The Science Behind Razor Bumps and How To Prevent Them

The Science Behind Razor Bumps and How To Prevent Them

Razor bumps are something that nearly every guy will experience at some point in his life.  Known medically as "Pseudofolliculitis barbae," it consists of patches of small red bumps that resemble acne. While it rarely poses any significant threat to a man's health, razor bumps can negatively affect your self-esteem. The good news is that you can often prevent them by following some simple steps.

What are Razor Bumps?

It's a common assumption that razor bumps are the result of an allergic reaction to ingredients in shaving creams or gels. This theory certainly makes sense, but there's actually a different explanation regarding the formation of these bumps. When hair grows, it normally grows outwards and straight. There are times, however, when a man's facial hair will grow sideways or inwards instead, causing the follicles to tuck itself under the skin; thus, causing the medical condition Pseudofolliculitis barbae, or what's more commonly known as razor bumps.

How Common are Razor Bumps?

As mentioned above, nearly every man will develop razor bumps at some point in his life. Nearly one in three guys, however, suffer from chronic razor bumps, meaning they develop this condition on a regular basis. Whether you experience occasional or chronic razor bumps, there are steps you can take to prevent them from forming, which we're going to discuss below. According to some estimated, around a third of all men suffer from razor bumps. It’s an all-too-common condition that can lower one’s self-esteem while making them feel hopeless. Thankfully, there’s hope on the horizon for men suffering from razor bumps. By making some small changes to your shaving routine, you can prevent these unsightly and oftentimes painful bumps from appearing. How To Prevent Razor Bumps The single most important step to preventing razor bumps is to give your face a little "breathing room." Contrary to what some guys believe, a close shave isn't always the best shave. Shaving too closely to your skin may cause the hair follicles to grow inwards rather than outwards. Ideally, you should leave just a small amount of stubble on your face to prevent this from happening, helping to guide the hair outwards -- the direction in which it's supposed to grow. Another tip to prevent razor bumps is to shave with a clean, sharp razor. When the blade becomes dull, it won't be able to make smooth, clean cuts. This may result in some of your facial hair growing in the wrong direction.