Razor bumps in the bikini area can be itchy and painful, especially if you exercise frequently and wear tight bottoms. The red, inflamed spots occur after shaving, when the hair curls back into the skin. Many different treatments are available for razor bumps that will clear your bikini area of redness.
What Are Bikini Razor Bumps Actually?
Folliculitis is a common condition where hair follicles become inflamed due to either a bacterial or fungal infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. Razor bumps, a specific type of folliculitis (pseudofolliculitis barbae), are caused by ingrown hairs. This can happen in the bikini area or any other part of the body where hair is shaved.
Ingrown hairs occur when either shaved or tweezed hairs grow back into the skin, causing inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic. This inflammation can result in small rounded or pus-filled bumps, skin darkening, pain, itching or embedded hair.
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Treating Bikini Area Razor Bumps
Typically, bikini area razor bumps will clear within a few days if they don't get irritated. However, there are creams that can reduce inflammation. In some cases, a doctor may even suggest a steroid cream or antibiotic ointments. In more severe cases, you may be prescribed oral medications.
For cream applications, use a thin coat of hydrocortisone on the skin area affected by razor bumps after you shave. Hydrocortisone helps to reduce redness and irritation by constricting the blood vessels and lessening the blood flow, according to Evelyn Placek, MD, a dermatologist in New York.
In order to prevent recurring razor bumps, Dr. Placek suggests using benzoyl peroxide every time you shave. Also try to reduce friction between your skin and clothing by avoiding tight clothes, recommends the Mayo Clinic.
When shaving, wash the skin with warm water and soap, using a washcloth in a circular motion to exfoliate the area. Apply plenty of shaving lotion or cream and select a razor with a sharp blade, rinsing between strokes. After shaving is complete, apply moisturizing lotion to the bikini area to help you stay bump-free.
Based in Massachusetts, Carolyn Russell-DeLucas has been writing since 2007. She specializes in topics related to health, beauty and nutrition. Russell-DeLucas graduated from Brevard Community College with an Associate of Arts.