What to do if you cut yourself while shaving? You risk cutting yourself every single time you shave and it's eventually going to happen. Since it's an inevitable event it's best we know how to deal with these cuts when they happen.
Depending on the type of cut and the level of severity it is you can use different treatments. What I like to do is use a styptic pencil but the modern versions they've made more recently for most of my minor cuts.
I'm going to cover some of the best options you've got and also some home remedies you can use if you cut yourself while shaving. So lets just get right to it.
How Long Do Shaving Cuts Take to Heal?
On average a shaving cut takes less than one hour to stop bleeding. Using products designed to stop bleeding and expedite the process and stop the bleeding sooner. If your shaving cut is more serious it will take more time for the bleeding to stop.
Serious cuts can take an entire day to actually stop bleeding. Take all appropriate actions to treat your shaving cut if it's a bigger cut. Rinse it with cold water, use an alum block or other specially designed product, and apply a bandage while continuing to hold pressure on the wound.
Serious cuts should show signs of reduced bleeding within the same one hour time frame but may still require further treatment. If the cut doesn't show any sign of improvement after an hour I recommend making a visit to your local Emergency Room.
You want to take a deeper shaving cut that's not healing more serious. Without proper treatment the wound can become infected and lead to more issues which you most definitely want to avoid.
5 Products to Stop the Bleeding
Alum Blocks - These blocks resemble a bar of soap and are great for treating shaving cuts. Many avid shavers who enjoy shaving with a safety razor use alum blocks on a more regular basis since it helps with razor burn and closes up pores. So don't hesitate to use it after every shave.
As for shaving cuts it works by tightening the skin and restricting blood vessels so they can't bleed. These blocks are made entirely of potassium alum and are designed to be used over the entire face. So, if you cut yourself occasionally but would also like something to aid you shaving routine as well then the alum block is perfect for you.
Styptic Pencil - These are a old school product that your grandfather probably had around. A styptic pencil is usually made of a mixture of astringents that work in a similar manor to the alum block.
The styptic pencil however, is designed to be used in single spots and not over your entire face. If you happen to nick yourself time to time these come in handy. You should keep one anywhere you shave as a just in case item.
I keep products like these in my bathroom and also one for my traveling case. Since they're very cheap and affordable there's no reason not to have one everywhere you shave.
Liquid Styptic - If you think the styptic pencil is difficult to use as a solid form you may like the liquid alternative. It works exactly as the styptic pencil but in liquid drops.
Nick Rollers - These products resemble chap stick and are the modern version of the styptic pencil. Most of these rollers come in a roll on or gel form and include a couple extra ingredients. The main ingredients are still a mix of astringents but they're also rich in Vitamin E, aloe, etc.
These added ingredients help soothe the skin and reduce the sting caused from astringents. These nick sticks also dry clear while styptic pencils leave behind a white residue mark on your skin.
If you're heading somewhere and will be around other people using a nick stick will be a better option. They do cost slightly more but the price difference in negligible. Now you won't have to worry about white chalky marks all of your face during a meeting or interview.
Aftershaves - Using an alcohol based aftershave can help treat minor nicks and cuts. If you're maybe learning to use a safety razor or trying a new razor and it's giving some minor cuts while you're cutting use to it a good alcohol based aftershave can solve your problem.
Most of us don't use aftershave anymore because it has received this stigma of being old school and not needed anymore. However that couldn't be more from the truth. A good aftershave like some of the bay rum aftershaves can do a lot for not only your shaving cuts but for your skin.
Using What's Around the House
What should you do if you cut yourself while shaving and you don't have any of the 5 products I've mentioned above? Luckily there's some common items you probably have laying around the house you can use to stop the bleeding.
These items won't perform at the same level of the ones above but they'll come in handy when in a pinch.
Deodorant - A large percentage of deodorants contain the ingredient aluminum chloride which can help shrink sweat glands, constrict blood vessels, and ultimately help your cut stop bleeding.
Take a quick look at your deodorant to see if it contains this key ingredient. If it does then you'll have a back up if nothing else is laying around. I would try and clean the top layer of your deodorant off first before using.
Lip Balm - Take a small amount of lip balm and smear it onto the cut. The texture of lip balm will seal the cut and force the bleeding vessel to begin clotting. You can also use Vaseline or dare I say it... some sex lubes as well to take on this task.
Ice Cubes - As men we're no stranger to the fact that the cold can shrink things. This also applies to your shaving cut. Apply an ice cube directly to the cut to tighten the skin and restrict blood flow to the cut.
Listerine - A good mouthwash or Listerine will do the trick of stopping blood flow. The alcohol in these products is the key and it'll help when you're in a pinch with nothing else around.
Eye Drops - Drops that help with red eyes such as Visine will work on your shaving cut. These eye drops constrict blood vessels in the eyes and it'll do the same with your cut.
Treating Serious Lacerations
If you find yourself in a situation where you've given yourself a serious cut then you shouldn't go for these methods above. Instead you should grab a cloth and apply pressure to the wound immediately.
If the wound is in a spot where you can tie something over the cloth to hold the pressure do so. You want to keep pressure on the wound and make your way to the Emergency Room.
If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation follow these steps:
Apply Pressure - Take a clean cloth and apply pressure to the area bleeding the most severe. Hold pressure here for a minimum of 5 minutes. If the bleeding has stopped and you don't require stitches you can manage the wound yourself.
Proceed to clean the wound with proper materials such as hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin to prevent any infection. If needed apply a band-aid over the wound. If the bleeding consists after the 5 minutes of applying pressure then continue to the next step.
Pinch - Grab the sides of the cut and pinch them together. Your goal is to close the blood vessel and stop the bleeding. Hopefully this will stop the bleeding after holding for 5 minutes. If bleeding stops you can continue on to clean and dress the wound. If this doesn't work go to the following step.
After this point in time you've tried stopping the bleeding for 10 minutes using 2 different methods. If it hasn't stopped at this point it's highly encouraged that you visit the hospital. If you initial cut looks severe then don't use any of these steps and instead apply pressure and make a direct visit to the Emergency Room.
Will Shaving Cuts Scar?
Lucky for you your shaving cut will likely not scar. Most shaving cuts aren't deep enough to cause scarring. Your razor blade is thin and leaves a shallow cut that will bleed. Once you've stopped the bleeding and the area has healed your skin will return to normal.
You should still treat the area after bleeding has stopped. Use a moisturizer rich in Vitamin E to sooth the skin and keep your skin healthy.
A lot of the products we recommend to stop bleeding cause your skin to dry out. These astringents will remove your skins natural oils and tighten the skin. This is great for stopping the cut from bleeding but a good moisturizer will bring your skin back to its natural health.
How to Know if a Cut Will Scar
So, we've just mentioned that most shaving cuts aren't going to scar. Here's how to know if your cut will scar and you're one of the unlucky ones.
If your cut reaches down to the dermis it's much more likely to scar. That being said most of these scars are still hardly visible unless you're really trying to seek them out.
Did You Cut Yourself Shaving Down There?
More people are shaving below the belt and that means you have more people cutting themselves below the belt. Yes we're talking about your pubic area and privates. The one spot no one wants to ever experience any sort of cut.
If you end up being one of the people that cut themselves down there try not to panic. These cuts are the same as any other cut except that you shouldn't use alcohol based products to stop the bleeding.
That means avoiding aftershaves, mouthwash, and any other alcohol based product. Mainly due to the burning effect it'll have on your genitals.
If you cut yourself shaving down there apply pressure with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding. You can still use a nick roller but we don't recommend using the other products below the belt.
There's a lot of blood vessels in this area in a much closer proximity of each other. So it may take longer for the bleeding to stop. It can also be a more difficult position to apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
Overall cutting yourself down there only seems worse in our heads. In reality it's the awkward positioning and difficulty it takes to clot the blood that makes it an annoyance.
Bad Shaving Cut On Your Leg
Most actual bad cuts below the belt happen on our legs. Shaving cuts on our legs tend to to be the worst because you're making long strokes as you shave. Also, let's address this now... you don't need to be a woman to shave your legs.
Many men shave their legs for a lot of reasons. A big reason would be sports such as swimming or weight lifting but some men just like the way their legs feel shaved.
Bad shaving cuts on your legs are usually longer cuts and deeper cuts. This makes them the worst type of shaving related cuts.
You deal with these cuts the same way you would the other cuts. Follow our directions above for how to take care of these cuts.
To avoid shaving cuts on your legs try to make smaller strokes while shaving. You should make smaller strokes and rinse the blade frequently. I also recommend using thin layers of shave cream and not going overboard with the cream.
Here's my recommended best practices:
With the Grain - If you only shave with the grain you'll have way less nicks and cuts. There's less friction and you can still get a close shave going with the grain. I bet if you take the time to think back when you've cut yourself shaving it was likely shaving against the grain.
Less Shave Cream - Reduce the amount of shaving cream you're applying. You can always go back and add another thin layer of shaving cream if needed. If you apply to much you're making it difficult to see where you're shaving, you end up pressing down harder, and you waste a lot of the cream.
Shorter Strokes - I'm not saying to shave with very small strokes but just reduce your strokes to a more reasonable length. When shaving your legs you're likely making much longer strokes. Aim to keep the strokes around the same length as you would face shaving.
Before You Go!
So I've covered what to do if you cut yourself while shaving. I highly recommend going with one of the 5 products we listed above and only using the home remedies if you've failed to purchase one.
Shaving cuts can sting and look unsightly but take care of them quickly and you might not have to go anywhere with small bits of toilet paper stuck to your neck. The one image we rather avoid people seeing us in.
You can share your own tips and tricks for stopping shaving cuts from bleeding by leaving a comment below.