Razor bumps are small elevations ( bumps) on the skin which are caused by irritation to ingrown hairs that curl around onto themselves and grow into the skin. The medical term for the condition is pseudofolliculitis barbae. It is often associated with darkening of the skin near the affected follicle, and may sometimes become infected.
They are caused by very curly hair which has been shaved curving and growing back into the skin, instead of growing to the surface as normally should happen.
They are more common in people with very curly hair, such as African-American males , or some Hispanic males. They also occur in females.
Most people with razor bumps find that using a depilatory cream or powder helps decrease their occurrence. In the past few years, and with the introduction of the Nd:yag laser, laser hair removal has become an option in the treatment of these razor bumps. Sometimes, the darkening of the skin associated with razor bumps have been know to improve in appearance.
The laser destroys or deactivates the hair follicle so the hair is no longer able to grow and cause the condition. If hair grows in the treated areas, it is usually finer, straighter and less likely to cause razor bumps. Multiple treatments are usually required.