Razor burn is an uncomfortable and annoying condition, but it usually resolves itself with time.
However, there are a number of treatments available to ease the symptoms of razor burn, ranging from over-the-counter products to at-home remedies. Options include:
1. Avoid shaving or touching the area
By leaving the skin alone, it gives the area time to heal and can reduce the risk of further inflammation, irritation, or infection.
2. Cool compresses
Placing a cool, wet compress on the affected area can help to reduce itching and inflammation.
To make a cold compress, simply place a clean washcloth under a stream of cold water. Wring off the excess and apply to the skin for up to 20 minutes. This can be repeated as often as needed.
3. Astringent liquids
One of the most popular home remedies for razor burn is the application of a natural astringent liquid. These help to reduce the inflammation and redness associated with both razor bumps and razor burn.
Examples of popular natural astringents include:
- apple cider vinegar
- chilled, brewed black tea
- tea tree oil (a few drops mixed with water)
- witch hazel extract
These can be applied directly to the face or added to a cold compress.
4. Natural oils
Several natural oils can be used to soften and hydrate the skin, which can reduce the sensations of itching, tenderness, and burning.
Some of the most popular oils include:
- avocado oil
- coconut oil
- olive oil
- sweet almond oil
Other emollients, including unscented lotions, aftershaves, and moisturizers, can also be applied to dry skin. People should not use products that contain alcohol because it is a known skin irritant.
5. Aloe vera
Aloe vera gel, taken from the aloe vera plant, is often used for burns, cuts, and scrapes. Anecdotal evidence reports its soothing abilities in cases of razor burn.
In addition, research shows that certain enzymes in the aloe vera plant reduce inflammation when applied to the skin.
People wishing to use aloe vera can squeeze the gel directly from the plant onto the affected area, or use a commercially available aloe vera product for sensitive or damaged skin.
6. Oatmeal bath
Oatmeal is often used to treat a variety of skin issues, particularly inflammatory conditions. According to some research, it possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may explain its effectiveness as a natural remedy for razor burn.
Adding either regular or colloidal oatmeal, or an oatmeal-based bath product, to a tub of lukewarm water can help to provide symptom relief. This can be especially helpful for razor burn on the pubic area or legs.
7. Baking soda
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a natural salt that is mainly used in baking. However, it is a popular natural treatment for a variety of ailments, including razor burn and razor bumps.
Mix a cup of water with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and apply to the skin using a cotton pad. Once the mixture dries, rinse it off. Repeat up to twice daily until symptoms resolve.
Alternatively, 1 cup of baking soda can be added to a lukewarm bath to alleviate symptoms.
8. Over-the-counter lotions
Several over-the-counter products are available to treat razor burn. Aftershave lotion for both men and women may provide benefits, while baby products such as baby oil or diaper rash creams are both gentle and soothing for irritated skin.
Products containing hydrocortisone can reduce swelling and redness. Salicylic acid, a product typically used to treat acne, may also be beneficial for those with razor burn.
Those with razor bumps in addition to razor burn may benefit from lotions containing glycolic acid, which has been shown to reduce lesions by 60 percent. This could allow people to resume a daily shaving routine.
Specially formulated razor bump creams are also available to prevent ingrown hairs, including Bump Stopper and Tend Skin.
9. Antibiotics for infection
Razor burn is often accompanied by bumps. While these generally resolve without complication, there is the possibility of infection.
If the bumps appear to be infected, show white or pus-filled heads, or become tender or painful to the touch, those affected should consult a doctor. Antibiotic treatment may be required.