Pseudofolliculitis Barbae Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a skin condition which affects men all over the world. In this article, we’ll cover what pseudofolliculitis barbae actually is, as well as the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for the condition.
What is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae?
Barbae is Latin for beard, and this condition has this name because pseudofolliculitis barbae affects the skin and hair follicles in and around the face. Pseudofolliculitis barbae looks like folliculitis but is different in its causation, hence the “pseudo” prefix.
Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a skin condition where inflammation develops around the hair follicles, leaving irritation and bumps on the neck and jawline. Pseudofolliculitis barbae is an inflammatory response to problems usually caused by facial hair and shaving.
This condition is also known as razor bumps or razor burn.
Causes of Pseudofolliculitis Barbae
The main reason why people develop pseudofolliculitis barbae is due to shaving. When a man shaves his facial hair, what usually happens is the hair is cut so short that it retracts into the hair follicle and under the skin. Normal, healthy hair will come out of the hair follicle once when it has grown to an appropriate length. But in some cases, the hair ends get stuck in the follicle, creating a bump. This bump will eventually increase in size somewhat and begin irritating the skin.
Pseudofolliculitis barbae mainly occurs in men with curly hair. 60% of men of African descent are at least somewhat affected by the condition.
Pseudofolliculitis barbae is different from regular folliculitis because of the causes of each condition. Folliculitis is caused by an infection within a hair follicle. This infection can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungus, yeast, and a variety of other factors. With pseudofolliculitis barbae, there is generally no infection. Instead, pseudofolliculitis barbae is simply due to ingrown hairs which develop because of shaving. In other words, this condition is caused by hair and not by infection.
Symptoms of Pseudofolliculitis Barbae
Symptoms of pseudofolliculitis barbae include inflammation around the beard and areas of skin where one shaves as well as hard, red bumps. These bumps generally lead to localized irritation and discomfort.
If the bumps and inflammation are severe enough, for a long period of time, they can result in scarring. The scars caused by pseudofolliculitis barbae look like tiny bumps similar to the actual PB bumps but instead of being red and inflamed, they’re made of scar tissue.
Treatments for Pseudofolliculitis Barbae
There are four, main treatment options for people affected with pseudofolliculitis barbae.
The treatments include:
Ensuring skin is moisturized - Moist skin is soft skin. Making sure that your skin is well moisturized will help decrease the chance that individual hairs on your face will get trapped underneath the skin. Soft skin makes it easier on hair to grow properly. In order to properly moisturize your skin, look for a therapeutic bar of moisture soap. There are also lotions and skin oils that you can try which may help to moisturize your skin.
Shaving less frequently - Ideally growing out your facial hair would solve the problem entirely. But the fact is, most people have to be cleanly shaven for professional reasons. Even so, just slightly reducing the number of times you shave can help improve your pseudofolliculitis barbae condition. Additionally, using an electric razor instead of a regular one can help improve your skin as well. This is because electric razors do not cut facial hair as closely as traditional razors do. A slightly longer hair is less likely to retract back into the follicle and therefore is less likely to stay trapped underneath the skin.
Practicing proper grooming techniques - There is a right way and a wrong way to shave. When shaving, make sure to shave with the follicle, not against it. You can tell which way you’re supposed to shave based on the direction your facial hairs point. Also, avoid multiple strokes in the same direction when shaving as this can cause further irritation and make it that much harder for the cut hairs to grow properly. Using a lubricating shaving gel is also highly advisable.
Using a topical Ointment - Topical ointments like Emuaid can help reduce inflammation as well as soften the skin. Both of these things will make it easier for your hair to grow the way it should. Emuaid can also increase blood circulation, further aiding in the healing process. The homeopathic ingredients in Emuaid can help improve you pseudofolliculitis barbae in many, significant ways.
Pseudofolliculitis barbae is not a life-threatening skin condition, but it can cause discomfort, irritation, and possible future scarring if it’s not properly treated. Your doctor or dermatologist can help you find the best way to treat your pseudofolliculitis barbae based on the location and severity. But Emuaid can help clear up your PB as well. Emuaid will help moisten your skin and improve blood flow as well as fight infections so your pseudofolliculitis barbae doesn’t further develop into folliculitis.
Ask your doctor about whether or not Emuaid is right for you.