PFB is seen most frequently on the male face of darker-skinned individuals with coarse, curly hair, but it can also happen on any other parts of the body where hair is shaved or plucked in both men and women, especially if the skin is sensitive, such as the bikini area and underarms.
Hair grows in cycles and during the growth phase, after a hair has been shaved, it begins to grow back. If the hair is curly it can curl into the skin instead of straight out the follicle, leading to an inflammatory reaction. Also, in people with sensitive skin, the very act of shaving can cause inflammation which leads to swelling of the opening of the hair follicle. So PFB, also called “shaving bumps” can make the skin look itchy and red, or broken out. These inflamed follicles can become infected and can lead to scarring and discoloration of the skin of the affected area.
In general it is advisable to use products that are free of alcohol, fragrance, and oil. Alcohol is a known drying agent, and fragrance can irritate the skin, making PFB worse. Oil can clog pores and follicles, causing the hair to turn around and grow back into the follicle.
If the beard is left to grow, once the hairs get to be a certain length they will not grow back into the follicles. In most cases, no shaving for three to four weeks will allow the break-out to heal. During this period 1% hydrocortisone cream will alleviate the inflammation.
If one must shave, water-softening the beard first with hot water or shaving while showering in hot water can reduce the irritation caused by shaving.
The only really effective method of eliminating PFB is Laser Hair Removal. The laser energy passes through the skin to reach the pigment in growing hair follicles. The light of the laser is converted to heat and it is the heat that kills the hair follicles. Because of the growth cycles of hair and the fact that the laser will only be absorbed by follicles in the growth phase, an average of five treatments is required to complete the job. If hyperpigmentation has occurred during active PFB, it will frequently clear over time.
This information is intended to supplement, not replace, consultation with your physician or nurse regarding Anti-Aging Facial Rejuvenation with Titan and Genesis. Please consult with the nursing staff or Dr. Gold if you have additional questions or if you have questions that may not be covered in this section.
Laser Hair Removal – Freedom from Shaving
Laser hair removal treatments are safe and affordable at Laser Body Solutions in Hamden, CT. If you are looking for laser hair removal or other non-invasive cosmetic laser treatment products, give us a call.