Does shaving cause acne? For most people, shaving does not cause acne. So, why do men who need to shave daily sometimes get acne-like bumps in their beard area? Dr. Schweiger explains that, “These bumps are not true acne; these bumps come from a condition called pseudofolliculitis barbae, which looks very similar to acne. Inflammation around the hair follicle forms an acne-like bump on the skin when thick curly hairs reenter the skin during shaving.”
There are many treatment options available for pseudofolliculitis barbae. The only absolute cure for the condition is laser hair removal; many men hesitate to remove the hair throughout their beard area, but find that it is helpful to remove the hair lower on the neck, where pseudofolliculitis barbae is most common. Topical prescription medications can also be used, to decrease inflammation and kill the bacteria around the hair follicle. These medications include topical antibiotics, such as clindamycin, and topical benzoyl peroxide. For more severe pseudofolliculitis barbae (often referred to as PFB), oral antibiotics are used.
Your dermatologist can recommend the best shaving regimen for you, in order to prevent the development of pseudofolliculitis on the neck and beard area.