People shave parts of their bodies for many reasons, but many develop body acne after shaving. Men's chests and backs are particularly sensitive to developing body acne after shaving, especially when shaven for the first time. Here are some tips that could help in keeping body acne to a minimum.
The area to be shaven should be clean. It is therefore better to shave in the shower and wait until the hairs have become soft. Apply shaving cream to small areas and use a fresh shaving blade. Shave in the direction of the hair growth. It may be hard to determine what direction the hairs are growing in (particularly when shaving body hair for the first time), but after the hairs start growing back you will have a better idea.
To minimize acne due to ingrown hairs and stubble, treat the shaven area once or twice daily with a skin care product containing salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid), which will gently exfoliate the skin. Products containing alpha-hydroxy acids are also a good choice. If the area that was shaven becomes red right after shaving, an ice pack can be applied to the area for 5-10 minutes to help reduce swelling of the skin.
Avoid shaving the same area on a daily basis. This will only increase the acne and skin irritation and results in more ingrown hairs and stubble. Sea water has a positive effect on body acne, so go in the water when you are on the beach.
Shaving unwanted body hair will not make the hair grow back thicker, it just appears that way since the hair closest to the hair follicle is thicker. When the hair grows longer, the tip of the hair becomes thinner.
Some alternatives to shaving:
To remove hair from arms, legs and backs, depilatory creams may be a good alternative to shaving. Most depilatory creams contain hydroxide and hair is removed by breaking down the keratin protein in hair. Skin is very sensitive to hydroxide and therefore depilatory creams should not be used on a daily basis. Use of depilatory creams may result in less body acne due to less ingrown hairs and stubble compared to shaving. Use of depilatory creams makes the skin very sensitive, so avoid using any skin care product for 24 hours after hair removal.
Laser Hair removal
If permanent hair removal is something you desire and you can afford it, laser hair removal may be the right choice. To remove all hairs growing in different growth cycles, you will need to be treated at least 3 times plus some follow up visits to treat stubborn hairs. The area to be treated should be shaven 24 hours before laser treatment, so that only actively growing hairs are being targeted by the laser. Since the laser targets melanin pigment, people with darker hairs and lighter skin are the best candidates for laser hair removal.