When you're shaving, the last thing you want is for red, itchy bumps to pop up on your legs. This condition, known as razor burn, often occurs if you shave too quickly or use a dull blade. If your legs are covered in an irritating rash, you don't need to suffer until it fades on its own. You can find many soothing solutions in your kitchen pantry and refrigerator.
Tea and Coconut Treatment
Black tea contains tannins that can help soothe red, itchy legs after shaving. To ease the burn, soak a black-tea bag in warm water for about 10 to 15 seconds. When the tea starts to run out of the bag, it's ready to use. Remove the bag from the water and press it on the area you want to treat. For a bit of extra moisturizing power, try coating the wet tea bag with three or four drops of coconut oil before use.
Green tea works too. Brew a cup of tea and allow it to cool in the refrigerator. Once it's cool, use a washcloth to apply the tea to your legs.
If you don't have any tea, you also can use tea-tree oil. Mix a few drops of oil with water in a spray bottle, and then mist your legs with the solution.
Strawberries, Oatmeal and Aspirin
Mash a handful of strawberries and a few spoonfuls of sour cream together to create a thick paste. Spread the solution over the burned area and allow it to penetrate the skin for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse.
Grind up a cup of oatmeal into a powder and add it to lukewarm bath water. Soak your legs in the water for 20 minutes to soothe the burning.
Combine 1 teaspoon of warm water with two uncoated aspirins. Grind the aspirin and water until the ingredients form a paste. Coat the burned area with the paste and let it set for 10 to 15 minutes.
Other Solutions and Warnings
Avocado has a soothing, moisturizing effect on burned skin. Put a soft avocado in the refrigerator to cool it. Slice the avocado and scoop out a spoonful or two of the flesh. Spread it on your legs and rinse it off after 10 minutes.
For fast relief, you can apply aloe lotion, witch hazel, calendula cream and apple-cider vinegar to your legs directly without diluting them.
An over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream will soothe razor burn, but you should only use it once a week. According to dermatologist Jami Miller, MD, excessive hydrocortisone applications may cause stretch marks.
Don't apply aftershave or rubbing alcohol to areas affected by razor burn. They contain ingredients that may irritate the skin more.
Preventing Razor Burn
One of the best ways to avoid razor burn is to always use a clean, fresh razor when shaving. You're more likely to cut your skin with a dull razor. In general, you should replace your blade with a new one after five uses.
Shave your hair in the direction of its growth, not against it. When you shave, avoid pressing down on the razor, and try not to rush. Hurrying during a shave can result in cuts and razor burn.
Exfoliating your legs a few days before shaving may help prevent rashes. You also should shave in the shower, as the warm water softens hair and makes it easier to remove.
Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.