Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Could my electric razor be causing my acne?"
I use an electric razor to shave, have since teen years (24 now). I've got bad acne all the sudden on my neck and jaw line. Is it from my razor? Can an electric razor cause acne?
Electric razors are excellent for many people because of the time that they can save. Sometimes, however, they can be very rough on your skin, especially when they are not cutting properly (either because they are dull or not aligned correctly). There are also some people who will just not do well with them. At the microscopic level, each hair is attached to your skin at a point called a hair follicle. When your razor isn't working exactly right, each follicle can be traumatized every single time you pass your electric razor over the top of the hair, either by pulling on the hair or by abrading the skin in the area. This minor trauma may not seem significant, but it can be enough to allow bacteria into the most superficial layers of the skin. As the bacteria come in, the body reacts to fight the infection. The signs of this include redness, swelling, and tenderness--in other words, acne. There are many things that can be done to treat this, including decreasing the amount of bacteria via topical or systemic antibiotics. The best thing to try first in your case, however, may be to stop using the electric razor. And please speak with your doctor if you have further concerns or questions or things don't improve.
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