Red bumps and swelling in the bikini area are the result of shaving or waxing to remove hair. After hair removal, the follicles in the skin are inflamed and turn red, creating tiny red bumps. These rash-like bumps are unsightly during summer swimsuit weather, and they are often itchy or painful. While proper hair-removal techniques will prevent them from recurring, you must first treat the existing rash. Using over-the-counter ingredients will soothe the irritated skin and restore your bikini area to a smooth appearance.

Things You'll Need

Wash your hands thoroughly using antibacterial soap and water before treating the irritated skin area. Dry your hands on a clean towel.

Open a bottle of witch hazel and apply one to two teaspoons to a clean cotton ball.

Dab the cotton ball gently over the red, irritated bikini area until all areas are covered in witch hazel. Apply additional witch hazel to the cotton ball as needed. Allow the witch hazel to air dry on the skin.

Open a tube of hydrocortisone cream that contains aloe vera. Squeeze out a pea-sized amount onto your clean finger. Spread the cream over the red, irritated skin in a thin layer until all areas of the bikini are covered.

Wear loose clothing to prevent unnecessary friction from rubbing against the irritated area.


  • Repeat the application of witch hazel and hydrocortisone cream up to twice daily until the symptoms go away.

  • If the red bumps and swelling persist after three to four days, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist, since you may have a more severe skin infection.

  • To avoid redevelopment of the red bumps in the future, try switching to a shaving gel rather than a shaving cream. In addition, always shave in the direction of the bikini hair growth rather than against it.