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How To Prevent Underarm 'Chicken Skin' From Shaving

PHOTO: istockphoto

If you often shave off your underarm hair, then chances are, you've experienced having "chicken skin" in that area. While these bumps usually disappear once your skin recovers, there are also times when you're left with painful and annoying pimples and bumps. 

Underarm bumps are often caused by ingrown hairs that usually curl into themselves. They penetrate your skin and can sometimes cause irritation. Sometimes, they can also be caused by the growth of a cyst, which is a sac with pus that usually develops when a hair follicle is damaged.

These kilikili issues are usually harmless and easily treated, but let's be honest—they can make you feel self-conscious, especially if you love wearing sleeveless tops. Plus, they can get really irritating when infected, and may take longer to heal especially if you sweat a lot. To help you keep them at bay, here are a few tips you can try when you see the beginnings of an underarm bump.

  1. Let your hair grow out.

    Shaving doesn't really take the hair out from the root, and this only makes the strands thicker. It pretty much causes a lot of ingrown strands as well.

    The best way is to get rid of bumps is stop shaving too often and just let your hair grow out. Once the strands are long enough, have a professional deal with them so that you can start out clean and bump-free.

  2. Make sure your razor blade is clean and sharp.

    You seriously don't want to run a rusty blade across your armpits. Not only will it painfully tug at your hair and fail to give you a clean shave, it can also cause nicks that can easily be infected especially since your pits are often warm and sweaty. Replace your blades after a few uses to avoid accidents and irritations.

  3. Go with a compress.

    If you see tiny bumps on your kilikili that are red or inflammed right after you shave, place a cold compress to soothe the area. If you think you've developed a cyst, a warm compress will help lessen the swelling. Don't give into the urge of trying to pop your cyst because you'll only aggravate the area and cause the pus to return with a vengeance.

  4. Keep your pits dry after shaving.

    Don't put on deos or anti-perspirants after you shave. Let your skin rest and let your pores close after to avoid irritation. Don't go swimming or anything similar either. Should the water be contaminated (say, you shaved then jumped into a public pool), your skin is more likely to get infected by bacteria, which can cause bigger issues. 

  5. Only use underarm products that you're hiyang with.

    There are some deodorants that can be too strong for your skin. Granted that picking the right one for you is something of a hit-or-miss, you'll feel so much happier once you find the product that you know you'll use for a long time. Just be patient about it.

Remember: If you're unsure, consult a doctor.

If you feel that your underarm lumps are getting painful and are starting to look out of the ordinary, go consult a specialist. Worrisome lumps can be symptoms of more serious conditions, so if you're not sure about what's going on, have your lumps checked right away.