Effects of Shaving on Skin (and what you can do about it)
Shaving is one of the most effective and convenient hair removal methods that offers fast results and minimal adverse effects. However, the minor effects that can occur are often chronic and frustrating to deal with long-term. Here’s a look at some of these common effects of skin shaving and some simple solutions.
Nicks and Cuts
Nicks and cuts while shaving happen to nearly everyone at one time or another. This type of minor injury to the surface skin is usually caused by inaccurate shaving techniques, such as shaving against the grain. The result is usually minimal bleeding and some irritation in the area that can last a few days.
Solution: Take your time while shaving to avoid injuring your skin. Use slow, smooth glides along the grain to achieve a comfortable and close shave. Be sure to change your razor when it starts to wear down, as shaving with a dull blade can increase your risk of nicks and cuts.
Itching and Dryness
Skin that is shaved frequently can suffer from dryness, which can in turn result in itching. While nothing can prevent dryness and itching except for less frequent shaves, you can reverse dryness with the right moisturizer.
Solution: Apply a non-perfume moisturizing lotion or soothing aloe vera gel to hydrate the skin and eliminate dryness. Avoid itching the skin, as this will only contribute to irritation and inflammation in the area.
Razor bumps or burns often appear as reddened, raised painful areas on the skin that appear shortly after shaving. Chronic razor burn can significantly increase your risk of developing an infection, known as folliculitis or barber’s rash, which is an infection of the hair follicles.
Solution: Many times, razor bumps and burns can be avoided by not shaving too close to the skin, or stretching the skin too tightly while shaving. If razor bumps continue to occur, consult with a skin specialist to obtain a topical medication designed to prevent these painful bumps.
Shaving can have numerous effects on the skin. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to avoid or treat these minor complications, such as choosing waxing over shaving when possible. It’s also important to follow a healthy skin care routine to keep your skin well nourished.