Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What does razor burn look like?"


I think I might have razor burn on my legs. There are some irritated spots that I think are from normal shaving. What does razor burn typically look like? Could I actually have a more serious skin condition and should I stop shaving my legs so much?


Razor burn is a very common problem. It is an irritation of the skin that is generally a result of not knowing how to properly use the blade. It starts off as a rash almost immediately after shaving and can go away with time generally within a few days usually.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Dermatologists near you

Sometimes however, a razor burn can be quite severe in which case, there can be areas of reddening and razor bumps. It is most commonly seen in areas where there is thick hair, or in sensitive areas such as the underarms, beard or bikini area. The reasons this usually happens is due to not enough lubrication (shaving dry), shaving in a rough manner or in a haphazard way, or by shaving too closely. This can be prevented by using a shaving cream or gel and using exfoliating agents prior to shaving. It is important not to shave in a rough manner, to attempt to shave in the direction of hair growth and to limit irritating products. Irritating spots maybe razor bumps from inflammation. The skin can be itchy, red, and look like pimples. If severe, this may require treatment by a dermatologist. You should make an appointment with a dermatologist to determine what kind of treatment is needed for your condition.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.