Shaving bumps are a big problem for many men. The technical name is Pseudofolliculitis barbae. The prefix "pseudo" refers to the fact that the symptoms are similar to those of folliculitis barbae but the cause is not the same.
In folliculitis barbae, an infectious agent (bacterial, viral or fungal) is present. The infection must be treated in order to clear up the bumps. In Pseudofolliculitis barbae, there is no infection.
Shaving bumps look like small pimples. They are only present on areas that are shaved, typically the face. They are not a type of acne, not related to the P acnes bacterium, although inflammation is involved in both acne and Pseudofolliculitis barbae.
The bumps are caused by irritation, inflammation and ingrown hairs. If the problem is not addressed, permanent scarring can occur.
Shaving can cause some irritation, especially if the razor is not sharp, the blade is old or the beard is not properly softened. Other causes of irritation include ingredients in shaving lubricants, aftershaves and other skincare products. Some men's skin is simply more sensitive. Even excellent shaving equipment causes irritation.
Where there is irritation, there is some inflammation. Inflammation is a natural function of the immune system. The inflammatory molecules help to fight infection but in this case no infection is present. The inflammatory process simply causes the symptoms of swelling, itching and redness.
Ingrown hairs are something that most people get at one time or another, even if they do not shave. Something just gets in the way of the hair growing straight out of the follicle.
The problem of ingrown hairs and shaving bumps is more common for men who have thick, curly hair. The curly hairs curl "in" -back down into the hair follicle causing irritation and inflammation.
Shaving too close is a possible cause. Research suggests that never cutting the beard shorter than 0.5 millimeters prior the ingrown hairs. Getting that length just right can be difficult to do. Most razors provide a close shave. To get a shave that is "not so close", some men use an electric razor.
Although shaving bumps may seem like a big problem, there are solutions. Dermatologists have treated this problem enough to know what kind of solutions work best.
It is only necessary to see a dermatologist if you believe an infection may be present. When there is an infection, there is more itching, the skin is hot to the touch and there is usually something of a pattern to the bumps.
You may need several steps to solve the problem of shaving bumps. If there are only one or two bumps, your problem is not too bad. Good skincare products can help heal the bumps and prevent new ones from forming. You can learn more about skincare ingredients that address issues of irritation and inflammation in my next article. See the resource box at the end of this article.
If you have a lot of shaving bumps, you will have to let your beard grow out for three or four weeks and then use additional steps to keep the problem from coming back. The steps you can take are also outlined in my next article.
You'll learn about ingredients that reduce SHAVING BUMPS by clicking the Shaving Bumps Solution for Men link in the resource / author box below.