ZocdocAnswersWhy do my legs break out when I shave?

Question

Why do my legs break out when I shave?

When I shave my legs I seem to get a break out of little red bumps. They go away after shaving but I'm sick and tired of dealing with this. What can I do?

Answer

Unfortunately, this is a very common problem with shaving. One possibility is that the shaving is drying out and irritating your skin, leading to small red bumps. In this case, the only real solution to the problem is either to attempt shaving a bit less frequently, or to try using a strong moisturizing lotion after each shave. If the bumps are more prominent, looking more raised and pimple-like, then this might be folliculitis, which is an inflammation and infection of the hair shafts. Again, this is very common in some people when they shave, and although flares of folliculitis can usually be treated with good skin hygiene and anti bacterial soap or ointment, the only way to prevent them completely is to shave less frequently. If you find that you are unable to keep this problem under control, then you could also consider alternative forms of hair removal, such as electrolysis, waxing, or laser hair removal. These are things that a dermatologist would be able to discuss in more detail and give you their recommendation as to which approach might be best in your case. Alternatively, if you do not have a dermatologist, you could always address this issue with your primary care doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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