Shaving can cause razor bumps on the skin or pseudofolliculitis barbae which in medical terms describes redness, inflammation and small bumps caused by shaving. The term stems from “pseudo” meanig false, “follicle” meaning hair, “itis” which indicates inflammation and “barbae” meaning of the beard.
During the course of shaving, the blades of the razor may sometimes scrap or damage the surface of the skin triggering an immune system response in which blood rushes to the site of damage. In this response you will notice a rosacea-type rash and small red welts appear on the skin. Because these welts appear at or near the hair follicles, as the hair regrows it may sometimes curl inward and become trapped in the skin.
To minimize the risk of Pseudofolliculitis barbae cleanse the skin daily and gently exfoliate with a wash cloth to aid in the shedding of dead skin cells, bacteria and germs. Shaving in the direction of hair growth will reduce the risk of irritation. You may also consider using an electric shaver to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs and skin irritation. An electric razor while not producing as close a shave as a blade type razor is less irritating to the skin. If you opt for a blade razor, a single blade will prove less of an irritation to the skin as opposed to multi-blade versions. In a multi-blade version, the first blade lifts the hair the next blade cuts lower on the hair follicle, the remaining portion of the hair follicle is then below the surface of the skin. In the healing process of the skin surface the opening for the follicle can become sealed as the hair continues to grow it can further irritate and inflame the skin.