Pseudofolliculitis barbae, also known as barber’s itch, razor bumps, scarring Pseudofolliculitis of the beard, and shave bumps, is a medical term for persistent irritation caused by shaving.
It is a condition most commonly observed on male face due to regular shaving. However, this condition can affect the females as well but in other areas of the body where the hair is thick and curly and is regularly plucked, shaved or waxed.
It is not a medical condition but affects the person psychologically, and it may require attention in severe cases or if the area becomes infected.
This condition can affect all ethnic backgrounds however is more prominent in people of colour who have dark curly hair.
Once the hair is shaved and starts to grow back it curls into the skin instead of growing out straight. The irritation caused by Pseudofolliculitis appears as areas of red rash and may look itchy. In severe cases, it may look like pimples and become irritated and infected.
Pseudofolliculitis barbae can be categorized into two types of ingrown hairs: Transfollicular and Extrafollicular. The extrafollicular hair is a hair that has exited the follicle and reentered the skin. The transfollicular hair never exits the follicle, but because of its naturally curly nature curls back into the follicle causing fluid build-up and irritation.
In severe conditions if left untreated it can result in the formation of keloid scars.
The most effective treatment that we offer at Laser Genesis Skin Clinic is laser hair removal. Men who do not want to get rid of their facial hair permanently may opt for a few laser treatments which render their hair to grow sparser and thinner thus addressing this concern. Irritation caused for women on bikini area, underarms or any other part respond well to the laser treatment.
Improvement can be seen even after the first treatment and continue to get better with the following treatment. We recommend 4-8 treatments to see permanent hair reduction on most areas.
The regular exfoliation frees the trapped hair follicle to help and improve the look of Pseudofolliculitis Barbae. Some of the other treatments that may benefit this condition include the following:
- Chemical peels
- Enzyme peels
Products containing Retin-A, glycolic acid assist in exfoliating the skin gently thus improving the scars and the condition. Oral antibiotics also help with infection and reducing the irritation.