It is quite challenging to maintain a beard, especially when you have occasional bouts of rashes and irritated skin. But are there painful skin flare-ups too? These might be associated with beard psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a condition where there are inflammation in the body due to increased skin cell growth. Since this is an immune-mediated condition, it can be chronic or last lifelong. The skin can become scaly on the affected, and there can be plaques that might burn, itch and sting. The most common affected areas are the neck, face, scalp, elbows, and knees.
Since psoriasis can occur anywhere on the skin and under the beard, you need to have good shaving practices and use beard products that suit your skin.
Tips for controlling beard psoriasis:
Maintaining a beard is very difficult, especially when you have irritated skin due to psoriasis. Here are the best tips for managing beard psoriasis:
Keep your beard clean: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is essential to cleanse your beard and face with a gentle cleanser that suits your skin type:
- Oily skin: glycolic or salicylic acid cleansers are best for oily skin types.
- Dry skin: mild, fragrance-free, and hydrating cleansers are best for dry skin types.
- Sensitive skin: creamy facial cleansers are best for sensitive skin types as they can reduce the burning sensations while you clean your face.
- Moisturize your skin:
After you have cleaned your face with a cleaner, do not forget to moisturize the skin that lies beneath your beard. If you have average or dry skin, you can use beard oil. If you suffer from acne-prone skin, then a beard conditioner will be soothing to you.
- Exfoliate and groom your beard:
Ingrown hairs on your face can be quite irritating and painful. To keep them in control, exfoliate your face once or twice a week with a gentle exfoliating scrub.
Grooming your beard with a beard comb will help you to make it look good. Include a beard comb into your daily routine.
- Shaving your beard:
If you shave your beard, then these tips can make shaving a better experience for you:
- Wet your beard hair and then your skin.
- If you have sensitive skin, try to use a shaving gel or cream.
- While shaving, try to follow the direction of the growth of your beard.
- After each swipe of the blade, rinse it well to have a smooth shave.
- After you finish shaving, lock in the moisture, apply some beard oil, beard moisturizer, or beard cream.
Best ingredients to consider in products:
Your face is very sensitive, so you need to choose products suitable for your skin type. Hence you need to consider certain ingredients in your products that will be good for your skin. You can get these products either through a doctor’s prescription, or you can avail them over the counter. Here are the ingredients that you can consider:
- Salicylic acid: it helps to soften and remove the skin scales that occur due to psoriasis. However, make sure to follow proper directions while applying products with salicylic acid as too much of it can worsen psoriasis.
- Coal tar: it is an active ingredient in both prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. It helps to reduce the itchiness, redness, flakes, scales, and swelling. However, you should always test it on a small portion of your skin to test its suitability.
- Pine tar: according to some research, pine tar also reduces the inflammation, redness, and irritation caused due to beard psoriasis.
- Calamine: along with calamine, look for ingredients like benzocaine, menthol, camphor, and hydrocortisone in the FDA-approved products for treating itchiness.
- Jojoba oil: along with jojoba oil, ingredients like zinc pyrithione and aloe vera can moisturize, soothe and remove the scales occurring due to psoriasis.
- Crisaborole: it is an FDA-approved topical medicine that can help to reduce inflammation in your skin. However, it can cause a stinging and burning sensation on your skin.
While buying products to treat psoriasis, make sure to buy products with the National Psoriasis Foundation Seal of Recognition. It is safe to use products that have this seal as they are non-irritating.
Things to avoid in products:
There are certain things that you should avoid in the products for treating psoriasis:
- Alcohol: moisturizers, lotions, and cleansers that contain alcohol can easily irritate your skin and worsen the symptoms of psoriasis.
- Harsh scrubs: certain scrubs are very harsh and will deteriorate the skin further.
- Fragrance: you should always avoid products that have fragrance. It can irritate your skin if you have sensitive skin. Look for the label ‘fragrance-free’ in your product.
When to consult a doctor?
It is tough to see the skin under your beard, and hence you might find it difficult to notice any skin problems. So when should you consult a doctor? If you feel that the skin under your beard is dry, flaky, painful, or itchy, then you should consult a doctor.
If you have hair loss, it can indicate that there might be some problem with your skin.
Although psoriasis symptoms can be managed with home remedies, you need to consult a doctor if your flare-ups are growing more painful, they are spreading, or they are getting worse.
Corticosteroids are beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of beard psoriasis. Your doctor might recommend corticosteroids like hydrocortisone.
Treatments to consider:
You can consider light treatment that involves ultraviolet light and is called phototherapy. This can slow the growth of skin cells and can help to relieve your symptoms. There are several such treatments, but the most effective ones are:
- UVB phototherapy: an artificial source that emits UVB light can help you with the treatment.
- Goeckerman therapy: along with coal tar, UVB light is used in this treatment.
- Excimer laser: helps in treating a smaller area of the skin and is a controlled UVB light beam.
Basic beard care like moisturizing and keeping your beard clean can reduce the symptoms of bear psoriasis. However, if the symptoms seem unmanageable, then it is best to consult a skin specialist.