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How To Prevent And Treat Razor Burn: Help Your Skin Fast

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OrthoArizona has 70 premier musculoskeletal specialists. The orthopedic surgeons and primary care physicians specialize in all areas of orthopedic care including sports, medicine, spine, shoulder and elbow, hand and wrist, hip and knee, foot and ankle, podiatry, trauma, industrial injuries and workers’ compensation.

Written by Michael Wilmink, MD

It seems the more I look around, the more men I see sporting beards. Honestly, not having to shave daily is a big plus for men as it saves time and it also avoids having to deal with post-shave razor burn. I have tried to grow a beard but it just does not work well with all the masks that I have to wear during surgeries, so I don’t have any other option but to shave every day. Most guys do not have a morning skincare routine and just choose to live with the razor burn, but it truly doesn’t have to be this way!

What Is Razor Burn?

Razor burn is common and can affect any person who shaves part of their body. If you’ve ever had a red rash after shaving, you were likely experiencing a razor burn. Anyone can experience these symptoms anywhere you shave, such as your face, legs, underarms, or bikini area.

Razor burn can also cause:

  • post-shave irritation
  • skin tenderness
  • a burning or hot sensation on the skin
  • itchiness
  • small raised bumps- known as razor bumps, which are actually folliculitis, a skin infection.

General Tips For Preventing Basic Razor Burn

I unhappily count myself as part of the group of shavers who experience razor burn. Through the years I have tried countless products from shaving creams, different razor styles, and post-shave creams/lotions/salves to try and reduce the razor burn I experience. Here are some ways to prevent razor burn:

  • Shave after washing your face with warm water and soap.
  • Use a clean, sharp razor.
  • Shave in the direction of hair growth, not against the grain.
  • Use a shave gel/foam for sensitive skin.
  • Rinse your razor after each stroke.

To soothe heat or itching: you can apply a cool washcloth to the affected area to help calm your skin. Aloe or avocado oil are both cooling and soothing and can safely be applied directly to the skin. To help relieve dryness or irritation: If symptoms are appearing, rinse your skin and pat it dry. Be careful not to rub the affected area, as this may further irritate the skin. Once the skin is dry, apply an emollient. This may be a lotion, aftershave, or other moisturizers. Avoid products that contain alcohol because they can often cause irritation. If you’d prefer to go the natural route, slathering on some coconut oil may help hydrate your skin.

What To Do If You Get Razor Bumps

But sometimes razor burn can go beyond annoying to something you should pay attention to.

If you experience razor bumps, avoid shaving the affected area until any sores and bumps heal. This may take up to three or four weeks. In the meantime, you should use a topical cream like an over-the-counter cortisone to treat any related inflammation.

If the bumps develop signs of infection, you need to consult your doctor. Symptoms of infection include welts and pustules. If the area has become infected, your doctor will prescribe an oral antibiotic. In addition, your doctor may also recommend products to prevent future razor burns or bumps. For example, you may be advised to use a product with retinoids to exfoliate your skin and reduce the buildup of dead cells on your skin’s surface.

What Products Help With Razor Burn

Per the WebMD article, Remedies for Razor Burn, there are a plethora of products on the market specifically designed to reduce razor burn. These products will typically contain ingredients to protect and nurture the skin such as:

  • Wheat germ
  • Vitamin E
  • Yeast extract
  • Jojoba seed oil
  • Shea butter
  • Evening primrose oil

WebMD also lists specific ingredients that are effective in skin repair and these include:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Licorice
  • Green tea
  • White tea
  • Chamomile
  • Panthenol (skin moisturizer that helps to heal wounds)
  • Caffeine
  • Bisabolol (liquid used in many skin products)
  • Comfrey (a plant that reduces inflammation)
  • Allantoin (skin moisturizer)

This is an exhaustive list of ingredients that you can look for to help you prevent razor burn. As a physician, I have looked extensively at product labels and I have tried to find the right combination of razors, along with creams and lotions containing some of these ingredients, to reduce my razor burn — and I have ultimately failed. I found this to be extremely frustrating and I know there are many more people out there who are frustrated, just like me!

Why I Recommend Using Aprisa Skincare Products

HOWEVER, I happened upon an amazing solution for my post-shave razor burn by chance, when I tried the Aprisa Drench® Serum followed by a layer of the Aprisa Equip® Day Cream. These products were available to me as they were on my bathroom counter at home (at the sink next to mine), and I said to myself, “what the heck, let’s see if this combination of skincare products can make a difference in my razor burn struggle!” Well, that was a year ago, and I can happily say that I burn no more! I used some amazing Aprisa skincare products and tapped into the technique of how to properly layer your skincare products to help eliminate razor burn.

Now, as a scientist and a physician, I was extremely curious as to how and why this combination works so well. My curiosity into “how things work” in the world of medicine has led me down the path of designing hip and knee replacements for NextStep Arthropedix, developing and patenting the A-Tap dual-barrel syringe for more accurate intra-articular joint injections with Accuro Technologies, which has been acquired by Elcam Medical. I am also a founding member of Eupraxia Pharmaceuticals where we are in the process of starting a Phase 2b clinical study in September 2021 on EP-104, a long-acting steroid that is injected into patients’ knees for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Needless to say, I am very familiar with the scientific method! My inquiring mind had to reverse-engineer the Aprisa® formulas to identify what is in the Aprisa Drench® Serum and Aprisa Equip® Day Cream products to allow them to work so effectively on my razor burn.

Key elements of these products that allow my skin to feel refreshed, soft, calm, and smooth after I shave are due to the following ingredients in Aprisa Drench® Serum and Aprisa Equip® Day Cream:

Aprisa Drench® Serum

  • Niacinamide – A water-soluble vitamin that works with the natural substances in your skin to help visibly minimize enlarged pores, improve uneven skin tone, soften fine lines and wrinkles, diminish dullness, strengthen a weakened skin surface and help the skin repair signs of past damage.
  • Water – Transports other ingredients deep into the skin to allow for maximum effectiveness while providing a hydrating sensation for your skin.
  • Hyaluronic Acid – Reinforces the skin’s natural moisture layer, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Peptides – Composed of short chains of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), our proprietary combination of peptides throughout our various formulas will strengthen the foundation of your skin and leave it looking and feeling brighter and tighter, as well as minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Aprisa Equip® Day Cream

  • Avocado Oil – A moisturizing oil naturally rich in omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins to leave your skin feeling softer and more hydrated.
  • Aloe Vera – Gives the skin a burst of hydration! Used for centuries to improve the hydration and feel of rough, dry, damaged skin.
  • Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (aka more commonly known as Green Tea) – A natural antioxidant that has powerful capabilities to protect the skin from potentially damaging elements in the environment. It also has the ability to protect skin from UV-induced oxidative stress and contributes to more youthful skin. It helps control the process of metalloproteinases, which is the natural reduction in the amount of collagen and elastin that are present in your skin, which is important to maintaining healthy and youthful skin. Rich in vitamin E and K, it keeps your skin soft and elastic, aids in skin hydration, and effectively soothing dry skin, and reducing trans-epidermal water loss.
  • Retinol – Known as “Vitamin A”: A powerful ingredient known to visibly reverse the signs of aging, improve skin radiance and clarity, and make your skin feel softer and younger.
  • Vitamin E – Helps support the immune system, cell function, and skin health. As an antioxidant, it’s effective at combating the effects of free radicals produced by environmental toxins. It may also be beneficial for reducing UV damage to the skin.
  • Yeast – Is helpful in antioxidant functions, reduces inflammation, and stimulates collagen and elastin production.
  • Silk Amino Acid – This ingredient helps to reduce fine lines and eliminate signs of aging. It can also rejuvenate skin tone, reduce wrinkles, and hydrate skin tissues.
  • Water – Transports other ingredients deep into the skin to allow for maximum effectiveness while giving a hydrating sensation to your skin.
  • Hyaluronic Acid – Reinforces the skin’s natural moisture layer, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Peptides – Composed of short chains of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), this combination of peptides will strengthen the foundation of your skin and leave it looking and feeling brighter and tighter, as well as minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.