You might feel itching after shaving many a times in life. Itching following shaving is caused by cutaneous irritation, skin superficial layer inflammation and poor shaving technique.1 In most cases following shave one may observe redness over the skin that often itches a lot.1 The itching following shaving is more often seen in individual suffering with dry, cracking skin, creeping eruption and ingrown hairs.2 The ingrown hairs causes red creeping eruption and itching. Similar itching after shave is observed over face, axilla, pubic area and legs. The itching can be prevented by using the shaving cream or soap that is sold in most pharmacy over the counter. Few individuals use electric shaver.3 Shaving of facial, axillary, pubic or leg hair using electric shaver needs to follow proper technique that includes cutting hair while maintaining proper angle of electric blade. The shaving with blade or electric shaver causes scrapping of superficial layer of skin that exposes nerve receptors and histamine secreting tissue.4 Once the shaving is done the receptor is irritated by histamine that follows itching.
There are several treatments recommended for such itching. But following 8 conservative therapies, supported by published articles in scientific journals, have shown encouraging results to treat irritation of skin after shaving and helps to avoid more aggressive and invasive therapy.
8 Ways to Stop Itching After Shaving
#1. Rinse and Pat Dry After Shaving:
If the shaving gel or cream is not removed completely, then the leftover residue can cause redness, dryness and itchiness. The longer contact of skin with soap may cause contact dermatitis.5 So, be sure to rinse your skin thoroughly, making very sure that all traces of product are gone. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel, instead of rubbing it vigorously.
Aging causes faster wear and tear of skin. Skin become thin and loses underlying fat.6 Such skin become irritable after shave. One of the treatment recommended is to exfoliate the skin that is often shaved. The exfoliation involves removal of oldest skin by mechanical or chemical means. One should wash the face twice a day and dry the skin with extra dry towel. Exfoliate can be done by use of shower loofah sponge or a salicylic acid solution.
#3. Moisturize it Well:
Shaving exfoliates the skin and we actually require moisturizers to protect it. Dry skin often causes itchiness. The water based moisturizers contains menthol and the cooling effect of menthol helps to reduce itching.7 Alternatively one can use oil and apply oil before and after shaving over the skin that is shaved.
#4. Using Aloe Vera Gel After Shaving:
Aloe vera gel not only soothes and moisturizes the skin immediately, but also helps heal and take out that sting.8 Use fresh gel directly from an aloe vera plant. However, if you do not have a plant, then make sure that the gel from the store actually contains aloe vera and not simply green coloring.
#5. Use Hydrocortisone Cream:
You can easily get this cream from drugstore and this works for most people quickly. You can try this as a remedy to stop itching after shaving.
#6. Go For Colloidal Oatmeal Bath:
Colloidal oatmeal bath can help you stop itching after shaving. Oat also known as Avena Sativa in colloidal form helps to treat itching, rashes, burn and eczema.9 This is just ground up oatmeal and is sold at the store. It is very soothing and that is the reason why babies with diaper rash and people with chicken pox soak in this.
#7. Antibacterial Soap to Stop Itching Due To Razor Burn:
If there is a razor burn that is causing the itching, then wash the razor burn prone area with antibacterial soap regularly as this can kill the bacteria that can irritate hair follicles and cause itching.
# 8. Bensal HP ointment:1
Bensal HP ointment contains 3% oak bark extract, 3% salicylic acid, and 6% benzoic acid. The application of ointment over the skin after shave helps to prevent skin inflammation and infection. The ointment has been tried in selected patients who were suffering with skin itching and results were favorable.
Most of the above discussed therapies are preventive as well as therapeutics. Now, we know about some ways to stop itching after shaving. So next time when you shave or even before shaving, keep these things in mind and prevent yourself from the itching after shaving.
- Bensal HP Attenuates the Inflammatory Response in Hair Shaving Associated Dermatitis.
Ray A, Mordorski B, Landriscina A, Rosen J, Nosanchuk J, Friedman A., J Drugs Dermatol. 2016 Jul 1;15(7):836-40.
- Ingrowing Hair: A Case Report
Di-Qing Luo, MMS, Yu-Hua Liang, MMS, Xi-Qing Li, PhD, Yu-Kun Zhao, MMS, Fang Wang, MMS, and Rashmi Sarkar, MD, Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 May; 95(19): e3660.
- Innovative approaches to avoid electric shaving-induced skin irritation.
Rietzler M1, Maurer M2, Siebenhaar F2, Angelino S1, Handt J1, Burghardt R1, Smetana H1., Int J Cosmet Sci. 2016 Jun;38 Suppl 1:10-6. doi: 10.1111/ics.12329.
- Effect of shaving on axillary stratum corneum.
Marti VP1, Lee RS, Moore AE, Paterson SE, Watkinson A, Rawlings AV., Int J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Aug;25(4):193-8.
- Contact Dermatitis Due to Shaving Creams.
Pasricha JS, Panjwani S., Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 1980 Sep-Oct;46(5):266-267.
- Skin Care and Aging
- The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review
Schandra Purnamawati, MD,*† Niken Indrastuti, Dr,* Retno Danarti, Dr,* and Tatan Saefudin, MD‡, Clin Med Res. 2017 Dec; 15(3-4): 75–87.
- In Vivo skin hydration and anti-erythema effects of Aloe vera, Aloe feroxand Aloe marlothii gel materials after single and multiple application.
Lizelle T. Fox, Jeanetta du Plessis, Minja Gerber, Sterna van Zyl,1 Banie Boneschans,1 and Josias H. Hamman, Pharmacogn Mag. 2014 Apr-Jun; 10(Suppl 2): S392–S403.
- Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin.
Reynertson KA, Garay M, Nebus J, Chon S, Kaur S, Mahmood K, Kizoulis M, Southall MD., J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Jan;14(1):43-8.
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