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Thread: Experience with Cortisone?

  1. #1
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    Default Experience with Cortisone?

    Hi gents,

    I nearly gave up on wet shaving due to the constant irrtation. Today I discussed with my physician (who happens to have extra training in dermatology).
    His conclusion is that I suffer from ingrown hairs.
    Due to my skin sensitivity, he is not suggesting sallicic acid or other acne medications. Instead, he suggested to use OTC hydrocortisone mixed with my aftershave. Either that, or use one of the foil shavers that are well-known to avoid bumps, such as Wahl's.

    Has anybody tried cortisone? How's been the result. I does thin the skin, so there are ways it can make things worse.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    I've had it prescribed for eczema in the past, gave my skin a nice feel, but didn't solve my problem entirely, I found other creams that worked better and without cortisone.

    Cortisone is also not something you should be using constantly/daily, I was only to use it occasionally or on flare ups. It does thin the skin and IIRC I were to use a good sunscreen on the areas I used it on to protect it from the sun. It might make the skin more fragile.

    No idea how good it is for ingrown hairs. I used to have a lot of ingrown hairs as well, now almost never. Not sure what has changed, but I think I really mapped my whiskers growth direction and avoided going ATG for a while. Now I shave ATG constantly and not get any either. I think the ingrown hairs happened when shaving with a mach 3 with bad technique though.

    I'd like to talk more about the "constant irritation", there might be other things that aggravate your skin. Instead of solving the problem with cortisone cream, we might try to limit the problem or prevent it altogether.
    Certain stone finishes give me better results skin wise than others. Technique is certainly a big one, skin stretching too, pressure, shaving angle, stropping, type of grind of the razor, stropping, cream or soap, my shaving brush is a BIG factor for me. I love Plisson L'Occitane synthetic, it's super soft. I used to get irritation from my brushes alone before I had this brush, that would just irritate my skin further.
    How I stretch my skin is also very important, I cannot stretch on me neck down with my chin up -> this gives me all sorts of irritation and ingrown hairs on my neck; I need to stretch from my cheek and jaw upwards with my chin almost tucked in against my body, it makes all the difference for me. Took me a long time to figure this out and works for me.

    But if you're in pain and the ingrown hairs are getting out of hand, certainly I'd try the cream or get a dermatologist visit and try to shave as gently as possible or if not at all for a while if it's that bad.
    Last edited by TristanLudlow; 09-26-2019 at 11:46 PM.
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    As an extra information, this issue is occurring with straight razors, safety razors (tried at least 4 different blade brands) and even cartridge razors.
    Brush-wise, I used boar and badger. Cream-wise, I tried a variety (Himalayan Heights, Proraso green, Proraso white, Palmolive stick, VdH, and some samplers from B&M and possibly others).
    After-shave wise, I used alum, Nivea Sensitive, Witch Hazel and even the Proraso white pre/post.

    I really feels like I tried "everything" product-wise. So, in a sense, I need a solution that 'just works'. I'll keep improving my technique and maybe the problem will correct itself, like it did for you.

    Mind telling me what were those creams that worked better?
    Last edited by malaverdiere; 09-27-2019 at 02:58 AM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    I don't think creams are the problem. I used to shave with soap that really irritated my skin, the soap wasn't the problem though, it was my shaving technique and my razor itself.
    After I started honing myself and improving my pressure and technique it became better, i hadn't used the soaps from then for a long while before going back to using them. I use the same soaps now without a single issue than I did back then that felt so bad on my skin, soap was not the issue but a multiplier. Same for the brush, it's only after switching to another brush I realized how harsh the other was, I never switched back so can't comment on that further.

    Cartridge razors always give me crappy shaves beyond the first or second one; DE razors only work for me with the personna med preps in my merkur hd (still an absolute wonderful combination) with the right technique and pressure or better lack thereof. SR never worked before I figured out how to hone my own and which finishing stone I like, for me that's a Coticule and a Thuringer, but for others it's not.

    Not to forget stropping, it'll fine tune or break your edge.

    Pressure of the shave and the right angle, technique, good lather, etc. Go slow, don't shave in a hurry if it takes an hour to complete then it takes an hour. Try it and see if it improves anything, for me it did. I shaved very small patches per time, but it worked instead of shaving big areas at once, this caused me trouble.

    I've used DR Harris lavender for the longest time and loved it tbh. I now mainly use soaps though, I get a closer shave from them and they're slicker and sometimes easier shaving.

    I don't think MORE products are the answer though. I realized should only change one thing per time and stick with that for maybe a week, if that didn't work, change one other thing and repeat. Control the variables.

    I never prep for my shave, but it will certainly help. Try a shower beforehand, it'll soften those whisker up rather nicely.




    What I would do in your case is
    - make sure my razor is shave ready (honed and stropped)
    - take days off from shaving to let my skin heal, my skin had felt like sh*t so many times, that my shave could've been superb, my skin would still feel crappy because it was still damaged from before
    - shower before my shave
    - lather up with plenty of wetness and re-lather plenty
    - shave only a small patch per time
    - trying different shaving angles
    - stretch skin
    - use a good after shave to heal my skin
    - only do a single pass and only progressively increase if my skin feels like it could take it
    - shave for comfort, not for closeness
    - shave every other day
    - rather have a slick wet runny lather than a thick dry lather
    - go slow
    - etc.

    My first Eureka moment came when I finished on my Escher, started doing one pass ATG shaves, got a good wet lather and perfected my skin stretching. My shave prep was putting a hot wet wash cloth on my face for a couple of minutes, and lather up, let the lather sit so it could work, then put more fresh lather over it and then shave.
    Last edited by TristanLudlow; 09-27-2019 at 02:49 PM.
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  5. #5
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    It really seems to me the issue is your shave technique. There is something you are doing. With all the hardware you've tried and creams even someone with sensitive skin would have found some solution. Try and pay really close attention to your pressure when you shave no matter the appliance. Also avoid ATG moves.

    Another product you might consider is the Sebum Gold line of A/S products. They are oils made to match natural skin products. They stay on your skin and protect and soften. They are pricey but to me are worth the cost. The key is to use them very sparingly otherwise you wind up with oily skin.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth Kees's Avatar
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    I asked one of our dermatologists and she recommends not to use it. Sensitive skin usually is thin skin and it wil become even thinner. Irritated skin is broken skin enabling absorption of the steroids into your system.
    I have found that using Nivea in-shower moisturizer the night before under the shower helps.
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