Pseudofolliculitus Barbae (PFB or Razor Bumps) Management

The options:

1. Growing a beard for one month is typically curative

2) Laser Hair Removal. Long term removal of beard hairs can be accomplishes with special lasers. This requires multiple treatments every 4 weeks for 4-8 months.  If laser is used please use Vaniqa cream twice a day(prescription)

3) Shaving 

If you must shave care must be taken not to shave too close (see below)

4).Chemical depilatories (hair removal creams) such as Magic Cream Shave or New Magic Mild Cream or Nareshave can be used every 2-4 days.  Look for creams with active ingredients (barium sulfide powder (smells bad, but gives close shave) or calcium thioglycolate cream formulations). Be careful as these creams may be very irritating and cause opening in the skin)

Pre-Shave Instructions: 

- Before shaving, the beard area should be prepped by washing with warm water and a mild soap-free cleanser (Cetaphil or Cerave). 

- Using a wash cloth or polyester cleansing pad in a circular motion is a helpful technique aimed at gently releasing embedded hair shafts before shaving. 

- Preshave washing regimens (using a scrub or brush) have been shown to reduce the percentage of trapped beard hairs.

Shaving Instructions:

- Shaving should be performed with a clean, sharp razor with the skin in its relaxed state (stretching of the skin should be avoided, as this may increase the chance of shaved hairs penetrating below the skin surface).

- Regardless of choice of a single-blade or multiple-blade razor, a clean, sharp razor blade should be used for each and every shave.

- Try shaving with the grain and against the grain and choose the method that produces less bumps

- Triple-O electric clippers can be useful in controlling the condition, maintaining beard hair at an optimum length of 0.5 to 1 mm. These clippers have a protective gap between the comb-like projection that touches the skin and actual razor that cuts the hair.

- A foil-guarded manual razor was also developed for the treatment of this condition.

- After shaving, use a magnifying mirror to identify ingrown hairs. They can be gently released usingsterile needle under the loop of hair and pulling outward.