Well + Good posted "How to finally stop pesky razor bumps in their tracks" featuring Dr. Purvisha Patel.
The article includes Dr. Patel's expert commentary on razor bumps.
I remember the first time that I got razor bumps. As with most people who experience the skin woe for the first time, I was utterly confused—I had just shaved in order to reveal a super-smooth bikini line and hairless legs, only to see strange, unsightly red bumps appear shortly thereafter. Despite aspirations of smoothness, bumps can happen—quite easily, in fact. They’re strange and can be confusing to treat, since they’re not exactly pimples or ingrown hairs or even dermatitis—so I sought expert insight to figure out WTF they are anyways.
First of all, rest assured that they’re extremely common (I, for one, probably get them every time I shave). “We are mammals and covered with hair follicles,” says Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare. “Razor bumps typically occur after shaving over hair follicles. The follicle then has inflammation, irritation, and possibly a micro-infection within it as the hair tries to grow back.”
They look pretty similar to an ingrown hair, and are in fact almost the same thing, says Dr. Patel. “With an ingrown hair you may see small signs of infection, such as a pimple or pustule,” she says. “They tend to be more painful than razor bumps, which are mostly inflammation and less of an infection.”
The secret to getting rid of your razor bumps is all about quashing the inflammation (as is the case with so many issues). “Using products that soothe the inflammation and kill any potential bacteria or fungus on the skin helps razor bumps go away,” says Dr. Patel. Look for antibacterial ingredients like tea tree oil, or anti-inflammatory ones such as ceramides, chamomile, and aloe vera.