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Razor Bumps: Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Closely shaven hair has a sharp edge that can penetrate the skin, resulting in inflammation and swelling. This reaction—a normal bodily defense mechanism—is similar to the kind of reaction that occurs when you get a splinter in your finger.

Although razor bumps can affect everyone, people with curly hair, African Americans, Hispanics and other ethnicities that tend to have darker skin, are particularly affected. It’s because their hair tends to be curly, and with each curl it moves back into the skin once it has been shaved, which is why those with curly hair tend to experience ingrown hairs.

In fact, razor bumps are a big problem. They affect 60 percent of African Americans and Hispanics and 20 percent of Caucasians. And, not surprisingly, they’re a bigger problem for men than women because many men shave daily.

More recently, people have begun using cortisone and moisturizers and topical antibiotics to eliminate their razor bump, however topical treatments aren’t effective treatment approaches because they don’t penetrate the skin deep enough.

Fortunately, however, there are exciting new treatments on the horizon. Lasers are useful for removing unwanted hair from the face, leg, arm, underarm, bikini line, and other areas.

Laser hair removal, such as the GentleLase laser, provide an exceptional list of benefits for long-term body hair treatment, which also eliminate the chances of razor bumps. Precision. Lasers can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. Speed. Each pulse of the laser takes a fraction of a second and can treat many hairs at the same time. The laser can treat an area approximately the size of a quarter every second. Small areas such as the upper lip can be treated in less than a minute, and large areas, such as the back or legs, may take up to an hour. Predictability. Ninety percent of patients have permanent hair loss after an average of three to five sessions.

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About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar is the founder and owner of Cosmetic Laser Skin & Surgery Center. With degrees from Harvard University and NYU, along with multiple publications and media features, the double board-certified dermatologist and laser surgeon proudly shares his expertise with patients in Garden City, Manhattan, and those who fly in to receive treatment at his offices. Dr. Rokhsar has worked extensively with Vbeam laser, Thermitight, Coolsculpting, and Fraxel laser technology, as well as Allergan and other injectable brands. He pioneered the Non-Surgical Nose Job and continues to be a leader in his field.

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