woman shaving face Acne. You do not need any drugstore acne product. You can also permanently remove your hair completely, but that might not be a viable option for you. Either way, you should follow the advice of your doctor.

Hair Removal Methods

The only sure way to prevent pseudofolliculitis barbae is to not have hair at all. If you need to take this route, your doctor may prescribe the following treatments. While not ideal, these treatments will permanently eliminate your risk for developing shaving-cause Acne.

  • Eflornithine cream  
  • Chemical depilatories such as barium sulfide paste and calcium thioglycolate
  • Intense pulsed light (IPL)
  • Laser hair removal

Proper Shaving Techniques Will Prevent Shaving Cause Acne

Fortunately, most people do not need to go bald to reduce their risk of developing shaving Acne. Good shaving techniques are also how do you shave with Acne. You can start these techniques immediately or after your 30-day, doctor-requested shaving probation.

Choose the Right Razor for You

The process starts even before you put the razor next to your skin. Everything you do must ensure that your blades do not dig into your skin. That means using a razor with one or two blades. Your never needs more blades than that. You should also sterilize the metal blades with boiling water and the plastic parts in an antiseptic solution.

Electric shavers are best for your skin.

Electric razors are not just convenient. They are usually the best razors for your skin. This does not mean you cannot get electric razor Acne. Electric razors are just safer. Their blades do not cut into your skin, provided you do not press the head too hard. You avoid irritation by gently sliding the head over your skin. You may also want to use a foil shaver if you have sensitive skin. They are gentler than the rotary ones while giving you a closer shave.

Use safety razors when you cannot go electric.

While electric is best, it is not for everyone. You might be too sensitive for them, or just prefer using blades. Either way, you want to keep the number of blades as low as possible. Single-blade razors are best as they will not cut into your skin. You can get away with two blades if you are careful, but you should never go more than that. With that said, you should go with a safety razor. Safety razors were the go-to razors before today’s multi-blade constructs came on the scene. They use double-sided disposable blades, though you only use one of the edges at a time. While not new, many people claim these razors eliminated their post-shave irritation as soon as they switched to them.

Match the Blade to Your Skin Type

With the right razor in hand, you now must choose the right blade. Another advantage safety razors have over other fixed-blade razors is the 82 brands of blade that work with them. Each brand has its own degree of sharpness. So, you can choose the blade that offers the comfortable, close shave you need. For example, derby blades are the perfect starter option with an average sharpness for average hair growth. On the other hand, thick, dense beards will require something sharper such as a feather blade. You can buy a blade combination pack to test them out until you find your perfect blade.

Have a Pre-Shave Routine

Now that you have your razor and blade, you can begin your shaving routine. A good shaving routine has three parts that you must complete in order. The first is the pre-shave phase that prepares your skin and hair for the shave. Good pre-shave routines will reduce the risk of whiteheads after shaving.

Pre-shave is all about moisturizing your skin, especially with warm water or a primer. These moisturizers will make your skin more pliable while the heat and steam softens your hair. This makes the process easier and less Acne-prone.

Speaking of which, you can minimize the risk of ingrown hairs and irritation by using antioxidant serums. They will open your pores, straighten your hairs, and keep you irritation-free. You should also use thin BB cream which will provide the lubrication you need for a smooth, nick-free shave.

Stop Shaving Caused by Acne with Multiple Passes

You should never try to complete your shave in one stroke. That never works well as that is how shaving causes Acne. Instead, you want to take things slow and complete the process in three passes. Each pass with reduce the length of your hair slowly to give your skin time to adjust.

Your first pass should leave you with a “5 o’clock shadow”. You can do this by shaving with the grain of your hair, which is usually down rather than up. This will not stretch your skin reducing the risk for irritation and nicks. The second pass should be across the grain while the third pass against it. The third pass is optional, and you can skip it if you have sensitive skin. You should also never shave over any preexisting pimples.

A Post-Shave Routine Lowers Shaving Caused by Acne

Shaving Acne irritation comes from two main reasons: tiny infections under the skin or excessively dry skin. Your post-shave body wash routine should deal with both. For instance, you should rinse twice, once with warm water and the other with cold. This is how to prevent pimples after shaving your pubes. A good post-shave routine with toner and moisturizer is also how to prevent acne after shaving with electric razor. A good face wash or face mask does wonders as well.

While it is true that shaving cause Acne, you can do something about it. All you need is a good, proper shaving regimen to keep the rashes, irritations, and bumps away. This is because shaving Acne is a byproduct of your razor cutting into your skin as you shave. One excellent shaving strategy is to use essential oils to lubricate your skin before you shave to reduce the irritation while softening your hair. These oils, along with a decent razor, will prevent the nicks that allow the cut hairs to fall under your skin.

Elisabeth Hasselblad

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