Shaving With Acne

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Acne is almost viewed as a rite of passage for teens, yet it is understandably one of the worst predictable trials to go through. While females often struggle with self-esteem issues and the pressures to “look perfect,” males find that, along with the struggle of confidence, they have to deal with shaving. Most guys look forward to the time when they need to shave. It is their own personal badge of honor that they are maturing into men. However, shaving with acne can be extremely difficult, painful, and can make acne worse.

If your skin is acne prone, here are tips to reduce the risk of aggravating acne while shaving:

  • Cleanse your skin. Acne thrives on bacteria, so keeping the face clean is essential for warding off acne breakouts. It is important to use a cleanser with Salicylic Acid, which will help treat acne as well as prevent ingrown hairs.
  • Skip days when needed. While acne thrives on bacteria, acne also responds to hormones in your body. Throughout the teen years, hormones fluctuate drastically. If your face is responding to a hormone surge, or you are simply having a bad day (or week) with acne breakouts, skip shaving. Shaving over acne can be painful, can leave behind scars, and can cause bacteria to spread making acne worse.
  • Steam your face. There is a reason barber shops use hot towels on the face and neck of clients – steam helps open up the pores and hair follicles to make the coarse facial hair softer and more pliable. Using the steam of a shower, over a sink filled with hot water, or from a warm washcloth, your facial hair will be softer and offer a smoother shave.
  • Condition. There are specific pre-shave conditioners on the market for those with coarse facial hair. These conditioners can offer relief for acne prone skin by making the facial hair easier to shave.
  • Shave in the correct direction. It is always important to shave in the direction that your hair grows. This allows for a closer shave, while it also prevents irritation to the skin.
  • Shave with a gentle hand. Shaving with acne is often like shaving over a landmine. Go slow, take your time, and shave gently. Applying too much pressure will lead to pimples rupturing and causing further problems.

If your acne is problematic or severe, contact Medical Dermatology Specialists today.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.