Can Shaving Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?

By Charlie Harper | Guides

Feb 20
Can Shaving Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes

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.

How Shaving Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes

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.

Source of Infection During Shaving

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.

Ways to prevent swollen lymph nodes after shaving:

  1. Personal hygiene: Keeping the body clean and especially the area that is to be shaved. This helps to get rid of any pathogens on the skin, reducing the chances of infection should a skin breach occur during the shaving process.
  2. Use of a shaving cream: Shaving cream makes the skin soft and tender, therefore reducing the chances of creating a breach in the skin with the shaving razor.
  3. Do not be in a hurry: It is important to ensure that one has ample time to shave. This can be achieved by planning ahead and therefore creating time for shaving. Shaving in a hurry can result in accidents like skin cuts, which contribute greatly to introduction of infections into the body.
  4. Concentration: Ensure that you are not undertaking other tasks during the shaving process as this may cause distraction leading to accidents.
  5. Have a special room for shaving: Shaving should be done in a special room that is free from distractions. This helps you to concentrate and therefore avoiding inadvertent skin cuts.
  6. Regular change of shaving razors: Prolonged use of shaving razors makes them blunt. Use of blunt razors is dangerous as it may cause skin bruises creating a breach in the integrity of the skin. It is therefore a good practice to regularly change the shaving razors.
  7. After shave liquid: Application of the after shave liquid is important because it helps kill all the germs that could be present during the shaving process.
  8. Avoid sharing of razors: It is good practice to avoid sharing razors, as this may contribute to transfer of infection from one person to another.

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.

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(1) comment

Phebe August 7, 2018

How long do I have to wait to shave my underarms if I have a lymph node on one? And what can I do to make it go away?

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