Shaving with Pimples

How To Shave The Right Way When You Have Acne

Man shaving
Take care when shaving with acne.. Photo: John Slater / Getty Images

Shaving when you have acne can be a bit tricky.  It's easy to be left with raw, red, burning skin.  Short of tossing your razor and growing a beard that would make ZZ Top envious, what can you do?

It takes a bit more care, but you can remain relatively clean-shaven and still treat your skin gently.

Don't shave over pimples.

So, don't try and tough it out and just shave right over the pimples.  Seriously -- ouch!

  No good.

Shaving the tops off of pimples won’t help them clear faster. What it can do is open your skin up to infection and possible scarring. It also prolongs the healing process. Besides, acne treatments can sting quite a bit when applied to broken skin.

Instead of shaving over pimples, try to shave around inflamed blemishes as much as possible.

Switch to an electric razor, or a single blade.

Those really nice multi-blade razors give a super close shave.  They also create a lot of friction and drag when it's pulled across the skin.  That, my friends, can be extremely irritating to already inflamed broken out skin.

If your acne looks and feels worse after shaving with your multi-blade razor, try switching to a nice quality single blade razor or an electric instead.  You won't get as smooth a shave, but these razors are much less irritating and gentler on already inflamed skin.

Ditch the shave and trim instead.

For some guys, shaving itself can trigger a breakout.

  If even careful shaving causes considerable redness and irritation, you might want to ditch the razor altogether. Instead, use a trimmer to keep yourself well-groomed. 

Because a trimmer isn't dragging across the skin, you won't get that friction burn you get with a razor.  It may not be an ideal way to shave but it definitely is the most gentle.

  And if your breakouts are fairly widespread, it may not be realistic to shave around each and every pimple anyway.

You may want to use this technique only in the midst of a bad breakout, or switch to it full-time, depending on how sensitive your skin is and how severe your acne. 

Start an acne treatment so pimples will be a thing of the past.

The ideal situation is one where acne is gone, making the above tips moot.  And your acne can be cleared up.  You just have to find the right treatment.

You'll probably want to start with over-the-counter acne treatments first.  Try it for several weeks.  If you get good results, keep using it!  (Stopping use of acne treatments allows pimples to return, so plan on using your acne treatments for the long haul.)

If OTC products just aren't cutting it, make a trip to the dermatologist.  There are a lot of prescription acne medications that can start clearing breakouts rather quickly, within a few weeks.  So, give your dermatologist a call. 

Whatever treatment you choose, always treat your skin gently.

  Let it heal. While shaving take your time, try not to rush, and be careful with your skin.

Next Steps:

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