SUNDAY, Oct. 9, 2022 -- Here's some hope for men who struggle with razor bumps after shaving: Irritated, painful skin isn't inevitable.

You can prevent razor bumps by making changes to your shaving routine, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, which offered some handy tips.

"If you've ever shaved, you probably know how razor bumps feel," said Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, a board-certified dermatologist in New York.

"These painful or itchy bumps are caused when shaving irritates the skin. The good news is that changing your habits when shaving can help prevent razor bumps from developing or cause fewer, less painful bumps," Rokhsar said in an academy news release.

For one, you can retrain your hair to grow in a different direction, which would prevent irritation caused by shaving "against the grain." To do this, tightly pull the skin where your hair grows while looking in a mirror. Your hair may grow in different directions. Train it all to grow one way by gently brushing it with a toothbrush daily.

Here are other things you can do:

  • Shave when your hair is soft, at the end of your shower or after holding a warm, damp washcloth to the skin. This loosens hairs and causes them to swell. Then they’re less likely to curve into your skin.
  • Use a cleanser that won't clog pores before shaving, then use a moisturizing shave cream. Apply a soothing aftershave lotion and you'll reduce the risk of bumps.
  • It can also help to rinse off the shaving cream with warm water and place a cool, damp washcloth on your just-shaved skin.
  • Clean your electric razor after every five to seven shaves. Replace your disposable razor after that same number of shaves, and store it in a dry place.
  • Shaving daily, or at least every two to three days, may help because the hair has less time to grow and curve.
  • You can also just stop shaving and grow your facial hair.
You can watch the video below for a demonstration of these shaving tricks:

"Razor bumps can create permanent changes to your skin when left untreated, like deep grooves and raised scars," Rokhsar said. "If you still get razor bumps after changing your shaving habits, see a board-certified dermatologist to get relief."

More information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers this fact sheet on body care products.

SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology, news release, Oct. 4, 2022