Skin

Updated 20 July 2014

Shaving with acne

Dermatologists believe that in some cases, shaving is an excellent method of physically exfoliating the skin.

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If you suffer from mild acne, you may think that shaving is the worst thing you could do to your already inflamed face. But actually, dermatologists believe that in some cases, shaving is an excellent method of physically exfoliating the skin.

This can help prevent the formation of blackheads and whiteheads on your face and may even remove them.

The important thing to remember, is that you must not shave over active inflammatory or infected lesions where bacterial overgrowth is present. This means that you cannot shave over pustules. If you have severe acne, consult your dermatologist.

For earlier, less severe lesions, namely blackheads and whiteheads, shaving might help. Just don’t use oily, fatty or greasy shaving creams and use dalacin T or an antibiotic lotion after shaving topically in the beard area.

What to do:

  • Shave very gently over tender acne areas, as heavy pressure can damage the inflamed skin.
  • Try both safety and electric razors to see which method you are most comfortable with.
  • Before shaving, make sure that you soften your facial hair with warm water and shaving cream (specially formulated for sensitive/problem skin).
  • Always use a sharp blade.

- (Health24, updated April 2011)

Read more:
How to care for your skin
Incidence of Acne
My bumpy ride through acne hell

 

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Skin expert

Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch.

She currently runs a dermatology practice in Cape Town’s northern suburbs and her specialities include eczema, childhood skin conditions and acne.

She also has a passion for enhancing natural beauty through cosmetic procedures.

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