Shaving hair is a common practice for both men and women. A clean shave improves one’s appearance and gets rid of the unwanted excess hair, on different parts of the body. However, shaving has various side effects, and many people wonder if one of them is swollen lymph nodes. The answer is yes, shaving can cause swelling of the lymph nodes especially under the chin, the groin area and the armpits.
During the shaving process, one may irritate or cause a breach in the skin around the area that is being shaved. As a result, an infection may be introduced into the lymph vessels that are located in the dermis (layer of the skin below the epidermis). This infection triggers an immune response in the body which causes accumulation of white blood cells which help the body in fighting pathogens. White bloods cells are attracted to the affected site and they cause an inflammatory process. Lymph nodes in the affected area swell and become large, reddened, warm and painful. Sometimes, pus may accumulate in the swollen lymph nodes.
The infection that is introduced into the lymph nodes during shaving can be from various sources. The skin has some beneficial bacteria on it that is known as normal flora. This bacteria is present in every person’s skin and it helps improve the immunity of the skin. However, when the skin is breached, for instance during a shave, the bacteria can be introduced into the body causing an infection.
Shaving with razors that are not sterile also pose as a potential source of infection. Sharing of the shaving equipment can cause the transfer of infection from one person to another. It is important to note that any condition that causes suppression of the immune system like diabetes and HIV can lead to recurrent swelling of the lymph nodes after shaving.This is because such conditions reduce the ability of the body’s immune system to fight pathogens.
In conclusion, swollen lymph nodes is one of the commonest side effects of shaving. However, it can potentially be prevented by practicing the steps discussed above.