Preventing Pseudofolliculitis Barbae in Men
Pseudofolliculitis barbaea (PFB) is a foregin body inflammatory reaction involving papules and pustules (pimples) on the beard area, lower face and neck of men. There are usually groups of small red or pigmented bumps on the beard area that may flare up with repeated shaving and PFB tends to be worse with very curly or kinky hair.
Cause of PFB:
- Extrafollicular penetration occurs when the sharply pointed hair from a recent shave briefly surfaces from the skin and re-enters a short distance away.
- Transfollicular penetration occurs when very close shaving results in the hair that is cut below the skin. This is caused by holding the skin taut while shaving, shaving against the grain, plucking hairs with tweezers and using double-or-triple bladed razors. The sharp hair tip below the skin surface is more likely to pierce the follicular wall.
Suggested shaving protocol treatments for PFB:
- Before shaving, place a warm towel over the face for a few minutes or take a warm shower before shaving. This softens the skin and hair. Use a moisturizing shaving lather that has antibacterial properties and allow it to sit on the skin for several minutes before shaving.
- Select a single-edged, foil-guarded or safety razor. Double-or-triple bladed razors shave too closely.
- Make sure your razor is thoroughly cleansed before shaving. Remove all shaving cream and hair stubble.
- Do not stretch the skin.
- Do now tweeze affected areas.
- If using an electric razor, use properly by keeping the heads slightly off the surface of the skin and shave in slow, circular motions.
- Use clean towels to avoid spreading bacteria.
Skin Care Regimen:
- Look for skin care products that soothe the skin, are anti-inflammatory and have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredients.
- Men should cleanse their skin daily in circular motions each morning and evening.
- Skin should be exfoliated to dislodge impacted hairs. A daily exfoliating wash is beneficial and a weekly gentle exfoliating scrub is recommended. Men can also use an exfoliating brush, which should be properly cleaned after every use with antibacterial wash or hydrogen peroxide regularly.
- After shaving, apply a soothing gel or moisturizer that is anti-inflammatory.
- Men should apply a skin cream or sunscreen with ingredients to suppress hyperpigmentation to avoid immediate and long-term discoloration cause by the inflammation.
- Night-time use of retinol serums or creams may also help to remove the thin layer of skin that hair embeds in upon emerging from follicle.
Recommended PCA Skin Products for Men:
Facial Wash, Total Face and Body Wash, Gentle Exfoliant, Protecting Hydrator or Perfecting Protection SPF 30, Intensive Age Refining Retinol Serum, and Total Strength Serum.
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