Ultimate Guide: How To Get Rid of Razor Bumps and Burns

by John Griffith

While shaving is the fastest and easiest way to get rid of body hair, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. One of the most common issues that may arise is razor burns and bumps. Annoying, red, itchy and painful. Nobody wants that. This usually occurs immediately after shaving or when the hair is growing back. They can appear on any parts of the body and can take some time to heal. And while razor burns and bumps are uncomfortable and unsightly, the good news is that they are treatable and avoidable. Check out our ultimate guide on how to get rid of razor bumps and burns!

Shaving is the fastest and easiest way to get rid of body hair

how to shave without getting razor bumps smooth legs

What are razor bumps caused by?

There is a difference between bumps and burns. However, razor bumps and ingrown hairs are basically the same thing. The terms can be used interchangeably.

Razor bumps are most often caused by friction from the razor and the growth of ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs happen when the hair starts to grow back but rather than growing out, it grows into the skin. They can occur after any type of hair removal. This includes shaving, waxing, or plucking. The hair may curl and turn inward. As the new skin cells grow over the hair, it becomes trapped and causes a bump to form.

However, with shaving it occurs happens much more frequently. It leaves behind itchy, painful, sometimes puss-filled bumps on the skin as the hair starts to grow back.

How to get rid of razor bumps and burns

man shaving beard

How is it different from razor burn?

Razor bumps and razor burn are two different things, however they can occur at the same time. Razor burn is a type of skin irritation that occurs right after you shave an area. And as we already mentioned, razor bumps usually develop when the hair starts growing back in. Razor burn is most commonly the result of dry shaving, or shaving in the opposite direction than the hair grows.

Razor burn is a type of skin irritation

woman holding razo

Should I shave if I have razor bumps?

Shaving while having visible razor bumps is not a great idea. Regardless of where these bumps are, even if it’s just one single one, you need to stop shaving for a while. At least until everything heals.

Do not shave if you have bumps and burns

shaving rash woman shaving her legs

Are razor bumps permanent?

No, razor bumps are not permanent. They typically last no longer than two or three days. Sometimes, they may take two weeks or more to go away. However, razor bumps and burns can be more than just an annoyance. They can cause permanent damage if they are not treated on time. Watch your burn and bumps closely. If they do not get better by the average healing time, they may cause an infection, which may need to be treated with topical or oral medications. Severe razor bumps can also lead to scarring or darkening.

How to get rid of razor bumps and burns

razor bump cream arms

How Long Does Razor Burn Last?

Just like bumps, razor burns will usually clear up within two or three days. However, self-care and home remedies can help symptoms clear even earlier. Talk to a professional if it seems too severe, or it doesn’t go away within a couple of days.

Burns clear up within two or three days

hair bump removal clock

Best Way To Get Rid of Razor Bumps

While the bumps most typically go on their own without having to do any treatment, however there are some ways to treat already existing bumps to help the process go along faster.

Bumps will often go away without any treatment

razor bump treatment man shaving


After you shave make sure to pat the area down with towellette and apply some moisturizer. You should do this as soon as you’ve finished shaving, but definitlt as soon as any bumps start to appear. This will make sure to give plenty of moisture to the skin, make it soft and protect it. This help with the itchy sensation caused by the bumps and burns. Keep in mind you need a moisturizer the isn’t irritating to the skin and it doesn’t have any alcohol in it.

Search for moisturizer that contain within them shea or aloe vera. They are great hydraters. If you have any allergies towards these products, make sure to avoid them. Also keep in mind that some moisturizers may be blocking the hair follicles which will then cause more hairs to be ingrown.

Moisturize with aloe vera or shea butter 

get rid of razor bumps cream on hand

Cool or Warm Compress

Compresses help aid in many situations. Applying a warm compress to your skin before shaving can help open pores and loosen and draw out the ingrown hairs. Similarly, you can also steam the area in a hot shower or sauna.

On the other hand, a cold compress may help relax irritated skin. After you have shaved, make sure to get a washcloth and wet it with some cold water. Then put it on to the shaved area. Keep it on for at least a couple minutes. This method is beneficial as it will reduce the pain and redness caused by the razor burn. You can also just splash some cool water as soon as you see any emerging. This will help the pores shrink.

How to get rid of razor bumps 

how to stop razor burn compress


Sometimes using a scrub can help get rid of any dead skin cells that plugs the pore, keeps the hairs trapped inside. Usually these types of scrubs contain sugar, salt, ground up fruit pits, or tiny beads. They can remove debris and free any ingrown hairs by physically sloughing off dead skin cells.

However, keep in mind that some people may have a skin reaction to the rough texture of scrubs, especially in people with sensitive or inflamed skin. Avoid any types of scrubs or exfoliants on skin that is red, irritated, or sensitive. You can find a variety of scrubs on the market.

A scrub can help rid you of any dead skin cells

best way to get rid of razor bumps scrub

Sweet Almond Oil

If you have an almond or nut allergy, it’s best to avoid this type of treatment. Sweet almond oil is made from dried almond kernels. It’s super emollient and it’s a great natural moisturizer.

Apply some oil to the part of the skin you have shaved. Or apply it directly to inflamed skin as needed.

Avoid if you have a nut allergy 

how to prevent razor bumps sweet almond oil


Use this method with caution. Sometimes needles and tweezers will create scarring and bacterial infections. But if the hair is already visable and pointing out, using some pointed, sterile tweezers can be helpful to get it out.

can cause bacterial infections and scarring. However, if an ingrown hair is visible, it may be helpful to use a sterile, pointed tweezers to pull it out. Removing any hair that is trapped will get rid of bumps very fast. Just, make sure the tweezers are sterilized. Use some alcohol to cleanse it and clean your hands with some water and soap. However, don’t go poking at hairs which still haven’t surfaced. This will just cause more damage. Do not squeeze, do not pick, just let it be.

How to get rid of razor bumps 

how to shave without getting razor bumps tweezers

Salicylic acid

This is a beta hydroxy acid that peels, and exfoliates the dead skin cells. Not only that but it’s also able to unclog pores as it goes deep into the skins oil glands and it fights inflammation. This acid sloughs off the dead skin cells and removes the razor bumps. By getting rid of the excess skin, this will get the ingrown hair out of the pores. This will reduce the bump appearance. There are plenty of products with salicylic acid. Find them in toners, cleansers, and lotions.

Salicylic acid helps exfoliate the skin

how to avoid razor bumps salacylic acid

Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda has a cooling effect on the skin. It’s thought that this common household item can draw out heat and pain. To make the paste, all you need is to add some baking soda to filtered water until a thick paste starts to form. Apply some paste to the skin. Leave it on until it dries and rise it on thoroughly.

Make baking soda paste 

what do you do to get rid of razor bumps baking soda

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid works similar to salicylic acid. It also exfoliates the skin, removing any old skin cells. As we mentioned, these bumps are created when any type of surplus of skin clogs up the pores and then traps the hairs inside. With the help of glycolic acid you can get rid of the cells that are in the way and let the hair reach the skins surface. The acid helps the sloughing process of the skin and consequently will clear up the razor bumps much quicker. This will help a smoother appearance to the skin.

Glycolic acid gives the skin a smoother appearance

what helps razor burn woman applying glycolic acid

Topical Cream

Sometimes, the bumps that seem more inflamed or are taking longer to heal than usual, maybe you should try a topical steroid cream. These creams are great are getting rid of any excess inflammation. There are plenty of types and varieties you can find that are over-the-counter. Ask at your local drug store.

Search for any hydrocortisone creams. These topical steroids are great for reducing inflammation. They are also typically a low-strenght formula. If you don’t want to use a hydrocortisone cream, try out a benzoyl peroxide cream. Apply them to help remove any dead skin cells and remove bacteria, that are usually the culprits behind razor bumps and clogged pores. However, keep in mind that these creams have a drying effect.

To avoid drying out, moisturizer beforehand and then add the cortisone right on top. Use the low-strength kind and only for a short period of time. If you see any side effects, stop using it.

Use topical, over-the-counter creams 

how to soothe razor burn cream topical

Razor Burn Treatment

If you are experinceing razor burn there are a couple of methods you can try to help soothe the affected area.

Treat the razor burns 

how to not get razor bumps shaving essentials

Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal has many healing properties. This is because they contain many antioxidants, phenols, and have a lot of anti-inflammaroty goods. Collodial oatmeal is created when oats are grinded into a fine powder. This type of oatmeal can help cleanse, smooth, relief, and moisturize your skin. In order to have some relief, try soaking in a colloidal oatmeal bath. Do this once a day for around ten to fifteen minutes.

Colloidal oatmeal can help soothe, cleanse, and moisturize the skin

how to shave bath oatmeal

Calendula Cream

This cream is created from the calendula flower. It is a herbal remedy. This cream can be used to heal rashes and reduces inflammation. It also promotes wounds to heal. That’s why it’s great for treating razor burns.

In order to sooth your burn, you should apply just a small layer of the cream to the burnt area. Do this at least once or twice everyday until the area is better.

This cream is an herbal remedy made from calendula flowers

shaving rash calendula

Tea Tree

Tea tree oil has shown to have many benefits. It’s used for acne, and as a natural remedy to heal minor wounds and soothe burns.

When using tea tree oil, make sure to not use it undiluted. Mix it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or sweet almond. Use one to three drops of tea tree per one teaspoon of carrier oil. However, even diluted tea tree oil may cause an allergic reaction or further skin irritation in some people. Test it on a small patch on the skin beforehand to see how it reacts.

When using tea tree oil, make sure to diluted it

razor bump treatment tea tree

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is famous with its soothing properties. It even helps to heal serious burns. To treat razor burn, apply a thin layer of pure aloe vera gel on the affected area. You can find a lot of different gels and topical creams on the market. You can also harvest it from an aloe plant if you have one at home.

Aloe vera has some serious healing properties 

aftershave for women aloe vera

Coconut Oil

Who said coconut oil is only for cooking? It’s also great for your skin. Studies show coconut oil is a safe and effective type of therapy for healing any types of burns. It has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

To treat razor burns, apply a thin layer of organic, expeller-pressed coconut oil to the inflamed area.

Coconut oil is great for the skin

how to get rid of hair bumps coconuts

How To Prevent Razor Bumps and Burns?

If you don’t take any steps in preventing razor burns and bumps, you’ll find yourself stuck in a vicious cycle. If you continue to shave over constantly irritated skin, these problems will get worse and worse. The thing is there is no hygienic or medical reason that you need to remove body of facial hair. So, it’s normal for the skin to feel irrateted.

If you continue to shave over constantly irritated skin, these problems will get worse and worse

how to shave woman using cream to shave

Most often razor bumps and burns are caused by improper types of shaving techniques. Ingrown hairs and burns can happen when you shave way too close, you haven’t prepped your skin beforehand, or if you are using a dull razor. If you also decide to skip using shaving cream, exfoliation, or using lotion, this can also cause skin irritations. Changing the way you shave, no matter if it is your bikini line, or your face, it may prevent any bumps and rashes from being created. Having a good shaving method will also make sure your skin is always silky smooth.

Skin irritations are the culprit of improper shaving techniques

razor burn legs

How To Shave?

Okay, so now that we know a wrong shaving technique is one of the main causes for razor burn and ingrown hairs, let’s see how to properly shave in order to avoid them. Start practicing better habits when it comes to shaving.

What to avoid:

  • Don’t shave too frequently.
  • Using an old, dull or rusty razor. Avoid single use-razors as well.
  • Shaving too quickly.
  • Avoid using any products that will irratate your skin
  • Do not shave againts the hair’s grain
  • Do not shave on dry skin.
  • Do not shave very close to the skin. Do not pull on it.
  • Using soap after and before shaving. It can irritate or dry out the skin.

Avoid using soap

easy way to get rid of razor bumps soap


  • Replace your razor after five to seven uses.
  • Make sure to rinse the razor well after every use.
  • Try a shaving lotion rather than soap.
  • Make sure to see where the grain of hair goes to. See which way the hair is growing. You can use your hand and slide it on the area to find out. If you are pushing it down then that is called following the grain. This is what you should go for.
  • Shave less. Do not shave frequently. It’s best to do it every other day. This will lower the risk of shaving hairs that are way to short and irrittate the skin. Consequently, the risk of ingrown hairs will be quite low.
  • Change the normal razor for an electric razor. Make sure to use it on a low setting. Normal razors shave to close to the skin and create ingrown hair.
  • Use a retinoid. However, this is not a quick fix. But in the long term it will help prevent razor bumps and even acne. But it will take at least several weeks to work fully.
  • Prepare properly. Use shaving cream. This will lower the razor bumps.
  • Try another hair removal technique. Some people may try products such as hair removal creams, or depilatories. They dissolve the hair while reduce razor bump risk. Maybe invest in laser hair removal.

How to get rid of razor bumps: Exfoliate the skin

easy way to get rid of razor bumps woman exfoliating

Shaving: Step by Step

Here are some steps in preparing your skin for shaving. This will minimize the chance of irritation.

  1. The first thing you should do is use a cleanser on your skin. Make sure it has either glycolic or salicylic acid. It will help the pores to clear and remove any dead cells from your skin.  You can gently exfoliate with a warm, wet washcloth or a gentle moisturizing scrub.
  2. A good tip is to only shave when you have moistened the skin well with water. Shave either during or after a shower. Another thing you can try is to get a wet, warm towel and put it around the area you will be shaving. Do this for at least five minutes.
  3. Make sure to use a gel or shaving cream that is good for your skin type. Make sure to not use any products that will irritate your skin and make your inflammation even worse.
  4. Make sure to always use a sharp and fresh razor. Clean the razor with some alcohol before you use it and after. This will help it stay free from any bacteria.
  5. Shave along the grain of the hair and not against it. Stick with short, light strokes.
  6. Always keep your razor clean. Dry it off and store it in a dry place.
  7. Keep your skin moisturized between shaves.

Prepare your skin for shaving

how to soothe razor burn woman in bath shaving

This was our guide on how to get rid of razor bumps and burns. We hope you found it helpful and useful! Now you know how to prevent prevent these pesky annoyances and live a bump and burn free life!

Ultimate guide: how to get rid of razor bumps and burns

how long does razor burn lastlegs with converse

John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.