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The causes of itchy beard can range from minor natural processes to serious infection. Most of the time it’s just itchy when you are growing it out. When you shave you leave a sharp edge which as it grows can scratch the follicle and cause itching. Not a lot you can do about this phase but be assured it will pass! Ingrown hairs can also occur during this phase but using a regular exfoliator should avoid this and once the beard is grown this should pass.
Dry skin can also cause itching and you need to be super careful to look after your skin and beard and only use the most gentle products. There are a couple of more serious skin conditions that can occur that cause more severe inflammation of the skin.
Folliculitis happens when the hair follicles that contain your beard hairs get inflamed. This inflammation can result from a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection or because of parasites. It can also happen when the hair follicle clogs, for example, when there’s an ingrown hair. When you get folliculitis in your beard area, the inflamed follicles usually look red and feel tender or painful to the touch. They can become blisters that leak pus. An antiseptic cream can help but if it does not clear then we would recommend you see your GP who may prescribe anti biotics.
Pseudofolliculitis barbae is the inflammation that happens when facial hairs growing from their follicles cut your skin inside the follicle or curve back around into your skin as they try to grow out, regular exfoliation can help avoid this and most cases are mild and clear by themselves. Using a cream with an anti bacterial agent can help but if the hair follicles become infected then visit your GP who should be able to prescribe an anti biotic cream.
This is a skin condition that can make your skin scaly, red, and flaky. Symptoms include yellow, greasy scales and red skin. The flakes may fall off when you rub your beard hair or facial skin. Medicated shampoos, creams and lotions that can be found at any pharmacy are the best way to treat this condition.
This is a fungal infection in the facial hair region. It’s caused by a type of fungus called dermatophyte. This fungal infection usually appears as red, inflamed, and crusty skin around your mouth, cheeks, and under your chin. A topical anti fungal cream should clear most mild cases but in severe cases, your GP would prescribe oral anti fungal medication.
Proper hygiene and beard care
Some causes of an itchy beard are minor and can be treated by bathing regularly and paying close attention to your facial hygiene. Other causes may require medication or special antibiotics to treat the source of the itch. There are lots of things you can do to avoid the above conditions and the main one is to keep your face and beard clean to prevent oil, dirt, and bacteria buildup. Try the following to keep your beard from itching:
- Bathe or shower regularly, at least once a day or every other day.
- Even if you don’t bathe, wash your beard with warm water every day.
- Use a face or beard wash that’s specifically meant for beard care.
- Use beard conditioner with jojoba or argan oil to keep your beard hair naturally oily.
- Do a patch test when using a new beard oil or conditioner, as some products are comedogenic and may lead to acne breakouts.
- Limit the length of your showers or baths, and avoid extremely hot water.
- Each time you shave or trim your beard, use a natural aftershave wash or lotion, such as one containing tea tree oil or aloe vera.
- Avoid products that contain too many harsh, synthetic chemicals.