According to a study reported in the "Huffington Post," women dedicate more than 1700 hours to shaving in a lifetime. Shaving is not only time-consuming, but it can also be painful -- especially when uncomfortable razor burn and bumps present as unwelcome side effects. The culprits range from a dull blade to sensitive skin to over-shaving; but no matter the cause, treatments exists to help lessen the pain and itchiness associated with bumps and burns.
Wash the affected area with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap to remove bacteria, dirt or debris. Pat skin dry with a clean towel.
Squeeze a pea-size amount of hydrocortisone cream onto your fingertip, and then gently dab a thin layer over razor burns or bumps. Rub the cream in lightly and let it soak into the skin for a few minutes.
Apply antibiotic ointment over the hydrocortisone cream. This will help to stave off any infection that may occur from inflamed skin. Wash and apply hydrocortisone and ointment twice daily until bumps or burns clear.
Apply a cool or warm compress over bumps to soothe itchiness. Do not scratch or pick at razor burns and bumps, as this will slow down healing and could cause infection.
Avoid tight-fitting clothing as much as possible while burns or bumps heal. Avoid tight pants or abrasive fabrics like wool if your legs are irritated; stick with loose tops and little deodorant for inflamed underarms. For the bikini line, wearing breathable, loose-fitting underwear will lessen the pain.
Do not shave the affected area until bumps or burns have healed. Shaving over affected areas not only can worsen the pain, but can cause bleeding and hinder healing.
For added relief, store hydrocortisone and antibacterial ointment in your refrigerator. The cooling sensation will provide added relief from burns.
Toss out old, dull or rusty razors. Razor life depends on the brand you use; throw out disposables after one or two uses and change out blades on reusable razors as directed by the brand. Clean razors in between use by pouring rubbing alcohol over them and setting aside after you shave.
Always shave at the end of your bath or shower. Hairs are softened by warmth and heat, making it easier to shave.
Use a good amount of shaving gel to prepare your skin.
Apply a scent-free lotion or body oil to freshly shaved areas to keep the skin hydrated and prevent razor burn. For the bikini area, apply lotion and wait 5 minutes; then sprinkle baby powder over the bikini area to lessen friction between undergarments and your skin.
Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.