Caribbean Dermatology Association

Hair bumps otherwise called razor bumps can be a real nuisance to men as well as women all over the world. They are unsightly, painful and difficult to get rid of. Men have presented in distress requesting permanent laser hair removal from the bearded area because of ingrown hairs and hair bumps. Millions of women worldwide suffer from Hirsutism (excessive hair in a male pattern distribution) due to genetic factors or medical conditions and are also bothered by the hair bumps which occur after some of their hair removal techniques. Billions of dollars are spent annually around the globe on various creams, solutions and handheld equipments that claim to prevent and treat hair bumps.

Pseudofolliculitis, which is the medical term for hair or razor bumps, tend to occur more in men and women of African descent. This is so because the hair follicles are naturally curved so that the hairs do not grow straight. As the cut hairs grow, they curl and pierce the follicular wall or the top layer of the skin entering the dermis (the middle layer of the skin). This ingrown hair grows horizontally through this layer, causing a foreign body reaction leading to inflammation (swelling, redness, pain, itching). This is seen at the surface as hair bumps. Sometimes the hair eventually finds its way out of the skin, but the inflammatory reaction continues producing persistent bumps and scars.

popopThere are some shaving techniques that can help minimize hair bumps (see below), but if and when they do occur, prescribed antibiotic and anti-inflammatory creams are necessary.
The problem however almost always recurs.

Shaving techniques that may reduce hair bumps.

Today, laser surgery offers a better and permanent treatment option for hair bumps, by changing the way the hairs grow. The Lightsheer Diode Laser is FDA approved not only for permanent hair removal but also for the long term treatment of hair bumps/ pseudofolliculitis. This laser selectively targets the hair follicles and permanently destroys those in the active growth phase. With subsequent treatments, those hair follicles which were not in the growth phase at the time of treatment, become smaller and closer to the surface of the skin (a process known as miniaturization). These follicles produce new hairs which are structurally thinner and less curly and therefore, have a lesser chance of entering the middle layer of the skin. Patients notice a significant reduction in hair bumps after the first laser session. The reduction in hair bumps is actually seen before the reduction in the quantity of hair. After a series of treatments the hair density in the treated area is less and the rate of growth is significantly slower. This allows the patient to shave less frequently and without getting ingrown hairs or hair bumps.

The Lightsheer laser handpiece has a chill tip that continuously cools the surface of the skin during the treatment session, thereby preventing burns to the skin and making it extremely safe for all skin types.

With the advent of lasers in Dermatology all areas of the body such as the face, legs, the bikini area, back and underarms can be treated safely and effectively.