You may have your shaving routine down pat, but if you're still getting razor bumps, you could be skipping a few important steps.
"When trauma occurs to your skin, it reacts by becoming inflamed and bumpy," explains dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara, M.D. Certain bad shaving habits, like shaving dry or going against the way your hair grows, can lead to even more irritation.
So how do you make them go away? It's easier than you think:
How to Make Razor Bumps Disappear
If you already have them on your legs or elsewhere, Gohara recommends using a topical antibiotic like or an over-the-counter cortisone cream like . If you need something a little stronger, visit your skincare stash and round up any glycolic and salicylic acid pads, especially ones made specifically for bikini bumps.
And whatever you do, avoid picking at the bumps: Irritating your skin or potentially opening wounds will do nothing but make the problem worse — and make it more difficult to shave later on.
How to Avoid Razor Bumps Altogether
You've heard it once and you'll hear it again: exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. According to Dr. Gohara, using an exfoliating wash or scrub, like , before shaving will help keep skin healthy — and prevent these pesky bumps from popping up down the line.
Marta Camkiran, senior esthetician at New York City's , also stresses shaving in the direction of hair growth to avoid irritating the follicles.
The temperature of your shower can also affect your shave, so use warm water and save shaving for last to ensure your follicles are open and the hairs are softer. As for razors, you may be surprised to learn that Gohara advises against using multiple-blade razors, as they can be more traumatizing to the skin. Instead, stick with single- or double-blade razors.
If you're still getting razor bumps after trying all of the above, Camkiran suggests seeking alternative hair removal methods, such as wa or laser hair removal.