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Eczema on the beard: how to alleviate it?

Eczema is a skin condition that can cause a certain level of discomfort to the person suffering from it. Most of the time, it appears on the face and can even manifest itself in the beard area in men. When this is the case, how can it be alleviated?

Summary
Published February 8, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

How does eczema manifest itself in the beard area?

Theeczema is an inflammatory skin disease that can manifest almost anywhere on the body. Therefore, it sometimes happens that the swollen red and scaly lesions characteristic of eczema appear under the beard, which can be bothersome. These red patches are accompanied by itching, which can be exacerbated by beard growth. Indeed, when the hairs are very short, they can irritate the skin of the face.

We can distinguish several forms of eczema, the most common being atopic eczema and contact eczema. The former is due to a malfunction of the skin barrier that easily allows allergens to pass through. Moreover, individuals with atopic dermatitis secrete a large amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE) in response to environmental antigens, resulting in disproportionate allergic reactions. Contact eczema, on the other hand, is not dependent on genetics but is the result of an allergic reaction of the skin to a specific environmental allergen. Avoidance of this allergen is sufficient to prevent the recurrence of contact eczema.

Some advice to soothe eczema in the beard area.

Beard eczema is neither dangerous nor contagious. However, it can be very bothersome, whether due to its appearance or the itching it causes. To soothe it, the first instinct should be to consult a dermatologist. They will be able to determine whether your eczema is allergic or atopic in nature.

In the first instance, the doctor will conduct a series of patch tests to identify the responsible substance. It will then be sufficient to remove this from your daily routine and ensure your skin is well hydrated for the eczema to disappear. Cortisone creams prescribed by the dermatologist can also assist you.

If your eczema is of the atopic type, rest assured that you can still maintain your beard, it will simply require a slight adjustment to your habits. Here are some tips in this regard.

  • Opt for shaving after showering, as the heat and moisture soften and weaken the hair, making it easier to shave. This also reduces the risk of tugging and cuts.

  • Opt for manual shaving over electric, as it is gentler and allows you to minimise micro-cuts.

  • During shaving, always use a shaving foam or gel to protect your skin.

  • Rinse thoroughly after each shave.

  • After shaving, avoid treatments containing alcohol, as is the case with many after-shave lotions.

  • Hydrate your skin after shaving using an emollient to soothe it.

  • At the onset of an eczema flare-up, apply the dermocorticoid prescribed by your dermatologist to your beard. This will result in a less severe and shorter eczema outbreak.

Sources

  • GOLDENBERG G. & al. Eczema. The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine (2011).

  • BORRADORI L. & al. Dermatologie et infections sexuellement transmissibles. Elsevier Masson (2017).

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