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Preventing Barber’s Rash: Men Shaving Tips

Preventing Barber’s Rash.

It’s the timeless battle in which every black man often experiences head-on.  The vicious and often ferocious battle between the razor and ultimately those nuisance soldiers called razor bumps.

Which leads to the age-old question….

“WHY DO BLACK MEN SUFFER FROM RAZOR BUMPS (PSEUDOFOLLICULITIS BARBAE)…MORE”

Short answer – razor bumps are caused by shaving. Sometimes when a hair is cut off at the point where it exits the skin, it can curl back and start growing inwards. These ingrown hairs cause irritation to the hair follicle, which swells into a small red lump that looks a bit like a pimple. A razor bump forms when a hair that has been cut off close to the surface of the face turns around and begins growing back into the skin.

This painful process only affects about 20% of Caucasians, while various sources claim that between 60-80% of black men are affected.

The main reason why black men get razor bumps more often than their white or Asian counterparts is because the type of curly hair is particularly likely to become ingrown. Black men often have coarse or curly hair, which may lead to razor bumps and ingrown hairs. “People with darker skin often are susceptible to inflammation, such as that caused by razor bumps; along with hyperpigmentation,” says Dr. Lawrence Jaeger, DO of Advanced Dermatology Associates in NYC and the Bronx.

Razor bumps form as new strands of hair curl back, puncture, and re-enter the skin while growing. Although not a serious health problem, these bumps are by no means pretty and can be a nuisance. They can fill up with puss, cause skin discoloration, or give rise to keloidal scars. The worst part is that razor bumps itch and cause quite a bit of discomfort. And when these pustules develop an infection from staph bacteria, they turn into a more serious skin disorder called Barber’s rash or folliculitis.

Also, darker skin is more prone to keloid scarring, which can develop if razor bumps are left untreated. Which is why it is especially important for black men to learn how to prevent and treat this common skin condition or seek dermatological treatment.

Black Men Shaving Tips: Preventing Barber’s Rash

SHAVING TIPS – Black or Darker Skin People Should:

  • Always use a sharp razor blade and discard old blades after 4-5 uses. You might think this is excessive, but dull blades force black men to go over the same area of skin again and again, increasing the chances of irritation and improperly cutting hair. This goes for electric razors, too: replace the blades after every few months of use.
  • Reduce your number of shaves by shaving every other day. Giving the skin time to heal will allow hairs to grow straight through the skin’s surface, without forcing too-short hairs back into the skin. Frequent shaving too close to the skin will trap hairs inside the follicles.
  • Exfoliate! Exfoliate! Exfoliating with a gentle scrub like Microfine Face Scrub removes the top layer of dead cells and allows hairs to grow out more easily. It also helps soften skin, clears pores and evens out patchy skin tones.
  • Many African-American men benefit from using a single-blade razor, or a Deep Edge razor. Most dermatologists will encourage patients who suffer from razor bumps from using triple or quadruple blade razor systems. They exponentially increase the  potential for razor bumps. The closer the shave, the worse the razor bumps will be.
  • Always shave in the direction of hair growth. While shaving upward seems to give a closer shave, shaving in the hair’s direction reduces irritation and the likelihood of hairs growing back into the skin. Don’t pull skin taut when shaving since this can also cause ingrown hairs to form.
  • Soften hairs before shaving by massaging warm water into the beard area and then applying a professional-grade, highly-lubricating shave cream. Allow it to sit on the face for a minute or two to completely coat hairs before shaving.
  • Follow a shave with an after-shave solution that contains hydrating ingredients like aloe, witch hazel and tea tree extract like Post-Shave Repair to cut down on redness and discomfort. Stay away from products that contain alcohol since this can dry skin out and provoke an ashy appearance in black skin.
  • Resist the urge to pluck ingrown hairs out. A new hair will just grow again, and you’ll be facing the same exact problem…even worse. It can become irritated.
  • Most importantly, take your time when shaving. Stop that 30-second shave on Monday morning. Taking your time to shave slowly and with care can dramatically reduce nicks, cuts and abrasions that can aggravate razor bumps.
  • Aloe Vera is your best friend because it acts as a moisturizer which will help speed up the healing process of the razor bumps. Aloe Vera also helps with the burning and soothing pain or discomfort.

Three Expert Tips To Clearer, Cleaner, Brighter Skin

Three Expert Tips To Clearer Cleaner Brighter SkinNYC Dermatologist Lawrence Jaeger, Medical Director of Advanced Dermatology Associates in New York provides useful health & medical tips on achieving your optimum health.

As the season slowly changes from summer to fall, the onset of skin rashes and acne becomes more prevalent due to the associated weather, heating or moisture changes. To avoid the “red itchy syndrome” or potential skin irritation to your face, here are our skin care tips to having clearer and cleaner skin.

It’s simple. The more you take into consideration of what touches your face – i.e. pillow, cell phone & hands — becomes the basis for establishing healthier skin.

Three Expert Tips To Clearer, Cleaner, Brighter Skin:

1. Leave Your Face Alone.

It’s hard to realize this, but throughout the day we touch our faces too much. That wouldn’t really be a problem, except for the fact that we’re constantly touching tons of other surfaces, making our hands a Petri dish for germs and other unwanted bacteria. That subway pole you held on to…or the infamous amounts of buttons, bells or door-knobs touched.

  • Did you know that there could be over 332,000 bacteria on the human hand?…basically over 4,700 different strains too.

Therefore…

    • Wash your hands more, especially during the fall/winter months when germs are more abundant. It’s suggested that to wash your hands for 20 seconds (singing the tunes of “Mary had a little lamb” or “Happy Birthday”  TWICE –  can rid your hands of over 200 germs).
    • Keeping hand sanitizer in your bag can be another great option. Not sure or confused about the different hand sanitizers available? 

2. Clean Your Smartphone.

Another big but unnoticeable way your skin could be sprouting rashes, blemishes and breakouts is related to your cell phone. Considering that it’s always in your hands; placed down or left on many types of surfaces, and then it touches directly your face. Yes, your cell phone is a major germ center.

    • Did you realize that the average cell phone has 18 times more bacteria than a toilet?! Even worse is our phones are breeding grounds for bacteria.
    • Not only are they overloaded with germs, they are harboring bacteria that we should not be in contact with, such as E. coli,MRSA and the flu.  In other words, your toilet is cleaner than your iPhone or Android.

However, the amount of germs on a phone solely isn’t the  problem — it’s the sharing of phones between other people.

So basically strive to keep your dirty expensive germ ridden phone in a cover/wrap and use antibacterial wipes and even buying headphones with a mic. Always use your own phone.

3. Cleaner Pillow Talk.

Ever went to bed with your skin looking just fine but woke up with a big red blemish or nasty pimple outbreak?

Another culprit in the struggle for clear skin could be where you rest your head every night. Just consider what is in the pillow you lay your face on night after night… everything from dirt, oil and dead skin cells get trapped there, which may lead to acne. Often times, people always raise comments about grimy sheets, but they forget to change the pillows on their beds. Which is just as worse, as dirty pillows can harbor a host of critters and debris.

The solution…

Basically you should change your pillows “Every three weeks for the outer cover, and every three months for the pillow itself”.

Everyone was the best of health but if you’re looking for healthier skin, nails, lip and hair, it’s accomplished through a better understanding of how the little things you’re doing can either make you better or break you. Establishing this mindset is no different with your skin, hair or nail care.

The better understanding that you have could be the difference. As you can be your own worst enemy when it comes to the root causes of your skin outbreaks or acne. But as with anything in life, it’s about focusing on the simple “little” things by applying three tips to reach your desired skin health.

Advanced Dermatology’s Convenient New York City Locations

Advanced Dermatology’s – Convenient New York City Locations

Advanced Dermatology Convenient New York City Locations

Advanced Dermatology Associates (ADA) now has five full-time practices providing treatment in the three major areas of dermatology: medical, cosmetic and surgical. All five offices are located in convenient locations throughout New York City.

Midtown Manhattan, 200 Central Park South, Suite 107
Head to the corner of 7th Avenue and 59 Street to get to ADA’s Central Park location. Overlooking the south side of New York City’s beautiful Central Park, this medical office is especially accessible for those living or working in Manhattan.

Bronx: Third Avenue, 291 East 149th Street
Take the subway to get to ADA’s Third Avenue office on 149th Street, situated between Cortland Avenue and Morris Avenue. After your appointment, drop your prescription off at the CVS Pharmacy, conveniently located across the street. While you wait, grab a bite to eat at Yolanda’s Italian Pizzeria & Restaurant, next door.

Bronx: Co-op City, 2100 Bartow Avenue, Suite 211
Adjacent to Co-op City, this ADA office is nestled within New York City’s largest retail spot, Bay Plaza Shopping Center. Before or after your appointment, feel free to enjoy the wonderful variety of department and specialty stores for your everyday shopping convenience.

Bronx: Parkchester, 1455 West Avenue
One of ADA’s newer offices is located on West Avenue in the lovely area of Parkchester. The office is easy to spot next to the Post Office and Macys. Since its recent opening in November of 2012, ADA’s fourth office has experienced much success in treating patients in the New York City area.

Bronx: Fordham, 2432 Grand Concourse, Suite 501
At the end of the month, ADA will be opening its fifth office in Fordham. The Fordham office is conveniently located in the Poe Building on Fordham Road, across from the D-train. With less than a five minute drive from campus, ADA’s newest office will be especially accessible for those taking classes or working at Fordham University.

 

About Advanced Dermatology Associates

Advanced Dermatology Associates has been a top New York City medical practice for over 20 years. As the Medical Director of ADA, renowned dermatologist, Dr. Lawrence Jaeger, oversees a remarkable team of experienced physicians. All of ADA’s practitioners are Board-Certified and university affiliated to provide patients with the highest quality of care. Each ADA location accepts most all types of insurance plan, union, PPO, HMO, Medicare and Medicaid. For additional patient convenience, appointments may be scheduled during the day, evening, and weekend.