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megan44r posted:
Within the past several months I have become very sensitive to shaving (my legs). I am to the point where shaving actually hurts my legs, and feels like there is tiny paper cuts all over them. Then, when the hair begins to re-grow and my legs touch together it hurts then as well, but not just the prickly feeling, it is almost like my legs feel raw. At first, I thought I just needed a new razor, so I got a new one, but that didn't help. I have tried several different types of razors, different shaving creams and gels, and nothing seems to help. I do not shave very often (generally once a week in the winter time and maybe twice a week in the summer time). I am starting to think about shaving alternatives like Nair and other products, but I am not sure what products are most gentle and affordable?
Madi7431 responded:
I've had this problem before. I'm not really sure why or what stopped it, but using having lotion on my legs constantly helped.
Dear megan44r,

You may have a mild inflammation of the hair follicles coupled with a simple irritant dermatitis (irritation from the combo of shaving blades, gels\creams). In winter shaving can be more difficult because of dry skin (xerosis). First I would moisturize twice daily and consider not shaving for a full 2 weeks.

I would consult a dermatologist for possible allergy testing and a baseline exam. If you have a history of eczema this could also be playing a role. Have your dermatologist check for medical conditions also which can cause dry irritated skin.

There are many shaving alternatives such as laser hair removal and hair removal pads. When in doubt, seek advice from a trusted expert. Do not try and solve this on your own. Sometimes a simple exam by your doctor will solve the problem.
Susan Evans, MD responded:
Dear Megan44r,

You may be suffering from ingrown hairs. Your first step is to incorporate a gentle exfoliating regimen (salicylic acid or glycolic acid). Next you may want to consider laser hair removal. Laser hair treatments targets the hair follicle, therefore ingrown hairs are less likely to occur. Make sure that you use a licensed facility that is experienced with your skin color and type.


Dr Evans
kimkimkennedy responded:
For the past couple of years I have the same problem. I can't afford laser. What corrected the problem is not using razors. Instead I bought an electric shaver like what my husband uses on his face. Now I rarely have problems.

I also put itch or cortizone cream on that I get at the dollar store the night that I shaved...After shaving. It keeps me from itching and irritation. I do not shave every day either.
An_208158 replied to Susan Evans, MD's response:
I found out that shaving at the end of the shower is much better from shaving at the start, because your skin and hair will have enough time to soften, thus become less irritated.

@ Dr. Evans. But still I have the same problem. I've had several laser hair treatments, and although the hair strands are narrower they are not gone and there are still tiny ingrown hairs that cause irritation and red spots on my legs.
Are lasers different? Is it because they are using some kind of laser that is not effective?
Murphy001 responded:
You could have Keratosis Pilaris <aka> chicken skin it is small slightly raised bumpy patches on the skin that can be cut with a razor when shaving. Sometimes they are so slight that you may not notice them by sight but it can feel a little rough to the touch. If they get the top cut cut off when shaving it will sometimes sting like any other small cut.
Try using a cream nighty that has alpha hydroxy such as Eucerin dry skin therapy plus intensive repair body cream. It really helped me with my KP.

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