Most beards itch while they are growing out.
The itching typically begins after about one week of growth and lasts for two to three weeks.
There are several methods that can be used to control the itch during this period of time, including keeping the beard clean and dry, moisturizing, and using an anti-itch cream. Infections and other medical conditions can also cause an itchy beard, so if other measures don't work, you may want to consult a medical professional.
To contain the beard itch, first try washing the beard during your shower with a gentle conditioning shampoo. Be sure to wash the soap residue from the beard completely because soap left behind can contribute to an itchy beard. Following the shampoo, apply a small amount of conditioner to the beard area, leave it in for a few minutes, and then wash it away. After showering, thoroughly dry the beard to remove any moisture trapped between the coarse hairs and the skin.
If shampooing and conditioning does not relieve an itchy beard, add a facial moisturizer to your beard after the shower. Work the lotion into the beard by placing a small portion of lotion on the tip of one or two fingers, and working it down into the skin in a circular motion. This will moisturize the skin surrounding the hair follicles and somewhat soften the coarse beard hairs. When you are finished, take a dry towel and gently remove any excess lotion that is clinging to the beard. This can be done a few times a day to provide relief from the itch.
Hydrocortisone cream can be applied if the itchiness has become severe enough for you to consider shaving your itchy beard off. Any over-the-counter, topical anti-itch cream should be sufficient to help control the itch. To apply, place a small amount on your finger tip and work it through the beard onto the skin. The cream can be applied once or twice a day.
There are some medical conditions that can contribute to an itchy beard. The most common is an ingrown hair, a hair that has grown back into the follicle and produces a swollen bump similar to a pimple. This is most common in men with very curly hair. To treat this problem, clean and exfoliate the area and apply a small amount of acne cream to soften the skin and release the hair.
Tinea barbae is an itchy fungal infection of the beard area. This condition can sometimes be hard to treat and may require shaving the beard and applying anti-fungal cream. An bacterial infection of beard hair follicles, called pseudofolliculitis barbae, can be treated by washing the beard area with anti-bacterial soap and applying an antibiotic cream.
For anyone who has gone through the experience of shaving, ingrown hairs are the most annoying obstacles to smooth, hair-free skin.
Both men and women shave, either for hygiene or for cosmetic reasons. Any part of the body that grows hair can be shaved and is susceptible to ingrown hairs. The legs, arms, armpits, chest, and pubic region are some of the more recognized ones. However for men, shaving the beard requires extra care because the hairs grow on the face. Ingrown hairs most frequently occur in the beard area, and make it harder for the man to shave the next time around.
Although the face can be a more problematic area, it is possible to reduce ingrown hairs.
An ingrown hair is a hair that curls back and grows into the skin, causing inflammation at the point of penetration. Dead skin cells may then accumulate around the irritated area, forming a papule. A papule, also known as a razor bump, is a small, raised abnormality of the skin that marks the site of an ingrown hair.
tHe causes of ingrown hairs may be attributed either to the beard hairs themselves or improper shaving technique. Stiff and curly beard hair is more likely to become ingrown. In addition, shaving too close to the skin with a blade may irritate it. Genetics may dictate how easily shaving causes ingrown hairs. Men with pores that easily trap dirt and oil, and men with sensitive hair follicles are more likely to get ingrown hairs.
From the outside, the beard area of a man with many ingrown hairs simply looks like very lumpy skin. However, it is actually lumpy skin that is tender, painful, and itchy. Pustules have the potential of becoming infected, resulting in rupture and bleeding. In chronic cases, numerous ruptures may leave the skin with hard, irregular scar tissue.
One of the most popular pieces of advice for avoiding ingrown hairs is to gingerly exfoliate the skin, which eliminates dead skin cells, loosens the tips of ingrown hairs, and clears out the hair follicles. First wet a sponge or loofah with some warm water, then squeeze the excess water out and gently massage the skin in a circular motion with it.
You may also choose to treat razor bumps with active ingredients. Salicylic acid is an active component of skincare formulas proven to visibly improve razor bumps. Try to avoid products with alcohol, which dries the skin and closes the pores, increasing the possibility of trapped hairs. If you already have ingrown hairs, cautiously lift the ends out with tweezers without plucking the hair. Then reduce any redness on the skin surface with products that contain witch hazel, azulene, and allantoin.
Once your skin has been introduced to a healthier regimen, help prevent the occurrence of future ingrown hairs by buying a quality razor and keeping its blade optimally sharp. Then adjust your shaving technique. Avoid pulling at the skin or applying too much pressure to the blade. Also, shave along the direction of beard growth. By maintaining this approach over time, your skin can become free from unsightly ingrown hairs.