Skin Matters

Men's Corner: Razor Bumps vs Acne (And How to Get Rid of Both)

Here's what you need to know to get rid of these angry, red bumps on your chin, jawline, and neck.

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Can’t tell the diff between razor bumps and acne? No judgement here. Most guys suffer from both and it’s hard to tell them apart.

Spot(s) the Difference

Razor bumps are basically ingrown hairs caused by shaving. Since you’re trying to get as close a shave as possible, today’s razors pull up the hairs and then snap them back into place, resulting in super short hairs that grow inwards under the skin (and angry-looking, red bumps).

Acne, on the other hand, are clogged pores filled with oil, dirt, and bacteria—they’re actually easier to spot because of how they look. If it’s got a white head from sebum formation inside the skin, it’s a pimple. If it’s got a black head because the pore is open on the skin’s surface, it’s also acne.

So what happens when your pimple becomes inflamed and looks exactly like a razor bump? Skip shaving for a few days. If bumps stop appearing, then you know they were caused by the razor. If the spots remain, then they’re acne.

Your Long-Term Skin Plan

 

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While skipping shaving is a quick way to diagnose that bump, it won’t help them go away completely. The good news is, the treatment for acne and razor bumps is actually the same because they’re both aggravated by bacterial infection. All you need to do is keep the area clean with a good cleanser and moisturizer containing anti-bacterial properties. Don’t know how to do it? We’ll break it down for you:

Step 1: Start by cleansing your face with warm water and a facial wash that contains Mineral Clay extract (to control oil and clean skin of impurities), Witch Hazel Extract (to help reduce swelling, inflammation, and redness), and Salicylic Acid (to treat and help prevent pimples).

Step 2: Use a shaving cream with essential oils that contain anti-bacterial ingredients and soothing extracts.

Step 3: Let the shaving cream sit for a bit so it can fully soften hair and skin, to lessen irritation when shaving.

Step 4: Shave the area, making sure to go with the grain (yes, not against it) since this also causes ingrown hairs. Make sure to use a razor with a sharp blade.

Step 5: Apply a facial cleanser (similar to a toner) that doubles as an after-shave to soothe and cleanse skin. This will help prevent further bacterial growth while moisturizing skin.

Step 6: Don't forget to finish with a moisturizer that has skin lightening ingredients (try white ginseng) to help fade the dark spots that were left behind by those nasty red bumps.

It may seem like a lot at first, but if you time yourself, this routine can actually take about 5 to 10 minutes only. It'll be worth the effort though—especially when you're sporting clear, smooth skin that's perfect for snuggling with your girl.

Ask A Derma


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PDS is the only specialty society in Dermatology recognized by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) and the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP). PDS is not an endorser of any product found in the site.


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