A slight slip of the hand can lead to an odyssey of inconvenience. Anyone who has cut themselves shaving understands how a tiny nick can make the river run red. That soft flesh around our face and necks is made up of very vascular tissue, so the smallest lapse in concentration can make a mess of your morning routine.
This article shares some expert words of wisdom, to help you learn how to properly treat shaving cuts.
To effectively treat shaving cuts, we recommend using a specialist tool. There are a myriad of lotions and potions out there promising to sooth, stem, and disinfect, but we are yet to find one that can match up to the power of the styptic pen.
Styptic pens (or pencils) are conveniently shaped blocks of antihemorrhagic agent. This usually consists of anhydrous aluminum sulfate, which is found in anti-perspirant deodorant, and has astringent properties. When applied, the styptic causes the skin around your shaving cut to contract, helping to close the wound and stem the flow of blood.
Compared to styptic pens, paper tissue is not an effective way to treat shaving cuts as constant pressure is required to stop bleeding. Styptic pens are effective enough to usually leave the wound uncovered, allowing it to breath and dry out quickly.
Step by step: How to Treat Shaving Cuts
- Clean the wound. The first step is to clean the cut. Wash off any blood and give it a careful wipe with disinfectant if available.
- Wet your styptic pencil. Take your styptic pen and run just the tip under water. Once wet, gently rub it on the back of your hand until you see a white residue appear. Some styptic pencils are susceptible to breakage when wet, so choose a product with a protective casing, such as Glyder. Now you’re ready to stop bleeding!
- Apply to the cut. Brace yourself and liberally apply the styptic pencil to the wound. It will sting a little bit, but that just lets you know that it’s working.
- Examine and reapply if necessary. Usually a single application is enough to stop most shave cuts from bleeding. However, if you have a particularly stubborn one, make a second application of the styptic pen.
- Don’t wash it off. Leave the styptic on your face to continue its work. The temptation is often to immediately rinse, but the pen will be more effective if you leave it to do its thing.
The above instructions should take care of the majority of nicks, but if you have something more serious going on, it’s better to seek professional help. Although shaving cuts are very rarely serious, the occasional severed vein or artery does happen.
If your wound is causing you to lose blood with some ferocity, apply firm pressure to the affected area, and get yourself to hospital – you might need a few stitches.