Home » Skin Blog » Skin Knowledge and Problems » Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae


Recently, more men have been seeking medical advice for a skin problem characterized by red bumps on their chin. Mistakenly thinking it’s severe acne, they often attempt self-treatment with over-the-counter acne medication, which inevitably fails and leads them to seek professional help. So, what exactly are these red bumps and how should they be treated?

The condition is actually quite common in men, especially those with thick, curly facial hair. It’s called pseudofolliculitis barbae, and while the name may sound complex, its cause is quite simple. This problem usually occurs in men who shave regularly, with the sharp edge of the razor cutting through the skin’s surface and the curly hair regrowing, causing hair shafts to re-enter the skin and provoke a foreign body inflammatory reaction. The resulting symptoms include inflammatory papules in the beard area, especially in the chin and neck, where hair growth is irregular and disordered. When curly hair enters the skin, it can cause an inflammatory nodule to form. The individual papules naturally heal when the hair grows out of the skin, but in severe cases, permanent damage to the hair follicle can occur, resulting in concave scarring or hypertrophic scars. This is a problem that should not be ignored.

To improve the condition, patients should change their shaving method, such as by applying a hot compress to the affected area before shaving to open the follicles, using shaving cream or an electric shaver, and avoiding excessive shaving. In some cases, we even recommend that patients temporarily stop shaving, and the problem will improve. If the problem persists, laser hair removal can be done to make the hair finer or disappear, and the problem can be solved.

If men have skin problems, it’s best to consult a doctor rather than self-diagnosing and self-treating with creams or lotions. This can worsen the condition instead of improving it.