Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Name is Kristen and I am a Raker

Too much information is probably how this post should be described. 
You've been warned.

In the past I have written about the cysts I get in my armpits HERE and briefly HERE. (See, I warned you it was too much information) They are truly miserable which in a way is also a relief. Everywhere I read says that if it is on the surface of the skin and painful then it is not 'serious'. Cancer is a well known, ugly word in my family so each time one of these 'things' pops up, even though I know what it is, I have mini-freak outs.

Tonight, out of nowhere I raised my arm to reach something and then put it back down only to feel like there was something very tender in my armpit. UGH! Again?! You have got to be kidding me! So, I do the requisite boobie check and lo-and-behold TWO fantastic little... no scratch that... AMPLE bumps. One right next to the one that just healed and left a horrible purple scar and the other on the opposite side of my armpit.


Of course, immediately I google the crap out of armpit lumps for the gagillionth time ... and gagillionth is totally a number ... and once again (for the gagillionth time) I was psychologically sated by the fact that my pit is in so much achy pain that it 'couldn't possibly be cancer' because cancer is essentially painless in its early stages. At least the kind I'm worried about like breast, ovarian, uterine, cervical yada yada...

Then I come upon this little morsel of information.
"...there is a large percentage of women who shave our underarms incorrectly.  There is a name for these women.  They are known as "rakers".  A raker is someone that glides the razor over and around the underarm area in an irratic manner (across the direction of hair growth, against the direction of hair growth, whatever gets the job done) and it causes irritation or folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle) and even an ingrown hair (which can become extremely sore and enlarged due to the inflammation)."

Who knew?! Not me! But I most certainly AM a raker! Lather the pits and use that mini knife every which way, this way and that, up and down sideways and backwards, all in the name of getting each and every hair. 

Who knew I was being erratic?! I thought I was being efficient! 

And who has heard of folliculitis? Not me, again! But apparently it's a thing . . .

I suppose now I have an excuse to go French . . . or maybe learn how to shave correctly . . . one of those.

The opinions expressed in this blog post are strictly opinions of the author. They in no way diagnose or suggest diagnosis of anyone or their symptoms. If you have a concern about your own experience, please see a qualifying physician.


  1. Yup! A great way to help is to be SURE to get the pit good and clean, use a VERY sharp razor, and good... lube. I'm not sure what else to call it! Shave cream has never worked for me. What I do is clean my underarms really well with soap on a washcloth. Real sop -- NOT moisturizing bodywash. Rinse. Then use some moisturizing bar soap and lather the armpit. Then shave and rinse. That stopped those annoying and painful lumps!!!

  2. Well. I did not know this "raker" thing was a thing. But thanks for the info - now I am going to google how to properly shave my pits. :)


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