What is it?
Commonly known as razor bumps or ingrowing hair.
The condition mainly affects people of colour with thick curly Afro hair that when cut, grows back into the skin causing painful inflammation, swelling of the hair follicle and hyperpigmentation. Infection is caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.
Whilst this condition affects mainly men who experience it in the nape and lower face/neck, women can also be affected if they suffer from excessive facial hair growth on the chin and cheek area and from hair removal on the legs and bikini area.
It can appear to look like a painful rash or acne, often looking very sore and inflamed.
If not treated, the area can become infected this requiring antibacterial treatment.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Visual examination of the skin is all that's necessary to determine the condition. A dermatologist or trichologist is usually better equipped to help than a GP.
It is important to look at the shaving implement being used – single blade razors like the Bevel have been specifically made to prevent razor bumps in people with thick, curly and coarse Afro hair.
It is important to keep skin smooth and free from dry skin build up. Regularly exfoliating with a mild AHA face wash and moisturising lotion will help and also will tackle the resulting post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Topical and/or oral antibiotics can also help to reduce inflammation.