Whether it's due to a dull razor, rushing through the process, or simply being clumsy, cuts can occur while shaving; here are 8 ways to treat a shaving cut.
Shaving accidents are more common than you think; whether you're using a razor blade or an electric shaver — either foil shaver or rotary shaver — accidents happen (even to the best of us) and can often leave your skin irritated and injured; these injuries can range from minor scratches to deep cuts that can be painful, and unsightly, and if not treated properly, they can become infected.
While it's easy to panic when a shaving cut occurs, treating shave cuts quickly and correctly is important to prevent infection and promote healing. In this article, we will explore 8 ways to effectively treat a shaving cut to help you get back to your day-to-day activities quickly but safely.
Here are 8 ways to treat a shaving cut:
1. Clean the area and apply pressure.
The first thing you should do to treat a shaving cut is to clean the cut immediately and thoroughly with warm water and pat it dry.
Once you have cleaned the wound, apply gentle pressure — especially if bleeding is profuse — with a sterile piece of gauze or a clean cloth; keep the pressure on for several minutes, and elevate the area if possible until the bleeding stops completely, reapply pressure if necessary.
Note: When you have cuts on your skin, it's best to avoid further shaving and/or use an alternative hair removal method to avoid aggravating the cut and prevent further damage.
2. Try an Alum Block or Styptic Pencil.
If bleeding is persistent, use an alum block or styptic pencil, they are known to offer a quick solution for disinfecting nicks, haltering bleeding of shaving cuts, and preventing razor burn and ingrown hairs.
An Alum Block, also known as Alum Stone or Alum Crystal, is a naturally occurring potassium alum salt crystal block with astringent and antiseptic properties to disinfect razor nicks and cuts and protect against disease-causing microorganisms while reducing bleeding and inflammation and promoting healing.
To use, wet the block with water and rub it onto the cut to disinfect it and stop the bleeding; it's common for the alum block to sting slightly when applied, but this sensation should subside shortly.
Whereas a Styptic Pencil is a small pen-shaped tool made from aluminum salts, usually aluminum sulfate or titanium dioxide, that is an antihemorrhagic agent — meaning it constricts blood vessels to stop bleeding.
It's designed for precision application and can be used to stop bleeding in more sensitive areas such as the face, neck, or bikini line. To use, wet the tip of the styptic pencil with water and then rub it directly onto the cut until the bleeding stops; unlike an Alum Block, a Styptic Pencil stings more intensely when applied.
It's important to note, however, that it should be used only in cases of actual shave cuts — not as an aftershave remedy — as it can dry out the skin if overused, so keep an alum block or styptic pencil nearby for those inevitable shaving mishaps.
3. Or apply new and unscented balm.
But, if you're looking for a milder alternative, try new and unscented balm; applying balm is a quick and effective way to stop blood flow and keep germs away; the best option is an unscented balm in a squeezable tube — that way, you know the product hasn't been exposed to air or germs.
If you opt for a lip balm stick, make sure the applicator is clean and scrape off the top layer before applying it to eliminate potential germs and reduce the risk of infection.
Put a bit of balm over the cut, and use a clean hand and light touch to make sure it is sealed off. If you are in a hurry, just apply a small amount on top of the cut or nick, but if you can, add an extra layer for maximum protection — don't forget to clear away any excess balm afterward.
Try not to touch or examine the cut for at least 30 minutes, and then wipe away any remaining balm with your clean fingers. You'll likely notice that the bleeding has stopped, and there's some balm inside the wound, which helps promote healing; there may be a slight redness in the balm from any last blood drainage.
4. Reapply a fresh layer of balm.
An excellent way to expedite healing is to apply a fresh layer of balm throughout the day; it's especially important to do this before going to sleep at night to make sure the wound stays sealed and protected from outside threats like bacteria, germs, and other potential contaminants.
Make sure to wash your hands first and use clean fingers to apply the balm — this helps reduce the risk of infection while ensuring that your wound heals quickly and safely.
Reapplying balm should be done a few times a day until the cut has healed completely — this will help prevent any further complications and get you back on track with your shaving routine as soon as possible.
If the cut has started to heal, you can reduce the amount of balm applied daily until it's no longer necessary; however, if the cut is still healing, apply a fresh layer every 6-8 hours or as needed.
Remember to take care of the wound until it is healed, and if the bleeding doesn't stop or you notice any signs of infection, seek medical attention immediately.
5. Apply an ice cube or cold compress.
Hold an ice cube or cold compress against the cut for 15-30 seconds to constrict the blood vessels, stop bleeding, reduce swelling, and calm pain or discomfort.
It's a similar technique to splashing your skin with cold water after shaving — it helps tighten pores and make the skin retreat from the razor blade.
Make sure to wrap the ice cube or cold compress in a clean cloth before applying it to the skin to avoid frostbite; hold it on the cut for several minutes, and repeat as needed.
6. Use witch hazel-based toner.
Witch hazel is a natural astringent derived from the witch hazel shrub's leaves, bark, and twigs; it's known to help soothe irritated and inflamed skin, kill bacteria, reduce swelling, and speed up healing.
To promote healing, apply a witch hazel-based toner or other alcohol-free aftershaves to disinfect the cut and reduce the risk of redness, swelling, inflammation, and infection while soothing and calming the skin.
For best results, pour a little witch hazel onto a cotton pad and gently dab the toner onto the cut 2–3 times daily; avoid using alcohol-based astringents because they dry out your skin, which leads to burning and stinging, causing further discomfort and delaying the healing process.
7. Apply an antiseptic ointment or cream.
Once the bleeding has been stopped, and the cut is clean, to prevent infection, gently apply an antiseptic ointment (such as Bacitracin or Neosporin) or cream directly on the cut to keep bacteria from entering and protect from further damage and infection.
Then cover it with a sterile bandage or gauze, making sure to change the bandages regularly (at least 1-2 times a day) to keep your skin clean and the wound protected. If the wound becomes very painful, red, swollen, and hot to the touch, it may be a sign of infection, and you should seek medical attention immediately.
8. Avoid scratching, picking, or shaving over the cut.
Avoid the temptation to scratch, pick or shave over the cut until it's completely healed, as it can re-open the wound, increase the risk of infection, delay the healing process, and cause scarring.
Wait for the cut to heal before shaving again, and make sure you can see that it is fully healed before resuming your shaving routine.
If you're still concerned, use a new disposable razor or electric shaver — here's how to clean an electric razor — with sharp blades on a low setting without pressing too hard on the razor to help reduce discomfort, minimize irritation and decrease the chances of getting cuts, nicks, and bumps; here are 5 of the best tips to avoid shaving cuts.
Shaving cuts can be painful and difficult to treat; however, with the right techniques and quality products, you can help keep your skin healthy and safe while preventing future complications.
Taking the proper steps to treat a shaving cut is essential for preventing infection and scarring and promoting faster healing to ensure a safe and speedy recovery.