What is Beard Rash?
Beard rash, otherwise known as folliculitis, happens when hair follicles become infected and develop inflammation, redness and tenderness under the beard. Usually, the hair will grow back, but it can become overwhelmed causing the skin to become scaly, flaky and itchy. This shy away people from wanting to grow out their beards, often shaving them off instead of trying to treat the rash.
Beard rash is typically characterized by red bumps that appear on the skin around the beard. This could be caused by an ingrown hair which is an a result of hair follicles curling back and re-entering the skin. Infection in the ingrown hair can create an unpleasant red bump. Other visible symptoms may include itchiness, dryness, peeling and bumps filled with pus.
Typically, improper shaving is the main cause of beard rash. Not cleaning and properly disinfecting shaving blades can spread bacteria to the skin and open wounds, leading to the rash. Other factors such as hair styling products, unclean face washers, bacteria or even an allergic reaction can come into play.
The good news is that beard rash can be easily treated at home without the need of medication. One course of action is to use natural remedies such as calcium and d-panthenol. Calcium helps on a cellular level to prevent and calm inflammation and d-panthenol is a natural moisturizer that keeps the skin hydrated and alleviates itchiness.
Eucalyptus and lavender essential oils can also be used on affected area. Both of these oils have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and healing properties. Apply a few drops onto your skin and massage in to sooth and calm the rash.
It’s important to change up your diet if you’re prone to beard rash. Incorporate more Vitamin A, E and B into your diet, all of which are essential in maintaining healthy skin and hair. Vitamin B and E have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and what’s important anti-itch effects. The best dietary sources for Vitamin A, E and B are fish, spinach, wheat germ and green vegetables. Furthermore, try incorporating omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, olive oil and sunflower oil into your diet.
Unclean or damp towels, or those used to scrub food off the face, should be avoided. Facial hair should also be kept clean and trimmed so it does not touch the skin. One should make sure washing his face with a gentle cleanser and warm water – avoiding hot. Shaving should also be done with a clean razor and no pressure.
Beard rash is more likely to heal when not disturbed, so it’s important to leave it alone. Cover the rash with loose clothing and use a natural cleanser when washing the affected area. And to soothe the rash, use aloe vera, which helps to hydrate and calm the skin.
It’s also important to exfoliate the area using salicylic or glycolic acid to help get rid of the dead skin cells. This will also open the pores to let in the medicinal creams and oils that help restore skin balance. Additionally, look for hydrating washes and creams to soothe irritation and moisturize.
If natural remedies and vitamins are not doing their job, there are some prescription treatments that can be used to cure beard rash. Some of these treatments include retinoid creams like tretinoin or adapalene to reduce inflammation. Antibiotic ointment or cream helps clear up any bacterial infections, while corticosteroid cream can be used to reduce the redness and itching.
Avoid substance abuse
In some cases, substances like alcohol and caffeine may cause beard rash to worsen. Keep in mind that if certain substances are the cause, they should be avoided or at least decreased in order to help the rash heal.
Beard rash can be uncomfortable, but it usually is a easy to treat. With the right dietary and hygiene measures taken as well as proper care and treatment, you will be able to restore the balance to your skin and maintain a healthy beard. It’s important to remember that being good to your skin is the key to eliminating inflammation and discomfort.