Treatment of Shaving Bumps (Pseudofolliculitis Barbae) in Indianapolis and Carmel

Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology

Treatment for Shaving Bumps (Pseudofolliculitis Barbae) Indianapolis and Carmel IN

In our practice, people who suffer from shaving bumps and are interested in treatment and/or diagnosis are seen by Turkle & Associates board certified dermatologist, Dr. Matt Strausburg.

We invite you to continue reading for frequently asked questions and more information about shaving bumps and how we can help.

What Are Shaving Bumps?

Shaving bumps are a skin condition found in areas you shave. You may also have heard them called razor bumps or ingrown hairs. The medical term for shaving bumps is pseudofolliculitis barbae.

Information about similar bumps (called folliculitis) which are not caused by shaving is on our page for folliculitis treatment here.

Who Gets Shaving Bumps?

Anybody can get shaving bumps, although they are much more common in African American men who have about a 60% chance of getting this skin condition.

What Do Shaving Bumps Look Like?

A single shaving bump can look dark or red and/or look like a whitehead. Generally, it looks like a pimple and usually people clusters of shaving bumps and it looks more like a rash.

They can be found anywhere hair is removed, but common areas are the beard and bikini area.

Severe cases of razor bumps can cause scars.

What Do Shaving Bumps Feel Like?

Shaving bumps usually feel tender or painful.

What Causes Shaving Bumps?

Generally, if a hair grows back into the skin instead of growing thru the skin opening, a shaving bump forms. This is why it’s also called an ingrown hair.

Shaving bumps are more common in those with curly hair as a curly hair is more likely not to grow straight through the skin opening.

You can also get bumps when you shave too closely and the hair is removed below the surface of the skin. In these cases, hairs can more easily grow into the skin.

Can I Get Shaving Bumps With Other Methods Of Hair Removal?

Yes. Whenever hair is removed below the surface of the skin as in very close shaving, ingrown hair bumps can form when your hair is growing back. One example is hair removal by waxing.

Can Laser Hair Removal Help With Shaving Bumps?

Yes, our patients who get shaving bumps find that reduction of hair with laser hair removal is very helpful.

We can do laser hair removal treatments just about anywhere you have hair. Please click here for our information about laser hair removal.

Home Treatment for Shaving Bumps

Usually shaving bumps do not require a visit to a dermatologist and can be resolved with home treatment. If you have shaving bumps:

  • Stop shaving for 3-4 weeks. This gives adequate time for the hair follicles to grow to a length where ingrown hairs will “spring free.” The first week may see worsening because of re-growth of previously shaved hairs.
  • Use a mild soap like Dove or Lever 2000 on a face cloth, net sponge or soft-bristled toothbrush when washing the areas where you get shaving bumps. Wash for several minutes with a circular motion. Do this every day and this will help to dislodge stubborn hair tips.
  • Use of needles, toothpicks or other sharp objects to dislodge stubborn hair tips is generally not recommended because overly aggressive digging with sharp objects can cause further damage to the skin or infection.

Feel free to call our dermatologist Dr. Matt Strausburg at 317-848-0001 if you think you might have an infection or feel you need further advice for shaving bumps – we’ll be happy to set up an appointment for you.

How Can I Prevent Shaving Bumps?

The following are helpful tips for shaving bump prevention:

Non-Electric Razors

Razor choice: use single edged foil guarded safety razors. Double or triple bladed razors shave too closely and should not be used. Commercially available foil guarded razors have about 30% of the blade covered by foil, which prevents the blade from shaving the hair too closely.

Shaving technique: when using the above mentioned razor, begin shaving after hair has been wet for about 5 minutes (this softens the hair). Avoid holding the skin taut by not pulling it and shave in the direction of hair growth (with the grain). Cool compresses after shaving may be helpful.

Electric Razors

Electric razors have acceptable results if used properly.

Razor choice: a 3-headed rotary electric razor is recommended

Shaving technique: keep the razor heads slightly off the surface of the skin and shave in a slow circular motion. Do not press the electric razor close to the skin or pull the skin taut as this will result in too close of a shave. Some electric razors have “dial in” settings for the closeness of the shave. These may be effective if kept off of the closest settings.

Electric Clippers

These clippers are effective for more difficult cases of shaving bumps.

Shaving technique: with electric clippers, a 1-2 mm stubble can be left on the face. The tendency to shave too close is reduced with this method, making it more effective.

Chemical Depilatories

Chemical depilatories provide an alternative form of hair removal that has been used with success for those with shaving bumps.

There are many brands to choose from although barium sulfide and calcium thioglycolate are the two most common active ingredients for you to look for.

  • Barium sulfide powder depilatories of about 2% strength can be made into a paste with water and applied to the beard or other area. After 3-5 minutes this is removed.
  • Calcium thioglycolate preparations come as powder, lotions, creams and pastes. They take longer to work and are left on 10-15 minutes.

Be aware chemical burns may result with either formulation if left on too long.

Chemical depilatories should not be used every day as they can cause skin irritation, so they should only be used every second or third day.

If irritation occurs, a lower pH or concentration, or a different brand, may also prove less irritating. There are many products to choose from, so trying a different product is encouraged if one depilatory is unacceptable.

You can also try using an over the counter hydrocortisone cream for irritation.

Do You Take Insurance For Shaving Bump Treatment?

Yes, if medically necessary, we do take insurance for shaving bumps. We suggest you contact your plan administrator to determine if we participate with your insurance plan.

Contact Us About Treatment for Shaving Bumps

If you have more questions and would like further information about shaving bumps, or if you are ready to schedule an appointment, contact Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology by clicking here for our online quick-contact email form or feel free to call us at 317-848-0001.

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*Fees are approximate only and subject to physical examination and consultation. We do try to keep the fees on our website up to date, however be advised fees are subject to change without notice. Please feel free to inquire about any price changes.

Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatologys’ video content is for informational and educational purposes only. Viewing of these videos should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or a treatment recommendation. As with any health concern, always seek a consultation regarding a medical condition. Any questions concerning the content of these videos may be directed to Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology at drturkle@turklemd.com or 317-848-0001.

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