Those of us who choose to shave our legs often rave about the feeling of smooth, freshly shaven skin. But things don’t always go entirely to plan. Itchiness, dryness and rashes after shaving can be a nuisance and are not uncommon. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to prevent this happening, and if you do find yourself scratching at your legs after you’ve finished shaving, there are methods you can use to relieve it.
Why do your legs itch after shaving?
There are a number of reasons why you might experience itchiness and soreness after shaving your legs:
- Shaving can leave your skin dried out and irritated, particularly if you haven’t taken any precautions or chosen your shaving tools and routine wisely
- Skin can build up around your hair follicles, and when you run a razor over the skin while shaving, this causes irritation and red bumps on your skin
- Sometimes after shaving, the hairs continues to grow beneath the skin, causing painful ingrown hairs
- Razor burn can dry out and skin and cause itchiness
- If you shave too often, against the grain or with too much force, this causes abrasion
Can itchy legs after shaving be a sign of an underlying problem?
It’s common to experience some itchiness as a result of shaving if you haven’t taken steps to avoid it. Those with sensitive skin are most likely to find that their legs are itchy after they put their razor down. This isn’t anything to worry about, and there are plenty of quick and easy solutions you can use to reduce these annoying reactions both before and after you shave your legs.
However, if you find that your legs feel constantly itchy, preventative measures aren’t working, or if you often notice a rash or very red, sore skin, there could be other factors involved. You may want to consult your doctor or dermatologist as excessive itchiness and irritation can be a result of skin conditions and can even be an early sign of diabetes.
How can you prevent itchiness and rashes after shaving your legs?
Of course, it’s always best to prevent itchiness in the first place, rather than treating it later. There are a number of methods you can use to improve your chances of shaving your legs and stepping out of the shower without a care in the world.
Exfoliate before shaving
Ensuring that you clear away any dirt and dead skin cells from your legs before you shave them can allow your razor to run more smoothly and therefore cause less irritation. Perhaps the most effective products are chemical exfoliants, which usually come in the form of a liquid which contains an acidic ingredient such as lactic or salicylic acid. There are also physical exfoliants such as body scrubs.
Choose the best shaving tools
Choosing the right razor or shaving tool is an important part of shaving your legs in a way that prevents itchiness and irritation. Luckily, there are more and more razors which come with a range of specialist features, so you can pick one which meets your needs.
If you have a tendency to get nicks and cuts while shaving the trickier parts of your legs, such as your knees and ankles, opt for a razor with a slim head, which makes shaving those areas easier. If your skin is particularly prone to irritation, pick a razor designed for sensitive skin.
Incorporate moisturising products
Before, during and after shaving your legs, it’s important to incorporate moisturising products into your routine. This helps keep your skin hydrated and softens the hairs, allowing your razor to cut through them easily.
After you’ve finished shaving, pat your skin dry with a towel instead of rubbing it. Then, rather than putting on stiff or tight clothing like skinny jeans or sports leggings, try wearing soft and loose clothes like jogging bottoms and wide leg trousers.
How can you treat itchy legs and shaving rash?
If you forgot to take preventative measures before shaving your legs, and you’re experiencing the frustration of itchy, dry and irritated skin, there are a number of easy remedies you can use to relieve these symptoms.
It’s never a bad idea to keep your skin well-hydrated by regularly using a moisturiser, but it’s particularly important when you’re experiencing itchiness after shaving your legs. This is because shaving can dry out your skin, and dryness is likely to cause itchiness. Opt for a product which is free of artificial fragrances and contains good-quality natural ingredients, which are less likely to cause irritation.
Aloe vera has very effective soothing and cooling properties, and aloe vera gel is perfect for applying to your legs after shaving. It can be used to treat issues like sunburn and rashes, and also relieves itchiness.
If you’re experiencing itchiness and inflammation after shaving your legs, it’s helpful to keep your skin cool, as heat will only make matters worse. Applying a cold compress to the affected areas can provide welcome relief, cooling down and soothing your skin.
Oatmeal is a tried and tested traditional remedy for inflammation and irritation, which is what makes it a popular ingredient in home-made face masks and skin treatments. Treat yourself to an oatmeal bath to relieve the post-shave itchiness and dryness; just make sure that it’s cool or lukewarm.