Image Courtesy Of Depositphotos
There is a shaving nick or cut…then there is a more serious wound that leaves a scar. There are different types of scars, from surgical to natural. The type and size of the scar will determine what you should use when shaving over it–or whether you should shave over it at all.
How Is A Scar Different From Regular Skin?
When compared to healthy skin, the first thing you’ll notice about scar tissue is that it seems to be a lighter color than the surrounding tissue. Many scars fade, but some scars will linger even after many years.
Scar tissue may not be as smooth as the original skin around the area. This is because when a scar forms, new fibers from the skin of the area combine together and rearrange themselves into a linear pattern. It is this linear tissue that makes it harder for scar tissue to move, stretch, and bend. Normal skin forms that new, linear tissue more like the weaving of a basket.
A surgical wound closed with glue will not look cosmetically pleasing for at least 2-3 weeks. The way the glue closes the wound causes redness and puckering of the surgical site. This is normal.
Image Courtesy Of Depositphotos
A keloid scar is a thick, raised scar. Keloid scars can overgrow and become larger than the original wound. They can occur wherever you have a skin injury but usually forms on earlobes, shoulders, cheeks, or the chest.
Can Hair Grow Over Scars?
Hair will regrow within normal skin. Scar tissue does not have hair follicles.
So Is It OK To Shave Over A Scar?
Shaving is safe over scars that are old and flat. Shaving over keloid scars is possible if done very carefully.
Shaving over fresh or newly wounded areas is not advised: if you have fresh wounds, scars, or stitches, consult an expert for advice on how to make the scar less noticeable. There are many options available for the treatment of scars in the skin.
How to shave over a scar safely
You can shave over a scar safely. Here is some advice on shaving over scars on different parts of the body, including personal comments from those who have to deal with it often.
General Shaving Technique
Broadly speaking, to shave safely over a scar, use a liberal amount of shaving lather and light strokes. Being gentle is the key.
To shave the face, start by lathering up and covering the scar with your finger. Apply extremely light pressure with the razor and use short strokes.
The most important thing to keep in mind is being as gentle as possible.
Some relevant shaver comments I found from a search engine query:
“Pressure is important but so is ‘speed’, i have noticed that if i go too slow/hesitate i sometimes nick myself in trouble areas. I think different angle could be worth trying, if possible.”
“I have pretty substantial scar in almost the same place from surgery about four years ago. I only shave down, which is across the scar line, with REALLY no pressure. While I still nick it occasionally, most times it’s OK.”
“I have a mole on my neck just above and to the left of my adam’s apple. My cartridge never cut it but since I’ve been shaving with a double edge, and depending upon which blade I am using, I tend to nick or cut the mole such that it takes quite a bit of effort to stop the bleeding. What I have found works is a combination of [marking] the spot where the mole is after lathering and before setting blade to face. And then as I work towards the mole I gently and slowly shave around it and when actually shaving over the mole itself, I do so extremely gently applying absolutely zero pressure….”
“I save that area for the end, regain my focus, zero pressure, less if possible, quite slow steady stoke down across it (the blade parallel to the scar).”
“Surgery was in 2011…. So far never had a bleeder (going either direction) but it’s always approached with caution/trepidation.”
“Focused, (i can drift off) slow, steady, and zero plus pressure. A nice slick coat of lather is also reassuring”
“I have a facial scar from years ago and its no problem to shave over so long as I go in the length direction of the scar. You could try touching up around the scar with lightly tightening the skin and using a small head cartridge like a Mach3 instead of a DE.”
“I can’t imagine pushing a blade (or multi blade razor) into scar tissue would be a good thing. Start light and slow, and go from there.”
“…I have a scar right on my chin from taking a surfboard in the face around 12 years ago. It doesn’t protrude that much, so I’m able to shave over it with no issue.”
Arms Or Legs
Shaving the legs or arms that have a scar is similar to shaving the face: start by lathering the area liberally with shaving cream and use very light (or no) pressure.
“I have a huge surgical scar that goes from right behind my big toe to just under my knee luckily its old enough that shaving around it isn’t TOO difficult but my tips are go around it lightly with short strokes.”
When shaving your back, it is easier to cut yourself if you do not have a clear view of the area. To avoid cutting yourself, use a mirror and have someone help you shave around the scar.
Can You Shave Over A Fresh Wound?
Shaving should never be done over an open wound. When shaving, wait until the area has healed completely before doing so.
Can You Shave Over Stitches?
If you have stitches, do not shave over them. If you need to shave around the area with stitches, contact your doctor.
Most old scars can be safely shaved over, but a gnarly keloid scar might require some finesse.
Related Post: Does Shaving Help Acne Or Make It Worse?