Dermatology Expert Forum
Help with chronic razor bumps, mild acne, and ingrown hairs.
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This forum is for questions regarding Dermatology issues, such as: rashes, acne, birthmarks, skin infections, rosacea, and general skin care. All questions will be answered by a medical professional.

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Help with chronic razor bumps, mild acne, and ingrown hairs.

Hi, I'm currently serving overseas and our resources our limited on base. Ever since we came out here my face started to go from a baby face to a total mess. I have razor bumps, acne, and to top it off, ingrown hairs. I really do not want to return home in the summer of '08 with a messed up hair. And I was wondering if there's any products I can order or self treatments I can do? I would greatly appreciate all the help you can provide me.

Thanks!

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The only real treatment for ingrown hairs is to minimize shaving, which in your case is not an option.  If you can use an electric razor and shave with the grain, that may help.  If you have a tendency to squeeze or pick at your spots, it would be better if you didn't.  As for products, perhaps you can get a doctor to prescribe a topical antibiotic like clindamycin gel to put on the affected part of your face, or the whole face if necessary, twice a day.  If not, you should be able to access topical (external) benzoyl peroxide products that don't need a prescription.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
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Don't have any advice on the acne, but I used to have bad razor bumps and ingrown hairs on my neck.  When I was in college, I managed by not shaving every day, but after I started working, I needed to shave daily and wear a collared shirt and tie -- so the irritation/bumps got pretty bad.  My twin brother had exactly the same symptoms and we were both "cured" of them with a few simple changes to our daily shaving routine:

1) I was using a 2 blade razor initially and had "upgraded" to a 3 blade razor by the time the ingrown hairs had gotten bad.  My dermatologist advised that I switch to a single blade razor (just a cheap bic disposable), never to shave over the same area twice, and, of course, always shave with the "grain."  (And, for what it's worth, I was advised that electric razors often make it worse, but I've never liked them.)

2) I also started using fragrance free shaving gel (Aveeno is great and is available just about everywhere) -- it helps a little, but not critical.

3) The real improvement came later when I started using a product called TendSkin.  It's basically alcohol and salicylic acid with some other stuff mixed in.  It smells unpleasant when you put it on your neck/face, but that goes away in a minute.  Once the existing razor bumps and ingrown hairs went away, they never returned in a significant way.

I have now all but forgotten about razor bumps and ingrown hairs, but if I forget the TendSkin when traveling, the ingrown hairs start to appear after a day or two.  

You can order TendSkin over the internet -- just Google it.  It's life-changing...
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