Razor bumps look and feel like pimples but they are the result of ingrown hairs. The medical term for this condition is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB).
What Causes Razor Bumps?
Hair grows inside the tubes in the skin called “follicles.” When shaved, the tip of the hair is left with a sharp point. As the curly hair grows, this sharp tip may curve back and pierce the skin. The medical term for this cause of PFB is “Transfollicular Penetration.”
The body treats all ingrown hairs just as it would a splinter or any other foreign object by producing an inflammatory pimple-like bump. Often, if the condition occurs over an extended period of time, the skin will respond by producing unsightly dark spots at the sites of the PFB bumps. Unfortunately, these dark spots can take many months to fade. It should be noted that razor bumps can affect anyone who has curly hair or has hair follicles orientated at oblique angles to the skin surface, which makes it easier to re-enter the skin. Since most African-American men have curly, coarse hair and curved follicles, they frequently suffer from razor bumps. This is also true for people of Mediterranean descent.
Razor Bumps and Our Military
Being located in Virginia Beach and having patients from all over Hampton Roads, VADERMA has a large population of patients that are enlisted in the military and we truly appreciate their service. Over the years, PFB has been a huge problem with our soldiers and sailors that are sent on deployments for long periods of time. These patients that are send out for these long periods, tend to have heightened and more serious bouts with razor bumps and PFB. There are a few factors that play into this. Whether it be the location’s conditions, level of upkeep, types of razors, or a combination of all of these; some conditions get so bad that the sailor or soldier will need medical attention. We have had patients that are even been sent home from across the world to receive medical care due to their skin getting so infected. The only clinical treatment to reduce or remove severe PFB is laser hair removal and a short run of antibiotics. The Armed Forces know this to be the case and in some instances, will pay for the treatments even if it’s preventative. If you have PFB and are enlisted in the military, we offer discounted treatments to you, as well as encourage you to look into your options regarding the military paying/reimbursing you for your treatments.
Can Bikini Line Razor Bumps be Treated?
Patients that use razors for their bikini area also complain about the razor bumps they get from shaving. If you get this condition, you will notice it will not be the day that you shave your bikini area that the razor bumps show up, it is usually the second or third day after right? The reason for this is simple. When you originally shaved the bikini area, your skin was probably irritation and bump free with only some short hairs starting to regrow from the last razor application. If you get razor pumps each time you shave, the last bumps you got from shaving the area last, are probably going away or even gone at this point. So…. you say to yourself “This time is gonna be different” and you even get a fancy new razor to try it again only for the bumps to continue to come back!
The good news for patients that get this condition is that with laser hair removal treatments, it will dramatically improve or even go away completely. The bikini region of the body responds very well to laser hair removal treatments due to the hair in this area typically being coarser and darker, the best type of hair for laser treatments. All our bikini treatments are performed by our laser specialist Lada Alger who has over 18 years in medicine including a Masters Degree in Heath Services. Lada’s soothing demeanor and professionalism make personal or intimate treatments such as a bikini area a breeze. Most bikini treatments take less than 10 minutes and there is no down time associated with this treatment. Some patients call laser hair removal the “lunchtime treatment” due to being able to sneak in on a lunch break and return right back to work.
What can I do about Razor Bumps?
The key to controlling PFB is to minimize hair re-entry back into the skin with the VADERMA PFB Treatment Program. This system consists of a series of laser hair removal treatments, skin conditioners, and special take home medical grade razors. Laser treatments for razor bumps will not only remove and reduce these hairs that are the center of the problem, they will also start to elevate your active acne-like symptoms some patients obtain. Razor bumps if not treated, can actually get infected and cause serious unnecessary irritation, permanent discoloration, and scars in some cases. Patients with darker skin types are also prone to having these scars keloid or raise above the skin. If you have a serious condition that is associated with PFB, give us a call today at 757-321-0775.
VADERMA PFB (Razor Bumps) Treatment
The best option is to obtain a professional opinion regarding your condition. We offer free consultations to all new patients. Book today and see how the VADERMA PFB Treatment Program can help you! Typically, 6 treatments or less will make a huge difference if you are suffering from PFB but a maintenance program is also recommended. Additional treatments or “touch ups” may help keep your condition under control and your skin more even toned. Sometimes these additional treatments are annual or semi-annual if needed.