Can You Shave Over a Scar? (Practical Advice and Safety)

Whether you have a fresh wound or an old scar from years ago, you may be wondering if it’s safe to shave over the area. Depending on how bad the wound is or how old the scar is, there are some shaving methods you can utilize to still get a great shave. 

An old, flat scar presents little concern when it comes to your shaving routine – there will be no hair growth, but it will also not be an obstacle, nor will it be reopened by your razor. A raised scar will need extra attention, including extra lather and extremely light pressure. You should never attempt to shave over stitches or an open wound.

Keep reading for some practical advice and answer questions related to shaving when you have fresh wounds, scars, or stitches. 

Is it okay to shave over a scar?

Before shaving in the area of your scar, examine it to see if it’s safe to shave near or over. If the scar is old and flat, then there will be little or no danger to shaving if you are careful. On the other hand, fresher scars or raised scar tissue will require much more caution.

Older and flatter scars are safe to shave over or around but be careful when doing this. Fresh scars or raised scar tissue is more dangerous and will require great caution if you must shave. 

You may be worried about not being able to shave some of the areas that you usually do because of your wounds. In the next section, we will go over some methods you may try to help shave those areas.

How to shave over a scar safely

Depending on the area you shave, there are some different methods you can try to protect scars or wounds. Some areas of the body such as the back may be a bit more complicated to shave, but it’s still possible.

No matter the specific area, the key to safely shaving over a scar is to use a liberal amount of shaving cream, light strokes, and generally be as gentle as possible.

Let’s get into shaving your face, legs, arms, and back.

Face

When shaving your face, you do not want to cut scar tissue here or make it visually worse.

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.

Legs or arms

Shaving your legs or arms that have a scar is similar to the method used when shaving the face.

Start by lathering the area liberally with shaving cream. You can either put your finger over the scar to protect it if it’s somewhat old, otherwise, you can shave over it like normal since it is healed, and hair will not grow there. 

Be sure that the scar or wound is not fresh, as you will not want to shave that area.

Back

When shaving your back with a scar or wound, the biggest issue is lack of vision and dexterity, so it can be easier to cut yourself.

If you’re using a back shaver, then you will want to use a mirror so you can see your back. You may use a waterproof bandage to cover the area or shave around it cautiously. 

When shaving your back, it’s probably easier to get someone else to help you. Make sure they are aware of the scar and shave around it appropriately. 

Can you shave over a fresh wound?

If you recently had a fresh wound, but you really need to shave, there are some things you want to consider. If the wound is a small nick, then it may be safer to shave. A larger wound would cause extra problems if trying to shave the area and is not a good idea. 

You should never shave over an open wound. Shaving can introduce bacteria into the wound. Shaving soaps and aftershaves can also burn, be painful, and cause other problems that may infect or further worsen the wound. 

If you have wounds on your body and you really need to shave that area, it is best to wait it out and let the area heal before shaving. Shaving these areas may cause further problems and prolong the amount of time until you can shave again. 

If you shave over a scar and accidentally cut it open, it can make the scar worse. The area will open up again and the healing process will restart. After the skin heals back, you may end up with a scar that looks even worse than it was before. This re-scarring can make the scar more prominent and it won’t fade away until up to two years.  

Should you shave if you have a cut on your face?

If you have a small nick or cut, then you may be able to use an electric shaver in this area.

Electric shavers do not shave as close to the skin as a razor blade as there is a physical barrier between your skin and the cutting blades. Shaving over or around a small nick may be doable with an electric shaver, but it’s important to be extra careful. 

Can you shave over stitches?

Never shave over or near the area with stitches.

The sutures must be removed, and the wound should be completely closed with new skin. 

Can you shave around stitches?

If you really need to shave around an area with stitches, the best thing you can do is contact your doctor. They will know your wound and specific situation. Generally, you should never shave around or over stitches.