How Long Can Razor Bumps Last?

How Long Can Razor Bumps Last?

Razor bumps can be a bother. When they show up, you want them gone fast. 

Also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, razor bumps are small red bumps that can occur after shaving. They make your skin look bumpy and feel irritated. When left alone to heal and given proper skincare, razor bumps typically last for about 2-3 weeks. However, severe cases can go on for months.

Razor bumps are a common problem for men who shave their faces regularly, but they can affect women too. In this article, we’ll take a look at what razor bumps are, how to get rid of them, how long they last, and most importantly: how to prevent them from popping up in the first place. Read on to learn more!

After shaving, you may have seen these bumps on your face or neck and wondered how long they’d last. Razor bumps can be frustrating. These ingrown hairs can range from mildly irritating to extremely painful and unsightly. 

How Long Can Razor Bumps Last?

Razor Bumps Vary, Severe Cases Last Longer

Razor bumps are caused by ingrown hairs (also called pseudofolliculitis barbae), which develop when hair shaves off unevenly and curls back into the skin instead of growing out the way it should. Mild cases of razor bumps will resolve in one to two weeks. Unfortunately, more severe cases may take much longer to heal. Sometimes, razor bumps cause permanent scarring that does not go away. The resulting irritation looks like small pimples that don’t go away with time or regular cleaning.

Luckily there are steps you can take to reduce razor bumps.

Stop Razor Bumps From Lasting Longer

If you want to prevent razor bumps, here’s what you need to know:

Razor Bumps Can Turn Into Folliculitis

Folliculitis is a skin condition resulting from ingrown hairs. It’s caused by shaving, which damages your hair follicles, making it easier for bacteria to grow inside them and cause inflammation.

Ingrown hairs are common in the armpits, groin area and face due to these areas being shaved most often. The inflammation and redness present on the skin may last for up to two weeks until the hair falls out or grows back in its natural direction, which will leave you feeling smooth again!

Shaving Causes Razor Bumps to Last Longer

Common causes of razor bumps include shaving too close to the skin and using blades that cut too closely. Razor bumps can also result from shaving in the direction the hair grows. Shaving in this way leaves behind tiny hairs, which then become ingrown hairs when you attempt to push them back out through subsequent shaves. To avoid this, try shaving in the opposite direction of your hair growth (against it).

When it comes to how long razor bumps last and how they’re treated, there are a few factors at play:

If you take care of your skin and protect it from further injury, razor bumps will heal in 2-3 weeks.

Stop Razor Bumps Before They Start

You can prevent razor bumps by selecting the right razor and using proper shaving techniques. 

The best method is shaving in the direction of hair growth. Avoid using dull razor blades with too much pressure or shaving in one direction without changing your angle after every stroke.

You should also leave your hair alone for long periods to avoid irritation. Trimming or shaving only when necessary will also help reduce irritation by preventing overgrowth of ingrown hairs and keeping the area from becoming irritated from constant grooming.

As you can see, there are many ways to prevent razor bumps from happening. If you follow these tips and strategies, you will be able to avoid razor bumps with ease.

It is important to note that every person’s skin is different, and what works for one may not work for another. You should try out different methods to find one that works best with your skin type and hair texture.

Razor Bumps Treatment

The best treatment for razor bumps is exfoliation and pushing hairs out of the skin through trimming or shaving only when necessary.

Exfoliating your skin will help remove dead skin cells that can irritate and reduce ingrown hairs. 

Try using an over-the-counter exfoliant cream for sensitive skin.

If razor bumps persist, you need to talk to a doctor about your skin condition.

Razor bumps are caused by shaving, but you can prevent them if you’re mindful of how you shave.

You can avoid razor bumps if you’re conscious of how you shave.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you better understand razor bumps and what to do about them. To keep razor bumps from sticking around for two to three weeks, you should try to prevent them altogether. Be sure to follow these simple steps for a safe shave.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. The information, graphics, and images on this site are not intended to substitute diagnosis or treatment by a medical professional. Always seek the advice of a licensed physician for any questions you may have regarding a specific condition.

What Do Razor Bumps Look Like on the Legs?

Have you ever noticed a rash on your legs after shaving? If so, it could have been razor bumps. So, what do razor bumps look like on the legs?

Razor bumps on the legs look like small pimples or ingrown hairs. It is important to differentiate between razor bumps and bumps that appear after shaving. Razor bumps is a true medical condition formally known as pseudofolliculitis barbae. Bumps that show up as a rash on the legs after shaving could be something else. What some people refer to as razor bumps, actually aren't.

There are also a few other bumpy skin conditions associated with shaving. Razor bumps are more common in some parts of the body and certain skin types. If you see something that looks like razor bumps, here’s what you need to know.

What Do Razor Bumps Look Like on the Legs?

Razor Bumps on the Legs

Shaving often irritates the skin. As a result, it can cause problems, such as razor bumps. Razor bumps on the legs might look pink or red. And they are often swollen.

The medical term for razor bumps is pseudofolliculitis barbae. In particular, it is caused by hairs cut by a razor with a pointy or jagged edge, like a tiny knife. Sometimes, these short, coarse, curly hairs curl and grow back into the skin. In other words, razor bumps are a type of ingrown hair. Only a medical professional licensed to diagnose and treat conditions can tell for sure if it's razor bumps.

Razor bumps usually appear 24-48 hours after shaving. The good news is that razor bumps typically do not appear on the legs. Razor bumps usually cause ingrown hairs on the face and neck for two reasons:

  1. Skin layers are thinner.
  2. Hair is more coarse or curly. 

An exception, though, is the upper thigh and groin area. This area is more likely to be affected by true razor bumps. That is because hairs in these regions are likely to be thicker and wavy or curly.

Other Bumps on the Legs

Bumps on the legs after shaving that are not located in the thigh or groin area are probably not razor bumps. They could be another skin condition.

Razor Burn

Bumps on the lower legs after shaving might be razor burn. Razor burn is another type of rash that looks like small red bumps. But it is not caused by ingrown hairs. So, it usually shows up in only a few hours after shaving. 

Razor burn is usually not as serious as razor bumps and resolves on its own quickly. It is caused by skin irritation related to the razor, shaving products, or just the shaving method. While it causes a burning sensation and looks bad, it usually won’t cause any long-term damage. 

Skin Sensitivity

Another reason you might have bumps on your legs after shaving is an irritation caused by the razor or the shaving cream. Skin sensitivities can show up as a rash. Itching is a good sign that someone might have skin sensitivity. 

Folliculitis 

Folliculitis is another condition that could cause bumps on the legs after shaving. A hair follicle is a pocket in the skin where the hair root grows. Folliculitis is an inflamed, irritated, or infected hair follicle. 

Sometimes the skin pocket or hair follicle is injured through shaving. When bacteria enter the hair follicle, it can cause infection.

Folliculitis, skin sensitivities, and razor burn are three conditions that might look like razor bumps. People often refer to them as razor bumps because they cause spots on the skin, usually after shaving. But each condition has a different cause, so they are treated differently. 

Summary

So how can you tell what the rash on your leg is?

These are four skin problems that commonly appear on the legs. If you noticed bumps from shaving on your legs and are unsure if you have razor bumps or something else, talk to a doctor about it. A virtual physician can look at your skin through a secure video visit and make recommendations to help you treat the problem. They can help you clear up your skin in no time, and you can say goodbye to unattractive bumps on your legs.

Learn More

Have you experienced problems from shaving for your job? If razor bumps have you worried, you need to talk to one of our doctors. Meet a top board-certified physician online through a convenient virtual video visit. Find out more by chatting with us now.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. The information, graphics, and images on this site are not intended to substitute diagnosis or treatment by a medical professional. Always seek the advice of a licensed physician for any questions you may have regarding a specific condition.

How Is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae Diagnosed?

How Is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae Diagnosed?

Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a common skin condition that many adults will face at some point in their lives. With so many people affected, you might wonder how it is diagnosed.

Pseudofolliculitis barbae is typically diagnosed by physical examination by a licensed healthcare provider, such as a doctor or advanced nurse practitioner. Medical tests, including studying skin tissue samples under a microscope in a laboratory, may also aid in the physician’s diagnosis. 

So how does a doctor examine pseudofolliculitis barbae? And how can someone find a physician to treat this problem? Read on to find out.

Want to speak to a board certified physician? Book an appointment today!

How Pseudofolliculitis Is Barbae Diagnosed

Anyone who shaves is at risk of developing "shave bumps," "razor bumps," or ingrown hairs. But African American men are affected most. Studies show that between 45% and 83% of African American men who shave will develop pseudofolliculitis barbae. Men of other ethnicities and women too can experience this problem. It most often appears in the face but can also show up under the arms, in the bikini area, or the legs.

Physicians or practitioners can diagnose pseudofolliculitis barbae by physical examination at a simple doctor's visit. With any physician encounter, the first part of the diagnosis will be an interview. 

The doctor will ask the patient questions to figure out what is wrong or what the complaint is. Some common questions a provider might ask when diagnosing pseudofolliculitis barbae are:

In addition to taking a history, the doctor will observe the skin for any changes. Small red bumps, tenderness, and itching are all signs that could alert the doctor to a possible diagnosis of pseudofolliculitis barbae. 

How To Find a Doctor for Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

Finding a doctor for pseudofolliculitis barbae is easier than ever. A dermatology or skin specialist referral may not be necessary. Many primary care doctors can diagnose and treat this problem with a quick check-up. 

There is also good news for patients who do not have a doctor. When someone doesn't have a doctor or is unsure how to find one, a virtual physician is a great option. Online doctor visits are often less expensive than going to a doctor's office. And in many cases, patients can book them faster. Most virtual physicians offer convenient appointment times, and some even have same-day bookings.

Whether online or in-person, it is best to contact the doctor and ask for an appointment to evaluate a skin condition. Give the doctor as much information as possible. If you think it's pseudofolliculitis barbae, then let the provider know when you book your visit.

Summary

A licensed healthcare provider is the only one who can say for sure if a skin rash might be a case of pseudofolliculitis barbae or something more serious. Luckily, an appointment to see a physician can be simple and inexpensive. Relief may be as close as a phone call or video visit today.

Connect with Our Board-Certified Physicians

Our caring experts can help answer your skin questions. To meet a top board-certified physician, book an appointment today. 

Sources

  1. Goldstein, A., Goldstein, B. (2019, April 19). Pseudofolliculitis barbae. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/pseudofolliculitis-barbae#H87492034
  2. Levinbook, W. (2020, November). Pseudofolliculitis barbae. Merck Manual. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/hair-disorders/pseudofolliculitis-barbae#v38068013

What is a “Shaving Waiver”?

A shaving waiver is a type of medical release or exemption form. Men who have skin conditions may need this form for work.

Shaving waivers are also called “no-shave waivers.” They are for men with certain skin conditions. Sometimes shaving causes serious skin problems. A medical doctor can complete this release to show why a man should not be required to shave his face.

Why would an individual need a shaving waiver, and where can you get one? 

What is a “Shaving Waiver”?

The shaving waiver shows employers and supervisors of organizations that it would be unhealthy for a man to shave. A shaving waiver must be necessary to prove that an individual should not have to shave for medical reasons. 

For some men, facial shaving causes:

According to Kennard Law P.C., “from a legal perspective, employers may require male employees to shave as long as it does not infringe on their civil rights or cause undue hardship.” For this reason, it may be necessary to show proof that shaving creates a problem for the individual.

Speak to a virtual doctor today about a shaving waiver!

Who Needs a Shaving Waiver?

Some men in sales or marketing, law enforcement, or sports may be required to shave their faces. Other jobs that require men to be clean-shaven include those where employees may be exposed to fire or hazardous chemicals and would be required to wear respirator equipment. 

​In the military, this waiver is also called a military shaving profile. The Department of Defense expects its male members to maintain zero visible facial hair, other than a neatly maintained mustache, when in uniform. This requirement stems from the five elements of dress and personal appearance: neatness, cleanliness, safety, uniformity, and military image.

In some cases, when shaving causes serious health concerns to the individual, this medical form may be necessary.

Connect with Our Board-Certified Physicians

Do you need a shaving waiver? You can schedule a virtual doctor visit with one of our board-certified physicians about a shaving waiver.

We are now offering evening and weekend appointments. My Virtual Physician treats skin conditions and much more. Our caring experts provide telemedicine services for your healthcare needs, all from the convenience of your home.





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    Please do not post information here respecting your medical history, your symptoms, any diagnosis you may have been given, the names of any medications you may be taking, or any other specific information about your health or healthcare. Please limit your posting to such matters as days and times you’d like to be seen or preferences, if any, for a provider.

    Our shaving waiver policy is as follows:
    i. No waiver is issued without a video/audio visit with one of our licensed doctors,
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    iii.If we are in network with your insurance, we will attempt to bill the insurance plan for the doctors time to conduct the video visit. If we do not get paid by insurance, we will not place any additional financial responsibility on the person seeing the shaving waiver.

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    Can Men With Full Beards Wear N95 Masks?

    Masks have become a permanent accessory for many U.S. workers. Unfortunately, facial hair makes masking difficult. Some workers required to wear personal protective equipment, like respirator masks, find it especially hard. You may even wonder, how can men with full beards wear N95 masks?

    An N95 respirator mask is a protective device made to fit tightly against the face to filter 95% of particles from the air entering the nose and mouth. As a result, men with full beards cannot wear N95 masks safely or effectively. Facial hair that comes between the skin and mask edges prevents a tight fit and good seal. 

    So what can men do if they have facial hair but need respiratory protection? There are options for men in such situations. Read on to find out. 

    Jobs Requiring N95 Respirator Mask Protection

    Many jobs require respiratory protection. Here are just a few of the workers that may be required to wear an N95 mask in on-the-job situations.

    In many of these jobs, facial hair is not allowed. Therefore, some men choose to shave their facial hair.  

    Unfortunately for some of these workers, going clean-shaven causes problems. Sometimes shaving causes adverse effects. 

    The face and neck are sensitive parts of the body. Facial shaving may result in some very uncomfortable skin conditions. Problems created by shaving may include folliculitis, painful skin infections, and hyperpigmentation. For men suffering from significant health conditions like these, limiting or even avoiding shaving may be necessary. 

    A shaving waiver, also known as a shaving profile or “no-shave waiver,” can help individuals with certain conditions. A shaving profile is a medical release or exemption form. The document, completed by a physician, explains why a man should not be required to shave his face due to health concerns. 

    Shaving waivers allow men to forgo shaving and get the right respiratory protection for them. Men with facial hair do not have to risk inhaling unsafe vapors.

    Alternative Forms of Respirator Protection

    Some respirator masks do not require a face seal. These types are a better option for bearded employees. 

    Specifically, positive-pressure respirators worn over facial hair or beards work to filter the air. A hood-and-helmet type mask uses continuous airflow to protect employees.

    One example that is available to workers is called the Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) mask. This loose-fitting respirator uses a blower to pass air through a filter before sending it to the face. Typically, PAPR masks are lightweight and battery-operated. Also, PAPR masks do not require Fit-Testing. 

    One drawback is their cost. Most employees would not want to invest in their own PAPR. Those looking for a PAPR respirator can purchase a simple version online for around $100. However, some are upwards of $1000. Batteries and chargers may double the expense.

    Although these masks are more costly, they offer superior protection. According to this article by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a PAPR mask may offer an Assigned Protection Factor (APF) of 1000, where an N95 respirator only has an APF of 10. The higher the protection factor, the safer it is.

    Medical Evaluation for PAPR Respirators

    The use of a PAPR mask does require a physician’s medical evaluation. It is a respirator, and therefore OSHA’s requirements to evaluate an employee before requiring the mask applies to this type.

    Men with full beards can find respiratory protection that won’t cause health problems or skin conditions. The first step is a medical evaluation by a licensed physician. 

    Men interested in finding out if a PAPR mask or shaving waiver for their employer would be right for them should talk to a doctor. 

    Connect with Our Board-Certified Physicians

    My Virtual Physician now offers consultations for shaving waivers in some states. Fill out the contact form below to speak to one of our board-certified physicians about a shaving waiver.





      Contact Information

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      Please do not post information here respecting your medical history, your symptoms, any diagnosis you may have been given, the names of any medications you may be taking, or any other specific information about your health or healthcare. Please limit your posting to such matters as days and times you’d like to be seen or preferences, if any, for a provider.

      Our shaving waiver policy is as follows:
      i. No waiver is issued without a video/audio visit with one of our licensed doctors,
      ii. A $49.99 administration fee is required for all waivers.This covers the time to prepare all documents for you to submit to your HR/Compliance department
      iii.If we are in network with your insurance, we will attempt to bill the insurance plan for the doctors time to conduct the video visit. If we do not get paid by insurance, we will not place any additional financial responsibility on the person seeing the shaving waiver.

      Privacy is very important to us. We never share any of your information with anyone, nor do we ever sell it. You can be secure knowing we value and endeavor always to safeguard your data and online presence. For more details, please see our Privacy Policy