Caused by friction between your facial hair stubble and your skin, beard rash (otherwise known as beard burn) is an irritation of the skin which can become a painful problem if left untreated for too long. Like all rashes the problem worsens as a result of exposure to more bacteria, making scratching your itch a bad idea.
Preventing Beard Rash
General themes of cleanliness and basic beard care (which are discussed in the “treating beard rash” section) play a large role in preventing the annoying, itching rash but there are specifics that also help reduce the risk of suffering barber’s itch (yet another term for beard rash) in the first place.
You should, of course, be using beard oil but as well as this you should be combing the oil through your beard – this allows the oils to get to more of your beard and hydrate through to the skin. You should also comb your beard to straighten the hair, this makes the beard softer and prevents it from curling and creating an ingrown hair or rash.
One of the biggest mistakes that can increase your chance of suffering from beard rash is thinking that any comb will do when it comes to grooming your beard. The comb you use for your head hair is not designed for your beard and it can damage your facial hair leading to the harsh friction that generates the rash. You should always use a beard comb when tending to your facial hair, not only to avoid beard burn but for the general health of your beard.
Another thing to ensure you do in order to help prevent beard burn is to towel dry your facial fuzz by gently patting it dry. Aggressively scrubbing and wiping your beard with a towel will dry it but it will also pull at the hairs and irritate your skin forming the onset of a rash.
Finally, to prevent beard rash you should keep on top of you beard making sure it never stops being a stylish masterpiece. If your beard starts to get a little bit shaggy give it a trim to keep it at bay, simply pruning it with some beard scissors when necessary can go a long way in preventing beard rash.
Treating Beard Rash
If your itch is getting worse and you suspect you are suffering from beard rash the first thing to do is to stop shaving. This allows your face to have a reprieve from any razors that may antagonise the skin and increase the irritation.
When taking a break from shaving due to beard rash, you should continue to tend to your beard with beard oil to keep it hydrated and you should consider using tea tree oil as this will help clear up your itchy skin quicker.
Good beard oils will help keep the skin underneath your beard hydrated. You should shower and apply beard oil daily to maintain a healthy beard and treat your beard rash. Although showering should occur daily, using shampoo on your beard can be less frequent (2 or 3 times a week). For the best results, you should use beard shampoo as regular shampoo is designed for your head hair and does not meet your beard’s needs. Atop of a refreshing shower make sure you are thoroughly washing your face to help clear up your beard burn and prevent it from spreading.
In the rare instance that you have a severe case of beard rash you should apply hydrocortisone ointment up to 4 times daily. Hydrocortisone ointment is great for reducing the inflammation that comes along with beard rash. Other useful remedies include aloe based skin lotions which are effective in reducing pain and tea tree oil which helps to deal with infection.
Whether you call it beard burn, barber’s itch or beard rash one thing is for sure -nobody wants it. An itchy and potentially painful rash is a must avoid and by following these guidelines you can significantly lower your chance of getting a rash. If, however, you are reading this because you are already suffering from beard rash, now you know exactly what to do to ditch the itch.