Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

  • Angela LambEmail author
  • Gregory N. Yañez


Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB), also known as razor bumps or barber’s itch, is a common inflammatory condition of shaved areas that predominately affects darkly pigmented men with curly hair [1, 2]. The classic presentation is an African American man presenting with painful and/or pruritic inflammatory papules and pustules in distribution of the shaven beard. The mustache area is usually spared [3]. One survey of patients at a New York City clinic found that among women with PFB, the most common hair removal methods were tweezing followed by shaving, electrolysis, waxing, depilatory use, and laser treatments [4]. The only definitive treatment is to stop all attempts at hair removal to allow the epidermis time to recover from the inflammatory state. In chronic cases or cases where patients continue to shave the affected areas, firm papules and even keloid scars may be appreciated on exam.


Hair Follicle African Ancestry Hair Removal Keloid Scar Laser Hair Removal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Garcia Rl Jr WJW. PSeudofolliculitis barbae in a woman. Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(12):1856.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Alexander WID AM. Pseudofolliculitis barbae in the military. A medical, administrative and social problem. J Natl Med Assoc. 1974;66(6):459–64, 79. Pubmed Central PMCID: PMC2609333.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Edlich RF, Haines PC, Nichter LS, Silloway KA, Morgan RF. Pseudofolliculitis barbae with keloids. J Emerg Med. 1986;4(4):283–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Perry PK, Cook-Bolden FE, Rahman Z, Jones E, Taylor SC. Defining pseudofolliculitis barbae in 2001: a review of the literature and current trends. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;46(2 Suppl 2):S113–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brauner GI, Flandermeyer KL. Pseudofolliculitis barbae 2. Treatment. Int J Dermatol. 1977;16(6):520–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Alexander A. PSeudofolliculitis diathesis. Arch Dermatol. 1974;109(5):729–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Strauss JSKA. Pseudofolliculitis of the beard. AMA Arch Dermatol. 1956;74:533–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Winter H, Schissel D, Parry DAD, Smith TA, Liovic M, Birgitte Lane E, et al. An unusual Ala12Thr polymorphism in the 1A [alpha]-helical segment of the companion layer-specific keratin K6hf: evidence for a risk factor in the etiology of the common hair disorder pseudofolliculitis barbae. J Investig Dermatol. 2004;122(3):652–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Irvine AD, McLean WHI. Human keratin diseases: the increasing spectrum of disease and subtlety of the phenotype–genotype correlation. Br J Dermatol. 1999;140(5):815–28.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pinkus H. Chronic scarring pseudofolliculitis of the negro beard. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1943;47(6):782–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kligman Am Jr MOH. Pseudofolliculitis of the beard and topically applied tretinoin. Arch Dermatol. 1973;107(4):551–2.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Alexander AM. Evaluation of a foil-guarded shaver in the management of pseudofolliculitis barbae. Cutis. 1981;27(5):534–7, 40–2. PubMed PMID: 7238107. Epub 1981/05/01. eng.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Garcia R, Henderson R. The adjustable rotary electric razor in the control of pseudofolliculitis barbae. J Assoc Milit Dermatol. 1978;4:28.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyMount Sinai HospitalNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Class of 2015New YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations