If you are reading this, then you must be concerned about an itchy beard. Whether you already have a beard or are planning to grow one, the beard itch is an all too well-known issue.
First of all, welcome to the club of the bearded men!
A beard has a lot to offer for not just appearance but our personality, confidence and sophistication. Like every other thing, there are disadvantages and today, we will get to the root of beard problem number one – the beard itch!
This complete guide is designed to understand what are the things that cause a beard itch and most importantly, how to stop beard itch with tips & tricks. We will also cover some medical conditions that may cause beard itches and their treatment.
Well, let’s get started!
As you will agree, not all beards are the same and what’s best for one is not necessarily the best for all. While some beards are itchier than others, there could be multiple reasons for it. So, it is important to identify the problem and solve it without picking up the razor.
Table Of Contents
For Those with a New Beard
We will first understand the issues for individuals who are growing new beards. After many years of being clean shaven, when you decide to grow a beard your skin needs time to adjust to the tiny new members.
For someone who has never shaved, every hair follicle is nice and smooth. That means the hair strands are round and do not irritate the skin. But for those who have shaved, the hair is cut in different angles causing it to be sharp and rough around the edges. So, when hair grows out of each follicle, it presses against the skin with its rough edges and irritates the skin. This is when you get itchy all over your face.
As a result, it is important to use high quality razors, good shaving gel or cream so that each hair strand is cut neatly and closely to avoid rough cuts. Regardless, when you stop shaving and start growing a beard, your skin must adapt and you will suffer from irritation, itch, etc. but everything will get better by the second or third week.
So, be patient!
For Those Who Want a Fully-Grown Beard
Once you have grown a beard, the itch is under control as both you and your skin get used to your bearded face. You would think that when you decide to grow your beard full, things would get easier. Unfortunately, the beard itch does not stop with longer beards.
There are multiple reasons why full-grown beards itch and the major reason is dryness.
Beard hair, in most men, are thicker and coarser compared to normal hair. They constantly rub with your skin and irritate skin. Your skin is not exposed to enough light, air or water and become particularly dry. For those with dry skin conditions, the situation is only worse.
On a clean shaved face, dead skin cells would simply fall away during any time of the day. But on a bearded face, they get trapped and start building. As a result, you get very itchy skin. I have particular dry skin patches in specific places under my beard which I cannot see but constantly itch.
But no need to fear or despair, we will show you the best ways to stop your beard from itching and keeping your fully-grown beard to keep you looking stylish & sophisticated.
The Best Ways To Stop Your Beard From Itching
Yes, proper hygiene is the number one way to ensure itch-free beard. When you properly clean your face and beard, you stop dead skin cells and dirt from getting trapped in your beard. As a result, the skin is moisturized, healthy and irritation free at most times. It is a must to wash your beard every day.
As we already mentioned and you must already know, beard hair is different to normal hair. Beard hair is affected by our testosterone levels and as a result they are thick, coarse and wiry. Products designed for normal hair like soap, shampoo and conditioner are not the same for beard hair.
You must use beard shampoo, beard conditioner, etc. rather than generic shampoo. Remember your beard is on your face, one of the most sensitive skin areas of your body, so using too harsh soaps, shampoos will make your facial skin dry. As a result, you should take extra care in cleaning your beard thoroughly and use appropriate beard products.
Importance of Using Proper Beard Products
You may think cleaning your beard is enough, you don’t need to use any products. But the use of specialist beard care products such as conditioners, moisturizers, shampoos, oils, etc. is essential. Not only is it important to keep beard hair clean, they must be conditioned & properly moisturized. This will make your beard hair softer and reduce irritating your skin. As a result, you will have itch-free beard which is nicely controllable.
The use of special beard oils, balms, etc. will ensure that your beard hair is getting the proper nutrition for growth. Your skin needs to be healthy for boosting growth. The use of oils, balms, make your beard hair look shinier, softer, and keep it more manageable for you. So, you can style your beard as you desire.
One of the most underrated tasks for the beard is combing it. This simple task helps keep your beard tangle free, neat, soft and stylish. By combing your beard, you help it grow in the right direction and avoid irritating your skin. The buildup of dirt or dead skin cells is also removed by frequent combing.
A good habit is to brush before washing your beard. And then brush again after it is washed and dried. This way, the dirt is removed before the wash and the hair is tangle free after the wash.
A good maintenance routine for your beard will avoid itchy beard problems and give you a smooth beard. You will feel fantastic, look good and stop the itch from coming back.
Doctor’s Diagnosis: What Causes Beard Itch
As a first-time beard grower, or a long-time beard enthusiast, the reasons for an itch are not always something to do with just a little bit of hair under your chin. Beard hair growth is biologically directly related to our testosterone levels. As a result, it is important to take special care of it unlike other body hair.
The causes of an itchy beard can be something as minor as discomfort or something serious as a medical condition such as the following:
Dry Skin Conditions
If you have dry skin conditions such as xerosis, this can be a major reason for itch in general, and even worse with a beard. Whether it is because of the hot weather or the cold winter, naturally dry skin will cause severe itch. Your skin will scale, get flaky, and even result in thicker skin condition known as ichthyosis.
Other skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema can also cause excessive itching. Since your skin is covered with beard, it will need special attention as the skin is not getting the normal amount of moisture or your attention.
Folliculitis – Ingrown Hair Conditions
Folliculitis is the medical term for a trapped hair follicle. This can cause itching as well. The hair follicle may get inflamed by a simple thing as ingrown hair or other infections such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. Without proper care, the follicle can easily get worse and turn into painful blisters filled with pus or other bodily liquids.
This is the medical name for the type of hair which grows out and then turns around to directly come against your skin again. This curved hair will poke your own skin and can cause irritation and itch. This can result in damaging your skin from excessive itching. But it does not cause any infection unless otherwise injured such as by wounding yourself with your nails while itching.
Tinea barbae is one of the more serious fungal infections. It is red, inflamed, and forms crusty skin. It is similar to ringworm in scalp, etc. They cause severe itching and can spread by contact from one area to another, and one person to another.
Now, we only covered a few of the skin conditions which may cause a beard itch. For any concerns such as the above mentioned, there are medicated ointments, creams, or lotions. So, consult a medical professional, preferably a skin specialist known as dermatologist. The following are some common to general medical treatments for itchy beards:
- Treatment for Dry Skin
Medical ointments or creams that contain lactic acid and urea
- Treatment for Ingrown Hair
Mupirocin or Bactroban for inflammation due to bacterial infections and for fungal infections, use antifungal creams
- Treating Pseudofolliculitis Barbae
Glycolic acid such as Neo-Strata
- Treating Tinea Barbae
For mild infections, topical antifungal therapy is effective and also, oral antifungal solution such as itraconazole or terbinafine is good also
Regardless, of your condition, remember it is most recommended to see a dermatologist or medicine specialist for proper treatment. For severe or chronic conditions, you may even be advised not to grow a beard, or hair removal. Don’t be too proud to do that if needed, your health is of the highest priority.
The Best Treatment is Good Hygiene!
The number one tip to remember is that good hygiene is essential! Always keep your face and beard clean by frequently washing away the natural oil, dirt, and bacteria build up as well as other dirt from external contact. Follow these helpful best practices:
- Bather, shower & wash your regularly – washing once a day should be the absolute minimum for your beard, with lukewarm water.
- Use a product such as a face wash or beard wash, don’t just use a normal hair shampoo which will damage both your beard and your facial skin.
- Use a beard hair conditioner, or oil with natural ingredients such as jojoba, argan, or black seed oil, tea tree oil or aloe vera, etc. It is crucial that you avoid using chemical or synthetic products which are harsh on your beard hair & your skin.
Beards are not to be hated just because they can be extremely itchy. Beards give you sense of wisdom and suave about your look. If not that, it is also the natural way of keeping your skin healthy.
Don’t believe that?
Just look at our history, all men grew beards!
If you have been inspired and motivated to grow your beard, then remember all the maintenance. As a first timer, give time for your skin to adjust to hair on your face.
As we have discussed in this complete guide on how to stop beard itch, the causes can range from something minor to something serious, so pay attention to yourself. You must always ensure good hygiene and treat any skin conditions as early as possible to avoid worst case scenarios.
Was this guide able to help you understand the reasons for an itchy beard? And more importantly, do you now have a better idea of how you can stop your beard itch?
Let us know your thoughts and share tips that work for you with others!