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How Can I Deal with an Itchy Beard?

Most beards will be itchy as they are grown out.
Moisturizer may help relieve an itchy beard.
An itchy beard may require shaving.
An ingrown hair that causes an itchy beard can be cleaned and treated with acne cream.
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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2014
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Most beards itch while they are growing out. The scratchiness typically begins after about one week of growth and lasts for two to three weeks. There are several methods that can be used to control the discomfort during this period of time, including keeping the beard clean and dry, moisturizing the skin, and using an anti-itch cream. Infections and other medical conditions can also cause an itchy beard, so if other measures don't work, you may want to consult a medical professional.

To contain the beard itch, first try washing the beard during your shower with a gentle conditioning shampoo. Be sure to rinse the soap residue from the hair completely, because soap left behind can irritate the skin and make itchiness worse. Following the shampoo, apply a small amount of conditioner to the beard area, leave it in for a few minutes, and then wash it away. After showering, thoroughly dry the beard to remove any moisture trapped between the coarse hairs and the skin.

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If shampooing and conditioning does not relieve an itchy beard, add a facial moisturizer to your beard after the shower. Work the lotion into the beard by placing a small portion of lotion on the tip of one or two fingers and working it down into the skin in a circular motion. This will moisturize the skin surrounding the hair follicles and somewhat soften the coarse beard hairs. When you are finished, take a dry towel and gently remove any excess lotion that is clinging to the hair. This can be done a few times a day to provide relief.

Hydrocortisone cream can be applied if the itchiness has become severe enough for you to consider shaving your beard off. Any over-the-counter, topical anti-itch cream should be sufficient to help control the discomfort. To apply, place a small amount on your finger tip and work it through the beard onto the skin. The cream can be applied once or twice a day.

There are some medical conditions that can contribute to an itchy beard. The most common is an ingrown hair, a hair that has grown back into the follicle and produces a swollen bump similar to a pimple. This is most common in men with very curly hair. To treat this problem, clean and exfoliate the area and apply a small amount of acne cream to soften the skin and release the hair.

Tinea barbae is an itchy fungal infection of the beard area. This condition can sometimes be hard to treat and may require shaving the beard and applying anti-fungal cream. A bacterial infection of beard hair follicles, called pseudofolliculitis barbae, can be treated by washing the beard area with anti-bacterial soap and applying an antibiotic cream.

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anon355594
Post 7

I wrote an article on this exact subject at beard. The trick, in my opinion, is using moisturizer and a natural, non-aggressive soap. You should not overdo on the washing since facial hair need less washing than hair. You might also want to consider using beard oil. --Mark

anon274708
Post 5

My dad swore that rubbing in a tiny bit of baby oil after your shower would cure an itchy beard every time. It seemed to work for him.

matthewc23
Post 4

@stl156 - The key to beard itch relief for a full beard is through hygiene and through washing the beard thoroughly.

Itchy beard relief is accomplished through continually scrubbing and washing the beard thoroughly in the shower, using an appropriate shampoo. The shampoo itself depends on the person and is more a matter of comfort than anything when it comes to beards.

I would recommend doing this everyday and not missing a single day in order not to feel miserable. If someone is consistent in thoroughly washing their beard everyday they should be able to stop itchiness and not be forced to shave their beard.

stl156
Post 3

@jmc88 - I agree I feel like the ways that are said to shave your beard so it does not itch is simply some legend someone made up a very long time ago.

The only way to deal with an itchy beard when you are growing it is to simply persevere through the itchy stage and then once past it the beard will grow full and the itchiness will stop.

If someone already has a full beard and it is itchy there may be a problem and someone may want to try new shampoos and even a variety of them to try and stop the itchiness.

jmc88
Post 2

I have tried to grow a beard in the past and once I reach the period where it really itches that is when I cannot take it anymore and am forced to shave the beard.

I have tried to grow a beard several times in the past and I can never get past this stage simply because the itchiness is so bad and more importantly it causes me to lose a lot of sleep.

I have heard that if you shave a certain way it will help you to grow you beard out better, but I see this as an old wives tale and that it will not cause the growing beard to be less itchy.

Emilski
Post 1

When I have not shaved for a few days I usually have horrible problems sleeping due to the hairs on my face growing out.

Unfortunately I have absolutely no suggestion to cure a beard that is itchy other than to simply shave it if you are not totally committed to growing a full beard.

It all depends on how fast someone grows a beard, but for me there will be a few day period where it will not itch, followed by several days of itchiness, then once it reaches a certain point it stops itching and that is when you are in the clear growing your beard. Once you get past this point, you have gotten past the worst part in growing a beard and it should no longer itch. If it does there may be a problem.

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