What Is A Razor Burn?
If you have experienced a red rash on your neck after shaving, then most probably you’ve suffered from a razor burn. As long as the razor is your go-to shaver, your shaving routine most likely will end in a razor burn on one or two occasions. A red rash is characterized by tenderness, itchiness, and burning sensation. Sometimes it manifests as red bumps on the affected area. These symptoms can appear on any shaved part of your body. From your underarms to legs, and face, no shaved body part is exempted from red rash symptoms. In worse cases, the condition may manifest in all these regions when shaved. However, these symptoms are temporary. They disappear over time.
But, these symptoms can cause a lot of discomfort. If you are plagued by a red rash that is causing discomfort, then this article is for you. Here, you will get to learn some simple things you can do to get rid of the rashes and how to prevent them in the first place. Before diving into these useful tips on how to treat and keep red rash at bay, let’s first find out some of the most typical causes of red rash after a shaving episode. Red sores can occur for several reasons, and most of them can be avoided.
7 Ways You Are Most Likely to Get A Red Sore on Your Neck
- Using an old razor
Old razors are most likely blunt and make you press on the skin more. This increases the chances of hurting your skin and getting a red rash.
- Shaving against the direction of hair growth
Human hair, their location notwithstanding, grows in a particular direction. Shaving in the opposite direction of hair growth gives the blades a rough time trying to cut down the hairs. Chances of cuts and abrasions increase in the process, leading to red rashes.
- Shaving with no lubricant
Lubricants such as shaving cream, soap, or even water decrease friction during shaving. If the skin is not lubricated during shaving, the blades entangle with the hairs, leaving redness and itchiness behind.
- Using a clogged razor
Razors can get clogged with soap, hair, or shaving cream. A clogged razor has reduced efficiency. Razors with clogged blades result in bluntness, which makes the process of shaving painful or excruciating in some cases.
- Shaving in a hurry
Sometimes waking up late can leave you with little time to prepare appropriately for your shaving exercise. You may choose a blunt, overused, or old razor because you’re in a hurry. You also forget or ignore to apply shaving lubricants. Less time to organize yourself for a shave can lead to mistakes, including cuts, abrasions, and red rashes.
- Application of irritating shaving products
Applying shaving products that irritate your skin can lead to red rashes. Some alcohol-based products have been found to irritate when they come into contact with freshly-shaved skin.
Shaving one particular area too many times can lead to abrasion, cuts, and redness. Too many passes on a specific area of the skin will most likely result in a red rash.
How Do You Prevent Your Neck from Turning Red After A Shave?
With good shaving habits, you can keep razor burns at bay. To make shaving a more enjoyable and satisfying experience, consider the following tips and tricks:
- Apply a lubricant before shaving: The lubricant can be either soap, water, or shaving cream. Shaving dry skin doubles the chance of an irritation occurring. To have a smooth shaving experience, soak the area to be shaved in lukewarm water for 4 to 6 minutes in a shower or bath. Then apply a shaving cream over the skin surface to keep the area moisturized while you shave.
- Select the right razor for the job: Using a safety razor instead of a multiple blades razor helps prevent razor burns and itchiness after a shave. Safety razors have the ability to glide more closely to the skin to allow for a closer shave in reduced swipes. This technique tops the list for preventing skin irritations during shaving.
- Shave using a sharp razor blade: For you to protect your skin from razor burns and nicks, it’s imperative to use a sharp razor blade at all times when you shave. Avoid the temptation of pulling your skin too tightly during a shaving exercise. Use short and light strokes when shaving and rinse the blade regularly during the shaving exercise.
- Shave only in the direction your hair grows: If you have sensitive skin, it’s imperative to shave in the direction of the hair growth to avoid any form of irritation. Shave in steady and light strokes and do so slowly.
- Replace the blade or razor regularly: If the blade feels blunt on your skin, pulls on your hair, or gets rough, it is high time you consider a replacement with a new one. In case of bumps, use a safe hair removal procedure or electric razor to remove the hairs, which increases the chances of getting razor cuts.
- Rinsing after a shave: After a shave, rinse the skin with water or use a wet washcloth to close the pores. Using cold water or a cold washcloth is preferable. Exfoliate your skin daily to remove dead skin cells from your skin. To remove dead skin by exfoliation, gently scrub the skin before the shave.
How Common Are Razor Rashes?
Most people are accustomed to shaving as the only means to get rid of unwanted hair. However, shaving also leaves us with red patches of inflamed skin, especially on the neck region where most of the daily shaving happens.
A red rash is common. Most of the people who shave have had the experience of a razor burn at least once in their lifetime. Others have experienced the condition during every shaving session. If you are a victim of frequent razor burns, this section details things you can do to soothe the skin and lower the likelihood of them occurring again.
Herbal Remedies For Razor Burns Include:
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is best known for healing and soothing burns. Aloe Vera has the potential of healing both second and first-degree burns. For a razor burn, you only need to apply a small amount of Aloe Vera onto the skin. The gel can be found in most of the pharmacies near you, or you could opt to acquire it from a natural Aloe Vera plant.
- Coconut oil
The oil is mostly used for cooking even though it can also be used as an ointment. Coconut oil is an effective and safe therapeutic method for treating burns. Coconut oil is known to contain antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. To an inflamed skin, apply a small amount of purely pressed coconut oil and spread gently.
- Sweet almond oil
Almond oil is derived from almond kernels that are well dried. It’s a superb natural moisturizer and serves as an excellent emollient. To be effective, the oil has to be applied directly to the skin. However, if you are allergic to almonds, you can use Tea tree oil.
- Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used as a perfect remedy to soothe and heal razor burns. However, it’s not advisable to use it in its undiluted form. This is mainly because the oil can cause allergic reactions and further irritate the skin. Mix the oil with coconut oil or sweet almond oil to dilute the tree oil. Three drops of tree oil should be used for each teaspoon of almond or coconut oil. Remember to do a patch test on your skin to determine if you are allergic to the tree oil before use on red rashes.
- Witch Hazel
The Hazel is an anti-inflammatory and a natural astringent. Its tannin content makes it a perfect remedy for soothing burns, relieving pain, and treating mild skin irritation. The Hazel should be applied on the razor burn using a cotton pad in small quantities until the area is fully covered.
- Baking Soda paste
Soda paste provides a cooling effect on the skin and is believed to draw out pain and heat from the affected area. However, there is still no scientific proof to support this argument. To make a paste, mix baking soda with filtered soda and stir to form a thick paste. Apply the mixture on the affected area and leave the paste to dry and clean with water thoroughly until the paste clears.
- Lemon juice
Lemon juice is acidic and stops bacteria from infecting open pores. To soothe a burn, apply the lemon juice to the affected area to prevent infection and reduce the redness.
- White Tea
White tea is also an effective way to eradicate razor burns. Tea bags contain tannic acid, which helps lower the inflammation. To use, dip the tea bag in water until it is wet and place it gently on the red spot of the neck to lower the swelling and redness.
How Else Can You Treat Razor Burns?
If you get a razor burn, there are still other ways to alleviate the pain and get rid of the red neck. Treating a razor burn can be as simple as waiting it out to heal on its own or using some skin-friendly methods to reduce the symptoms.
- To alleviate itching or heat on the affected part, you can apply a cold washcloth on the affected part of the skin. Alternatively, you can use calming ingredients such as avocado oil or Aloe as they are both cooling and apply them directly to the skin. Aloe very much keeps away the constant itch to scratch the heated skin, which delays healing.
- To soothe the irritation and relieve dryness, you can start by rinsing your skin and patting it dry afterward. Patting ensures that you do not irritate the affected skin further due to constant rubbing. After the skin is dry, apply a moisturizer such as an aftershave or a lotion. Non-alcoholic based products are best preferred as emollients as they do not cause burning sensations after they have been applied to the affected skin. If you are a naturalist, you can as well opt for coconut oil to help hydrate the skin.
- If you have sensitive skin and suffer from inflammation on the red part of the neck, you can choose between over the counter medicine or home remedies to treat the affected area. Home remedies vary from apple cider vinegar, witch hazel extract, tea tree oil, or even bathing in oatmeal water for 15 minutes. As for over-the-counter remedies, creams containing hydrocortisone help reduce visible redness or swelling on the skin.
- Oatmeal bath: The oatmeal bath is made by crushing oats into a fine powder. Oats are known to contain Phenols that harbor anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The colloidal bath helps cleanse, moisturize, and soothe the inflamed skin. For faster razor burn relief, stay in the oatmeal for at least 13 minutes.
- Hydrocortisone cream: The cream is a known steroid used to lower the inflammation and irritation. The cream can be used in a low dosage without the necessity of a prescription, but it’s imperative to use it according to the doctor’s or the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the cream at least once or twice per day. If you experience some side effects or the inflammation worsens, discontinue the use immediately.
- Calendula cream: This is a home remedy derived from Calendula flowers. It is used to lower inflammation, promotes wound healing, and heal rashes. To treat a razor burn, scoop a small amount of calendula cream and apply it on the skin at least once or twice per day.
- Warm and cold compresses: A warm compress is applied to the skin 2 minutes before a shave to help open pores and relax the hairs. On the other hand, a cold compress treats irritated skin after the shave.
- Downgrade the blades: If you are prone to razor burns, you should avoid quadruple and triple blades, which are too harsh on soft skin. A single or double blade would do just fine.
- Shave in circular motions: If you use a rotary shaver, rotate it around the neck in a circular motion smoothly, instead of the traditional approach of moving the shaver in an up and down movement, with or against the hair direction. This method allows you to trim the hairs that are facing any direction without many and repeated swipes that could cause irritation.
- Avoid trying too hard to get a close shave: To avoid getting a red rash, its best to shave lightly. When shaving, you should use the least amount of pressure when using the shaver and do not push the shaver in the direction of your shaving area.
- Approach the hairs from different angles: To catch the few and elusive last hard to reach hairs, apply small and gentle pressure, and reach the hairs from different angles to clip them. In the comfort of your mirror, you can gently tug at your skin and lift the hairs to expose them to the shaver.
- Change the comfort setting on your shaver: Modern shavers are designed to provide more comfort during shaving that may have an impact on the speed of the shaver. To maintain gentleness, set the settings to sensitive to minimize irritation after shaving.
- Bumps create a problem during shaving, and when they are present, its best to avoid shaving the skin yet to heal. Cortisone creams will assist with any related inflammation until the bumps clear, which can sometimes take two to three weeks. If the bumps fail to heal and develop symptoms of infection such as pustules and welts, consult a physician for prescription drugs. A qualified doctor will even recommend suitable products that can prevent bumps and razor burns. Such products can be in the form of retinoids that are used to exfoliate skin and cut down on dead cells build-up or other helpful prescriptions.
Red necks can clear out on their own without the necessity of a particular treatment, but if they fail to do so within a reasonable time frame, it is advisable to see a doctor. Frequent razor burns should also be treated by a physician. The doctor will also advise you on products that will not cause allergic reactions to your skin.
Keep in mind that a razor is a tool that should be replaced and maintained as per the manufacturer’s instructions. No amount of lubricant or proper shaving direction can save you from a red neck if you decide to use a clogged or blunt blade.
You may also find it useful to change your shaving ritual. You don’t need to shave as many times as you do. If you have sensitive skin, you can find relief by cutting down on the number of shaves you have per week or maintain them to a bare minimum of three times a week. Also, avoid shaving bumps that are not yet healed