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Pseudofolliculitis Barbae - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Pseudofolliculitis barbae (razor bumps) is a common condition of the beard area. Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) or shaving bumps is a foreign body inflammatory reaction involving papules and pustules. It is occurring in up to 60% African American men and other people with curly hair. It primarily affects curly haired males who shave. Pseudofolliculitis pubis is a similar condition occurring after pubic hair is shaved. Two mechanisms are involved in the pathogenesis of PFB premery is extrafollicular penetration occurs when a curly hair reenters the skin, and last is transfollicular penetration occurs when the sharp tip of a growing hair pierces the follicle wall.

Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) predominantly affects black men and most noticeable around the beard and neck. The sharp pointed hair from a recent shave briefly surfaces from the skin and reenters a short distance away. Several methods of close shaving result in a hair cut below the surface. PFB is found mostly in black men. Black men who shave are predisposed to this condition because of their tightly curved hair. It causes small papules and pustules that can be confused with bacterial folliculitis. Americans are genetically predisposed to PFB because of the curvature of their hair follicles. Improper shaving techniques and the desire for a clean-shaven appearance can result in ingrown hairs via extrafollicular or transfollicular penetration.

Symptoms of Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

Common Symptoms of Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

  • Irritation.
  • Swelling.
  • Inflammation.

Treatment of Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

Common Treatment of Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

  • Topical combination cream (tretinoin 0.05%, fluocinolone acetonide 0.01%, and hydroquinone 4%) (Triluma) has been shown to provide some benefit by targeting the hyperkeratosis.
  • Corticosteroid creams reduce inflammation of papular lesions.
  • Dermoscopy has been used to demonstrate the pathophysiology and improve compliance.
  • Topical antibiotics may successfully reduce skin bacteria and treat secondary infection.




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Disclaimer : All information on is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, please consult your doctor.