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Pseudofolliculitis barbae
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Pseudofolliculitis barbae

Contributors: Rajini Murthy MD, Callyn Iwuala BA, Oyetewa Oyerinde MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Pseudofolliculitis barbae, commonly known as "shaving bumps," is a chronic inflammatory disease of hair-bearing areas incited by shaving. It frequently occurs among populations where naturally curly hair is common. The close shaving of curly hair causes the hair to penetrate the wall of the follicle and extend into the dermis as it grows back or curves back on itself and pierces the skin, such as with an ingrown hair. The condition is more common among Black men, particularly policemen and military personnel, who may be required to be clean shaven.

Methods of close shaving that predispose to the development of pseudofolliculitis barbae include using razors with multiple blades, plucking hairs with tweezers, shaving against the grain of hair growth, and pulling the skin taut while shaving. Pseudofolliculitis barbae is primarily a cosmetic concern, but it can lead to scarring, infection, hyperpigmentation, and keloid formation.

Pseudofolliculitis pubis is a similar condition that occurs in the genital area after pubic hair is shaved. Shaving of the axillae may cause a similar condition.

Codes

ICD10CM:
L73.1 – Pseudofolliculitis barbae

SNOMEDCT:
399205006 – Pseudofolliculitis barbae

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Bacterial folliculitis is rarely chronic and is usually not scarring. The pustules of pseudofolliculitis barbae are intraepidermal, whereas those of folliculitis are intra-infundibular.
  • Tinea barbae presents with more confluent lesions rather than isolated papules and improves with shaving.
  • Acne vulgaris usually presents with open and closed comedones.
  • Herpes folliculitis – Follicular extension of herpes simplex virus infection. This would be acute and appear focal and unilaterally.
  • Sarcoidosis usually develops into larger papules and plaques. Dermal lesions are not follicularly  centered.
  • Majocchi granuloma
  • Immunosuppression-related eosinophilic pustular folliculitis
  • Fox-Fordyce disease should be considered in the differential diagnosis of axillary or pubic papules.

Best Tests

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Therapy

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References

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Last Reviewed:02/09/2022
Last Updated:02/10/2022
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Pseudofolliculitis barbae
A medical illustration showing key findings of Pseudofolliculitis barbae : Cheek, Chin, Neck, Erythematous
Clinical image of Pseudofolliculitis barbae - imageId=60574. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Perifollicular papules and pustules in the beard area.'
Perifollicular papules and pustules in the beard area.
Copyright © 2022 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.