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.

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.