Razor bumps — also called pseudofolliculitis — appear days, or even hours, after shaving. They’re blotchy red skin rashes that feel itchy and often burn.
Fortunately, you can take precautions to avoid these painful bumps and treat them when they arise. Follow these TikTok tips from certified nurse midwife Heather Helton to groom down there safely:
Vaginal (va-jihnul) and vulvar (vulv-air) dryness can cause itching and pain. Some moisturizers are formulated specifically for the area and include ingredients like aloe and tea tree oil to soothe. Some are gels or creams that you apply to the skin outside and inside your vulva, while others are suppositories that you put into your vulva with a disposable applicator.
A suppository is especially helpful before, during or after sexual activity, and you can use one before shaving to provide lubrication and comfort. Always be sure to clean your hands before using a vaginal moisturizer and choose unscented products that are made for intimate skin.
Razor bumps are itchy, red, discolored bumps that develop from hair growing back down into the follicle instead of out through the surface of the skin. If they are severe or recur, contact your doctor. It is possible you have a serious condition, such as folliculitis, or another skin problem that needs treatment. Leaving razor bumps untreated can lead to permanent scarring. Practicing good hygiene, exfoliating regularly and using an OTC cortisone cream can help reduce symptoms and prevent razor bumps.
3. Apply a cold compress
The genital area has thicker and coarser hair than other areas of the body, making it more susceptible to razor bumps. This area is also prone to friction, whether from walking, tight clothing or sexual contact and this can lead to ingrown hairs which can be very painful and irritating.
Ingrown hairs occur when the tip of a hair gets trapped underneath the surface of your skin rather than growing out of it, and this can cause redness, swelling and itching. A simple way to help reduce the irritation is by applying a cold compress to your vagina, like an ice pack or a wet washcloth.
You can also use a natural anti-itch cream such as basil or rosemary to ease your symptoms. A small amount of these herbs applied to the irritated area a few times a day can provide relief, but make sure to talk to your doctor before using herbal remedies around your vulva or vagina. In addition, some people may need a prescription ointment such as hydrocortisone to treat their razor bumps.
4. Apply aloe vera
When used topically on the vulva or anus, aloe vera can help soothe irritations caused by shaving. This is because it has antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral properties. It also has astringent qualities that help reduce itching and dryness. In fact, it can even act as a natural lubricant. It is possible to buy suppositories of pure aloe that can be inserted into the anus or vulva.
One of the best ways to prevent razor bumps is to stop shaving. This can give the hairs time to grow out of the skin, reducing the likelihood that they will become trapped in the razor bumps and lead to further irritation and itching.
Another way to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs is to exfoliate regularly using a washcloth or loofah. This will open the hair follicles, making it easier to remove the hair. In addition, it can be helpful to use a hair removal product that doesn’t contain alcohol or fragrances.
5. Apply a topical cortisone cream
The pubic area is one of the hairier areas on the body and often gets irritated from friction with tight underwear or sexual contact. It can also be sensitive to chemicals and bacteria found in some shampoos or soaps. The good news is that razor bumps aren’t permanent and are usually easy to treat at home.
If you have mild, itchy razor bumps that do not go away with basic self-care, you can use over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream two or three times per day. This will help reduce redness and swelling, as well as calm itching and pain.
If you have severe and recurrent razor bumps, you may want to see a medical professional to discuss options like chemical peels or laser hair removal. A dermatologist can also help you develop a shaving routine that will prevent razor bumps.