Should Women Shave Their Faces To Achieve Better Skin? Part 3 Of Our Series On Knowing The Benefits And Side Effects

Dermaplaning, a.k.a a close razor shaving for women offers a lot of benefits to the skin, but can also cause unwanted razor bumps. If you suffer from these, check out what those bumps can mean for women and how best to avoid them from dermatologist Dr. Friedman of Montefiore Medical Center:

Dr. Friedman, what could woman's razor bumps tell us about underlying health conditions?

Based on our study, the increased hair growth which ultimately results in razor bumps can be a sign that there are hormonal abnormalities as seen in polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Typically what types of women are most at risk for these underlying health conditions?

Our study found that women effected were more often African American, obese, and suffered from elements of metabolic syndrome such as diabetes, high blood pressure.

Is it ever OK not to shave or wax?

It is only OK at a specific length when the hair regrows into the skin. If the hair is allowed to keep growing, it typically pops out. Growing a beard is often a good treatment option for men, but not for women for obvious reasons.

How best to treat female razor bumps?

First and foremost, if there is an underlying sex hormone abnormality, this needs to be identified and managed. Shaving technique is very important too. For women, if shaving is a selected approach, I recommend daily to prevent that growth, which results in clinical disease.

Most commonly believed hair growth or hair removal myths?

One, that shaving makes hair thicker and grow back faster. Two, plucking hairs is a safe and helpful approach -- it is not. And three, picking the lesions will prevent worsening, discoloration or scarring.

Any additional tips and tricks?

I recommend post-foaming shave gels as they provide the following benefits: One, the hair is cut closer to the skin and less likely to be ingrown (it is at a particular length at which the hair curves back into the skin, penetrating the skin adjacent to the hair exit point and creating a "splinter" like reaction as the skin responds to the ingrown hair as something foreign).

Two, the hair is cut cleanly without a jagged or frayed end, preventing skin re-entry. And three there is a reduced need to apply high blade pressure, minimizing cutting of acne-like bumps as well as the skin around the hair. Overall, shaving discomfort is reduced, encouraging increased shaving frequency which is needed to prevent future problems. 

This article was originally published on Fashion Times

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