Treatment of razor bumps for black women

Updated April 17, 2017

Razor bumps are quite common among people who shave, especially in people with curly or coarse hair. Razor bumps, also called ingrown hairs, area a result of shaving. When hair is cut on an angle, it can curl downward into the skin when it grows back. The result is a painful and inflamed bump with a hair in the centre. African American women are susceptible to razor bumps because of the curly and or coarse nature of their hair. Although it seems that razor bumps are inevitable for African American women, there are some procedures that can ease, treat, and prevent razor bumps.

Chemical Peels For Home and Professional Use

The anti-acne medication salicylic acid can help prevent razor bumps, as can the skin exfoliant glycolic acid. When used immediately after shaving, salicylic and glycolic acids penetrate deep into skin to exfoliate, which helps to clear away blocked follicles and clears pores, both of which help prevent razor bumps.

Also, glycolic acid and salicylic acid chemical peels performed by a dermatologist are stronger than over-the-counter versions, and can penetrate deeper into the skin. Chemical peels should only be performed under the supervision of a qualified health professional and should not be attempted at home. However, over the counter facial products with salicylic acid and glycolic acid are available at most retailers.


Vaniqua, also called eflornithine, is a cream originally marketed as a product to help stunt facial hair growth in women. However, the product has been found to be an efficient treatment for razor bumps as well, as slowing the growth of the hair helps prevent razor bumps. Vaniqua is a topical cream that is available by prescription only from a physician.

Retin A

Retin A, also known as tretinoin, is an effective treatment for razor bumps. Retin A is an exfoliant, so it removes surface layers of razor bumps, and it can also keep hairs from growing inward. Dermatological grades of retin A are available by prescription; it is usually the most effective in treating razor bumps. Over the counter products containing tretinoin are available.

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About the Author

David Arnold became a freelance writer in 2004. He has worked as a phlebotomist and world traveler for more than 8 years, accruing a wide range of medical and travel knowledge. David enjoys writing about travel, DIY projects and health related topics. He attends the University of Missouri St. Louis and South Western Illinois College in pursuit of a nursing degree.