How To Treat Or Avoid Razor Rash
Not everyone experiences razor rash, though some do on occasion, and for some it can be an ongoing problem. Razor rash occurs when after shaving, the skin becomes irritated. When the skin becomes irritated one might experience redness, itching, or see small bumps may form on the skin.
There are a number of factors which contribute to razor rash. Some have more sensitive skin than do others, skin that is more prone to irritation. The shaving technique itself can be a contributor, and preparation or lack of it of the skin and beard or hair, before shaving can also be a factor. We suffer a variety of injuries throughout our lives, some of them self-inflicted. Razor rash in all probability tops the list as far of self- inflicted injuries.
We can't always do anything about our skin, except prepare it for the shaving ritual, whether we're talking about the face (men) or the legs or arms (women). People having very sensitive or easily irritated skin, have probably long since learned how to treat the skin with a lotion or moisturizer prior to shaving, and how to treat it after shaving to lessen the severity of any irritation than may occur.
Right And Wrong Ways To Shave - Those with less sensitive skin can still easily experience razor rash if they go about shaving wrong. One of the more common mistakes people sometimes make is, when in a hurry, will shave using only water, and sometimes cold water at that. When you do that, you might as well shave with an ax. No matter how sharp the ax blade, the results will generally not be pretty. The next worse scenario is using soap. Soap is somewhat better than plain water as it at least makes the skin smooth and a bit slippery for the razor blade to glide across. One can usually shave with soap if the strokes are gently and slow.
The best way to shave of course is to use a shaving cream, one that softens the hair, and lubricates and moisturizes the skin. It's still possible to butcher yourself if you're in a hurry and you simply hack away with the razor. Going "against the grain" can also result in razor rash no matter how much lather or shaving cream is used. Applying too much pressure to the razor can do the same, as well as using a razor whose blade is not longer sufficiently sharp.
Have Breakfast First - Another piece of advice, mainly for men, is to wait half an hour or so after arising in the morning before shaving. After a good night's sleep, a person naturally feels quite relaxed upon awakening. The skin is relaxed as well, and it takes a bit for facial skin to tighten up and smooth out after getting out of bed. Arms and legs generally won't have this problem, and if a woman wants to shave her legs immediately upon arising there should be no problems.
The Worst Case Scenario - You're late getting up, and you're going to be late for work. You rush into the bathroom, splash some water on your face, take the safety razor, and begin to shave the stubble away. Being in a hurry, you work quickly, pressing the razor down firmly, as having only water on your face makes the stubble harder to cut away. With luck, you'll only cut yourself once, but if you have very sensitive skin, the cut will probably be the least of your problems and you can look forward to enjoying a few hours or more of razor rash.
All of this can be avoided by thinking of shaving as a time to relax a bit and doing a good job of it in the process. Lather the skin well, taking a minute or so to let the hairs soften, use light strokes, take your time, and apply some moisturizer or skin refresher that doesn't irritate after you're done. Enjoy your shave.