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Why does my skin start to break-out when I grow a beard?
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Why does my skin start to break-out when I grow a beard?

5258971?1263278478
My problem is that when I grow a beard my skin, specifically along the jawline of my beard starts to breakout.  When I'm clean-shaven I have no problems with break-outs, but only when i grow a beard.  Its not ingrown hairs either, but its painful and when I examine it in the mirror i can see whiteheads at the base of the hairs.  My Solution is to pluck those hairs out, but it continues.  I've tried different skin cleaning, cleansing, toning, exfoliating products with no success.  I also make a concious effort not to touch my face, sleep on my back, etc. to avoid aggravating it further.  But its only along my jawline specifically, but not my chin or anywhere else.  I also notice dry flaky skin in the area as well.  I enjoy the look of the beard so is there any solution at all that I can come up with?
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563773_tn?1374250139
Hello,
From the symptoms it looks like pseudofolliculitis barbae. It is more commonly found in med who shave their faces. It is because of ingrowing of the shaved hair which may present as pimples. To prevent it water soften the beard first with a hot, wet washcloth for five minutes and then shave.  Other treatment options include shaving in a different direction, tweezing, exfoliating with facial scrubs, sponges, towels or creams containing acid and ibuprofen or other NSAIDs. Topical application of dilute glycolic acid and salicylic prepared solutions are also helpful. You can consult a dermatologist and discuss these treatment options with him.

It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your dermatologist. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.



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Avatar_n_tn
"Dr." Kaur clearly has not read sparky's comments. I shutter to think what his or her patients have experienced in Dr. Kaur's office ("Dr. Kaur - I'd like to keep the baby..."). Sparky, like myself, wants to KEEP the beard. I too do not break out when shaving. However, about a week into growing my beard my skin starts to break out and get irritated with dry flakes of skin. I give up after about 3 weeks and just shave it back off. We would like to KEEP our beards.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you Dr. Kaur,

I am having the exact same issues and will try your suggested solutions, should I need to I will make an appt with a dermatologist to confirm how to best treat my skin and what I have should be confirmed by examination rather than described to most accurately diagnose and treat it.  

Richard,
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same problem. Seems like everywhere I look no one has an answer for those of us that would like to "keep" our beard. Mine grows great everywhere except the left side of my face, which breaks out and even bleeds after about a week and a half of not shaving. Within 24 hours after shaving, the breakout dissappears.
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5041594_tn?1362721550
Me too have the same problem, unable to find the solution
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm In the same boat as you men.
My skin is clearer when I shave, if I leave it between 4-7 days I will always end up with a break out in some areas, usually the same ones and they are nearly the same location on both sides of the face; edges of the chin and below the cheek near the high edge of my beard line.
Its quite a frustration, I never had problems in my teens or early 20s( I'm 31 now).
My doctor did try and diagnose what it was, probably something similar along the lines of what Dr. Kaur said.
I went in to him clean shaven after a week of beard growth which resulted in breakouts. My skin appeared inflamed after shaving and he concluded that I have a reaction to shaving which causes blemishes/inflamation etc. and showed me the various biology of what was under my facial skin and what parts were reacting, in his opinion, to the shaving.
He gave me a prescription for some tablets that would inhibit the reaction and reduce the inflammation.
When I told him that my experience was that beard growth was really what was causing the problems, he just glossed over it.
I tried the tablets but noticed no real improvement. There was little upside to using them; they would have cost €30 a month, possibly mis-perscribed and i didn't know any potential side effects.
I would be more interested in finding out the reason for why my beard hair is causing this reaction, not just completely focusing on papering over the symptoms with medication.
I'd like to fix it at the source, in a holistic manner I suppose.
I have a certain amount of blemishes and redness even when I'm clean shaven now, maybe as a result of a long period dealing with the breakouts.
If anyone has managed to identify what is possible causing this, I'd love to hear from you.
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Avatar_m_tn
ive had similar irritation recently in my beard along jaw line and cheek bone area. its gotten a lot worse now that im in my early 30s. i had had a beard for many years with no signs of acne or irritation but then shaved it a few months ago. when i started growing it back, this irritation began.

i've started using tea tree shaving gel by paul mitchel (to prevent) and cool fix by anthony (to treat). it helps but the acne/irritation still continues as my beard grows. i've had a this beard for about a month now and am pretty sure im just gonna shave it off again.

ive heard of other guys using tea tree conditioner by paul mitchel or american crew for their beard, but i havent heard any feedback about that. ive also considered yes to tomatoes mask, but that just seems crazy.    
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same problem, but it is my beard and the hair on my head.  I never break out on my face or neck...unless I go a week without shaving, then I start to break out.  Shaving keeps my face totally, completely blemish free, I assume from the natural exfoliating effect of shaving.  

Also, I am a very recently retired Marine, my scalp breaks out of I don't get it tightly clipped (I mean clipped down to zero on the sides and in the back) every 7 days.  I assume this is also due to the fact that skin cells shed from a buzzed scalp more easily than a full head of hair.  I've tried all the shampoos, and nothing has proved to be a cure.

You men would like to keep your beards, and I would like to grow my hair out now that I am retired.  For the time being, I guess I will just keep on getting it clipped every week.

Does anyone know if this is just a "in between phase" of hair growth?  If I just suck it up and keep growing it out, will my scalp calm down once it gets to a certain length?



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Avatar_m_tn
I just started growing a full beard and I'm now experiencing the same problem. I was wondering if any one tried a warm face cloth and or moisturizers daily to try to prevent this problem. Its been 10 day since my last shave but I didn't try heat and moister yet, didn't know if it would work.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just started growing a full beard and I'm now experiencing the same problem. I was wondering if any one tried a warm face cloth and or moisturizers daily to try to prevent this problem. Its been 10 day since my last shave but I didn't try heat and moister yet, didn't know if it would work.
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Avatar_m_tn
When the hair follicles on your beard get dirty and oil they have a tendency to curl backwards going into the skin, The painful blemish after that is cystic acne when the hair grows back it that area is infected which brings on the cyst. I still suffer from this problem occasionally because I'm allergic to alcohol more specifically to yeast. Which also makes you prone to cyst Heres there steps that worked for me.
1.WATER
2.Clean Mouth Brush teeth 4x a day
3.Cold showers which keeps the pours closed but still washes the hair
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7278805_tn?1389792223
I am having the Same PRoblem and When i Shaved It Looks like a Million Times Worse. It stands out more than when it is Hidden by the Beard i am Going to the Doctor Tomorrow and Hope she Can Resolve the Issue. Its Very Embarrassing.
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Avatar_m_tn
I grow a beard every fall and shave it off in the spring.I too have the same issue.I am 54 years old and go through this every time.I will grow the mustache and chin first six weeks, a few breakouts but not bad.Then I grow the sides,now the breakouts are bad.I can see in the mirror the hair follicles turn down into the skin and irritate it,which causes the breakout and the itching.You have to let it grow out.Once the hair grows out it lays down and the irritation goes away.Then grow it as long as you like.Now the breakouts and itching last about 3 weeks then it stops,some guys cant stand it this long,but if you can put up with it,you will have your beard.
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Avatar_m_tn
I also hope to never encounter this "Dr". Glad I wasn't the only one to pick up on the oblivious response to the question.

I can't say I'm a Dr but you could try some easy home remedies to clear up your problem.

First I would recommend staying hydrated. Drink lots of water and your skin will thank you for it.

Second, exfoliate! When you shower, take the pads of your fingers (Never the nails as it causes scratches and cuts in your skin) and rub the skin under your beard. Really get your finger pads in there and rub the wet skin to get the flakey dead stuff off. This could be causing blocked pores and is important to remove. Don't worry about your beard, rub until you feel satisfied (within reason of course).

Third, (I am about to try this one since I have recently read up on my own occasional clogged pores which simple exfoliation has not cleared up) pick up a gentle cleanser or oil. The oil recommended to me was Jojoba Oil and can be found in a brand called Desert Essence. Again, I have not yet tried this remedy and only seen many avid beard-mates mention it on discussion forums. If you can't find Jojoba (pronounced Hohoba) oil, look for a sesame oil as this was also held in high regards.

Anyway, good luck and happy beard growin'!
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