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Read the Causes and Treatments of Razor Burn

The problem of razor bumps and razor burns is on an island all by itself. There are 40 million men in the USA alone that suffer from this issue, commonly known as Pseudofolliculitis Barbae. The Wet Brush Electric Shaver Company in Washington, D.C., resolves these issues for all skin types – fast.

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae Best

These are examples of infected and superinfected razor bump, and razor burn (Pseudofolliculitis Barbae) conditions.



Medical Definition

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (/ˈsjuːdoʊfəˈlɪkjʊˈlaɪtɨs ˈbɑrbiː/) also known as barber’s itch, folliculitis barbae traumatica, razor bumps, scarring pseudofolliculitis of the beard, and shave bumps. It is a medical term for persistent irritation caused by shaving.


PFB is most common on the male face, but it can also happen in other parts of the body where hair is shaved or plucked, especially areas where hair is curly and the skin is sensitive, such as genital shaving (more properly termed as pseudofolliculitis pubis or PFP).

After a hair has been shaved, it begins to grow back. Curly hair tends to curl into the skin instead of straight out of the follicle, leading to inflammation. PFB can make the skin look itchy and red, and in some cases, it can even look like pimples. These inflamed papules or pustules can form especially if the area becomes infected.

This is especially problematic for men of African, Mediterranean, and Eastern descent, and other people who have naturally coarse or tightly curly hair. If left untreated over time, this can cause keloid scarring in the beard area.

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae can further be divided into two types of ingrown hairs: transfollicular and extrafollicular. The extrafollicular hair is a hair that has exited the follicle and re-entered the skin. The transfollicular hair never exited the follicle, but because of its naturally curly nature, it will curl back into the follicle causing fluid build-up and irritation.

Prevention and Treatment

Many dermatologists recommend using products that are alcohol, fragrance, and oil-free. Alcohol can dry out the skin significantly, and fragrance is a well-known skin irritant that can exacerbate PFB. Products with oil can clog pores and prevent the release of the hair from the follicle

How Men Typically Handle Razor Bumps:

  • We use shaving powders (a kind of chemical depilatory) to avoid irritation.

  • We try a razor with a single blade or special wire-wrapped blade to avoid shaving too closely.

  • We trim or grow a beard instead of shaving.

  • In severe cases, we may resort to electrolysis or laser hair removal or use exfoliating products to minimize PFB.


An effective preventative method is to let the beard grow. Once the hairs get to a certain length, they will not grow back into the skin.

For most severe cases, totally avoid shaving for three to four weeks until all lesions have subsided, while applying a mild prescription cortisone cream to the affected skin each morning.

Shaving every other day, rather than daily, will improve Pseudofolliculitis Barbae.

If one must use a blade, soften the beard first with hot water, and use a wet washcloth for five minutes. Alternatively, you can shave while showering in hot water.

Electrolysis and laser hair removal should be considered when all else fails, because they are expensive and take repeated visits. There is a risk of skin discoloration and scarring too.

Common Medicines

Over-the-counter products like Barc Bump Down and Tend Skin have been effective in helping many sufferers. Medications are also prescribed to speed healing of the skin. Glycolic acid lotion 8% (Alpha-hydrox, Neo-Strata, Innovcool, others) is effective. Prescription antibiotic gels like Benzamycin, Cleocin-T, or oral antibiotics are also used.

Retin-A is a potent treatment that helps even-out any scarring after a few months. It is added as a nightly application of Retin-A Cream 0.05 – 0.1% to the skin, while the beard is growing out. Use as tolerated and avoid sunlight, as it is somewhat irritating and can cause peeling.


Existing razor bumps can often be treated by removal of the ingrown hair. Extrafollicular hairs can usually be pulled gently from under the skin, with tweezers. Complete removal of the hair from its follicle is not recommended. Severe or transfollicular hairs may require removal by a dermatologist.

Related Condition

Razor burn is a less serious condition caused by shaving, characterized by mild to moderate redness and irritation on the surface of the skin. Unlike PFB, it is usually transient, and there is no infection involved. There is also a condition called Folliculitis Barbae. The difference between the two is the cause of the inflammation in the hair follicles. Folliculitis Barbae is caused by viral or bacterial infections, where Pseudofolliculitis is caused by irritation from shaving and ingrown hairs.

A related condition, Pseudofolliculitis Nuchae, occurs on the back of the neck, often along the posterior hairline, when curved hairs are cut short and allowed to grow back into the skin. Left untreated, this can develop into Acne Keloidalis Nuchae, a condition where hard, dark keloid-like bumps form on the neck.

Our shaver can tackle all these conditions.

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