What Are Razor Bumps And Shaving Rash And How To Prevent Them

Shaving rash developing? At Venus, we’re with you every step of the way to remove hair without discomfort and uncomfortable bumps.

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Razor rashes and bumps can be itchy, cause discomfort and even be painful. Find out what causes razor rashes and bumps, and how you can protect your skin while you shave.

What is a razor burn or shaving rash?

Strawberry legs

Shaving rash is caused by your razor when it catches the skin whilst shaving, resulting in skin damage. It may show up as red, itchy skin irritation.

What is a razor bump?

Razor bumps are visually different from other rashes or burns as they appear as raised bumps on the skin’s surface.

The difference between razor rashes and bumps

Women Carefully Shaving Her Legs with Gilette Venus Razor

Razor rashes and razor bumps are often used interchangeably, but they are actually considered separate conditions.

Razor rashes, also known as razor burns, can cause itchy rashes, tenderness and redness. Razor bumps are ingrown hairs caused by cut hair strands that curl back into the skin and grow under the surface, causing red or skin-coloured, pimple-like bumps.

What causes razor rashes and bumps?

Skin rash on the arms

Your razor, how you shave, and even your skin type can all cause razor burn and bumps.

For instance, shaving dry skin with a manual razor and using a dull razor blade increase the chances of developing razor burn and bumps; and if your skin is naturally more sensitive, you are also at a higher risk of developing skin irritation when shaving. Check out Venus Deluxe Smooth Sensitive Razor Blade Refills for sensitive skin.

How to treat razor rashes and bumps?

How to Treat Razor Rashes and Bumps

Although razor burn and bumps should heal on their own without treatment, you can take steps to help speed up the healing process.

  • For razor burns, apply a cold wash cloth or lotion with calming ingredients like aloe vera to soothe irritated skin and prevent itching, which can delay healing.
  • For razor bumps, place a warm towel to the affected area for a few minutes to help encourage the ingrown hairs to break through the skin.
  • To treat both razor burn and bumps, keep your skin well-moisturised to help fight the urge to itch any affected areas. If your skin irritation gets infected, see a dermatologist who may prescribe an antibiotic topical solution.

How to prevent razor bumps and burns?

A collage of different images containing shaving, bathing and razor themes

If your skin is feeling the effects of skin irritation, you're probably keen to know how to get rid of razor burn.

Although there is no sure-fire way to completely stop razor rashes and bumps from occurring, especially if you have sensitive skin, you can minimize the chances of irritation when shaving.

Understanding how to prevent razor bumps from developing with skincare tips also means you can learn how to stop these issues in their tracks.

Exfoliate before you shave to remove dead skin

Skin Peeling Before Shaving

Exfoliation helps prevent razor burn by removing dead skin from the surface. To exfoliate, use a gentle scrub or loofah and gently scrub your skin before you shave.

Hydrate your skin before you shave

Woman with applied shaving gel on her legs shaving with Venus razor

Shaving dry skin increases irritation, so soak the area you plan to shave for three to five minutes in warm water by taking a bath or shower, and apply shaving gel to maintain moisture while you shave. Check out Satin Care Violet Swirl with 5x more moisturisers for smooth skin after shaving.

Choose the right razor

Platinum razor handle with different types of attachable blades

Using a razor with three or more blades can prevent razor burn and bumps because the blades are spaced more tightly together on the razor head and will glide easier across your skin. More blades also allow for a closer shave in less strokes, which helps prevent skin irritation.

Use a sharp razor blade

Venus Sharp Razor Blade Refill

Shaving with a sharp razor blade protects your skin from scratches, razor burn and bumps. It’s time to replace your blade with a new one if it feels rough on your skin or pulls at your body hair.

Click here to see the wide range of Venus shaving products.

Shave in the direction of hair growth

Woman shaving her leg on dry skin

If your skin is more sensitive, shave only in the direction of the hair grown to avoid irritation. Also, take your time and shave in light, steady strokes. Learn more about how to shave each individual area of your body to further reduce chances of razor rashes and bumps.

Moisturise after shaving

Woman Apply Moisturizer After Shaving Legs

After you shave, apply a moisturising lotion or oil, preferably alcohol-free, to preserve moisture and add an extra layer of protection from razor burn and bumps.

Shaving Rash and Razor Bump FAQs

How long does shaving rash stay for?

For most women, this common skin irritation issue should clear up within two to three days. Try to avoid hair removal in this time and if your shaving rash is more persistent, you may wish to try a soothing balm.

Can you pop razor bumps?

You should avoid popping razor bumps. To give your skin the best chances of healing, you should avoid forceful contact with razor bumps. We also suggest avoiding using any harsh ingredients on areas with this issue.

What does razor burn look like?

Along with a red and irritated appearance, razor burn may also feel hot to the touch so you may want to avoid wearing tight clothing until your symptoms clear up.