How to Get Rid of Pseudofolliculitis Barbae


Pseudofolliculitis barbae is the technical term for razor bumps. It generally occurs when facial hair is cut too closely. As the hair grows, it can bend and attempt to curl or grow back into the skin. That can cause major inflammation, sores and lesions that can ultimately result in scars. The condition can happen to both men and women. While pseudofolliculitis barbaie cannot be cured, it can be treated successfully.

Things You'll Need

  • Moisturizer
  • Shaving cream (with moisturizer built-in when possible)
  • Hand razor
  • Electric razor
  • Hot to warm water
  • Clean towels
  • Barber brush
  • Cortisone anti-itch cream
  • Antibiotics (if necessary)
  • Corticosteriods (if necessary)
  • Fungal treatment (if necessary)
  • Electrolysis, wax, cream, or laser treatment (if nothing else works)
  • Aloe Vera or tea tree oil

Avoid shaving hair multiple times a day or even daily if you are prone to razor bumps. Try shaving with a razor only two or three times a week.

Alternate between using a single blade razor and an electric shaver. Make sure whichever method is chosen that the blades have been properly cleaned with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide before using it. Avoid cutting the hair too short.

Thoroughly cleanse and moisten the skin the be shaved. This will help raise the hair up so that it will cut properly. Wet a towel in hot water and lay or wrap it around the face, neck, legs, or any other area to be shaved. Let it remain in place until the towel begins to turn cold, or for about five minutes.

Exfoliate the skin around the area to be shaved regularly; at least two or three times a week. This process will help to keep sharp hairs from irritating the skin.

Use a good, quality shaving cream to further moisten and prepare the hair for shaving. Women should opt for a cream or gel that is made specifically for the female gender. Both sexes should choose creams and gels that have built-in moisturizers whenever possible. Try applying it with a barber's brush or loofah sponge. Move in small circular motions in order to dislodge any hairs that are already bent or curled backwards.

Shave with light, quick, rapid strokes. Make sure the razor is thoroughly rinsed free of shaving cream each time it is used. This will avoid putting hair stubble back onto the skin where it may cause bacteria or fungus to form. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or the hair may be cut too short and the skin could be scratched.

Solve common itchy skin that sometimes comes along with this condition by treating it with an over-the-counter cortisone gel, anti-itch cream or topical antibiotic. Those allergic to such creams can use a break and chill cold pack that can be found at any pharmacy.

See a doctor if you suspect pseudofolliculitis barbae that might warrant a regimen of antibiotics, corticosteriods or a fungal treatment. In some instances even Retin A may help deter the condition. Medications may be over-the-counter or prescription strength, depending of each individual case.

Select an alternative method of hair removal. This is a particularly good option for women experiencing pseudofolliculitis barbae. Some of the most common hair removal options include electrolysis, waxing, and cream or laser hair removal.

Apply skin moisturizers between each shaving. This will help to keep the skin moist and pliant and make it less susceptible to razor bumps.

Tips & Warnings

  • Symptoms of pseudofolliculitis barbae included skin irritation, itch, rash, and redness along with pimples that can sometimes be mistaken for acne. Pseudofolliculitis barbae can be caused by the consistent use of a shaving blade that may or may not be bacteria free. Causes of the condition can include certain types of medications, dermititis, hair plucking or pulling with tweezers, sensitivity to bandages or dressings, and some viruses. Pseudofolliculitis barbae often happens among people with curly hair but it can happen to anyone. Razor bumps are not generally life threatening, but they can make one self-conscious. About 75 to 85 percent of shavers have some razor bump issues. However, most are minor and don't require regular treatment or a change in the way one shaves. Shave as the follicle grows rather than against it. This will help keep you from shaving too closely. If scars form because of pseudofolliculitis barbae, ask a doctor if a retin cream might help prevent or lessen the appearance of scarring. Shaving creams that contain an ingredient called salicylic acid work against razor bumps by giving the skin protection throughout the day.
  • Double-edge razors may cut too closely and make pseudofolliculitis barbae more possible. Use a higher level shaving attachment with an electric razor to avoid cutting the hair too closed. Avoid shaving without preparing the skin beforehand. Do not stretch the skin. This could result in a shave that is too close which could encourage razor bumps. Stay away from dull razors. Do not shave when your razor bumps are inflamed or infected. Wait for the skin to heal completely before you begin shaving regularly once again. Use only clean towels when shaving. Using old towels could result in transferring bacteria or fungus to the shaved area. Avoid using shaving lotions, creams, or liquids that contain alcohol while you have pseudofolliculitis barbae. The alcohol could cause further irritation and will most assuredly cause the skin to dry out which could lead to other troubling conditions. Do not scrape, pick, or rub razor bumps. If they are bothering you that much, see a physician for proper treatment.

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