Ever since prehistoric man first scraped a seashell across his cheek, so prehistoric woman would let him dance cheek-to-cheek, shaving has been a part of the male experience. But even with today’s high-tech razors, lots of men still get nicks, cuts, and razor burn.
Razor burns and ingrown hairs on the bearded skin are medically referred to as pseudofolliculitis barbae. Although anyone can develop shaving problems, they are most common in men who have very curly facial hairs.
This type of irritation may have a number of causes :
- “Barber’s rash”, medically known as folliculitis, is caused when the hair follicles become infected with the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus. The infection leads to redness, itching, and small, blisters.
- “Razor bumps”, occur when the hair curls and grows back into the skin. This hair may then be attacked by the body’s immune system, leading to redness, inflammation and increased susceptibility to infection. It may also develop into full-blown folliculitis. Ingrown hairs can also develop when the hair is cut too short, below the surface of the skin.
Dry and flaky skin can also result from using shaving products and after shave products with artificial ingredients and/or alcohol. Products based on natural ingredients are highly recommended.
The best way of preventing shaving problems is to learn to shave correctly, a combination of specific shaving practices, appropriate shaving equipment and quality topical treatments.