In everyday life, we come across a little bump, a small rash or a slight cut. Our life experiences have acclimatized us to ignore some of these issues while applying a regular ointment on others. These issues tend to get aggravated if not taken care of and hence problems like pseudofolliculitis barbae happen.
What is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae?
Pseudofolliculitis Barbae is also known as razor bump or barber’s itch. It is a condition that causes inflammation of the hair follicles. Using razor for hair removal causes hair to have sharp cuts. Either hair ingrowth starts occurring or the hair penetrates the follicular wall to grow directly into the skin. Therefore, inflammation and infections occur. It commonly affects the face and the neck in case of males. The chances of occurrence of pseudofolliculitis barbae increase when the person has thick curly hair. Pseudofolliculitis barbae infected person finds it hard to shave or cut the hair. Other places where razor bumps are common are underarms, groin and legs. The symptoms include itchy inflamed bumps which can sometimes be filled with pus. Severe cases of pseudofolliculitis barbae can also result in infectious nodule formation or scarring.
How to Prevent Pseudofolliculitis Barbae?
People who use the razor, especially men who shave their beard and moustache daily should adopt a proper routine. Read the following to avoid suffering from painful razor bumps:
- Cleansing: Use a mild soap or antiseptic soap and clean the face with the hands using circular motions.
- Exfoliation: A good facial scrub for face and body scrub for legs and underarms will remove the dead skin and open up clogged pores. You can also easily make a home-made scrub using olive oil and sugar. Gently massage the mixture for five minutes and wash away with lukewarm water to reveal soft and refreshed skin.
- Anti-bacterial And Anti-Inflammatory Afterwash: After shaving, apply an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory after shave lotion for soothing the skin. It will help cool down the skin and prevent any infections after use of razors. You can use a store-bought lotion or use natural ingredients like tea tree oil or aloe vera gel.
- Removing Ingrown Hair: Visible ingrown hair should be immediately removed before it is too late using a toothpick or a sterile needle. Care should be taken to not remove it using tweezers or by squeezing as it could further inflame the skin.
- Single-blade Machine Razor: A single-blade machine razor is better as it leaves a tiny length of hair sticking out of the skin which avoids the problem of ingrown hair.
How To Treat Pseudofolliculitis Barbae?
Razor bumps are painful and embarrassing. Consult a dermatologist who will analyze the severity of the condition and suggest one of the following.
- The doctor will prescribe some antibacterial and anti-inflammatory lotions to provide relief to your skin.
- The doctor will sometimes extract the ingrown hair follicle using minor incisions
- Topical antibiotic creams can also be prescribed for treating infections.
While at home, you can continue applying aloe vera gel and tea tree oil. Organic aloe vera gel should be applied and let dry. Afterward, wash it with slightly warm to lukewarm water and repeat the process. Few drops of tea tree oil should be mixed with warm water. Wet a clean towel with the solution and keep it on the pseudofolliculitis barbae affected area. The process will loosen the ingrowing hair. Otherwise, you can also compress the area with warm tea bags which will also loosen the ingrowing hair for easy removal.
If the condition happens frequently or is very severe, the dermatologist will suggest laser hair removal treatment. It is an easy and effective way to get rid of irritating and unwanted hair. It is especially recommended for razor bumps on legs, groin and underarms. Laser hair removal procedure destroys the hair follicle without harming the skin. It is a safe and reliable method for smooth skin. Choose a good dermatology clinic for the best results.