Barber’s itch also known as sycosis barbae is a staphylococcal infection of hair follicles of the beared area in an adult. It is usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and becomes aggravated by shaving or rough fabrics. The infection is usually characterized by a small-white pus-filled pimple around the tiny pockets of one or more hair follicles. It is usually mild, however, itching can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. On some occasions, it is painful too.
CAUSES OF BARBER’S ITCH
Usually, barber's itch is caused by some Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The bacterial invasion mostly occurs when you have damaged hair follicles. Damaged hair follicles can be caused by the following
- Excessive shaving or tight clothing,
- Excessive sweating
SYMPTOMS OF BARBER’S ITCH
Barber's itch is usually marked by an itchy, small white pus-filled pimple in the beard area of the face. It usually occurs when men begin shaving that causes scarring and makes the skin susceptible to bacterial invasion and infection. Small pustules appear at first on the upper lip, chin and jaw, then become more prevalent as shaving continues.
MANAGEMENT FOR BARBER’S ITCH
In patients with acute inflammation, shaving should be stopped. Shaving an irregular skin surface due to the presence of the papules leads to more irritation. When ingrown hairs are few, the trapped hairs may be removed with the use of a sterile needle. Cessation of shaving may lead to a temporary increase in symptoms for the first few days, however this gradually improves over time.
The use of electric hair clippers for shaving has been associated with a reduction in the occurrence of PFB and is currently being used for shaving both facial and scalp hair in men. The use of pre- and post-shave care may further reduce the occurrence of PFB in those who shave with clippers.
HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR BARBER’S ITCH:
SULPHUR IODIDE -Sulphur iodide is an excellent remedy for barber’s itch. It is prescribed when popular eruptions are face and the hair feels as if erect.
CALCAREA SULPH -Calcarea Sulph is one of the best Homeopathic medicine for Barber’s itch where the indicating feature is pimples under the beard that discharge blood when scratched. These pimples are tender to the touch. Calcarea Sulph is also indicated in case of eruptions in the beard covered with yellowish or greenish scabs. For pustular eruptions in beard discharging yellowish pus, Calcarea Sulph is one of the best Homeopathic medicines for Barber’s itch.
CICUTA VIROSA - Cicuta virosa is prescribed when Barber’s itch occurs due to shaving. The exudation forms in to a hard lemon coloured crust
GRAPHITES -Graphites is an effective Homeopathic medicine for Barber’s itch with pimples in the beard that ooze sticky discharge. This is followed by crust formation. Heat worsens the eruptions. Burning and stinging in the eruptions is observed. Falling of hair from the beard may also be noted.
LITHIUM CARBONICUM - Lithium carb is prescribed for Barber’s itch when scabby, tettery eruptions on cheeks preceded by red raw skin.
PHYTOLACCA DEC. -Phytolacca dec.is an effective remedy for Barber’s itch with red or dark inflamed spots.Phytolacca dec. is prescribed when pale or dark red inflamed spots in the beard is present.The spots are attended with itching. Washing worsens the inflammation. The skin in the beard area feels dry.
PETROLEUM -Petroleum is another effective remedy for Barber’s itch. It is prescribed when the skin is dry, sensitive, rough and cracked. The cracks bleed easily.
TELLURIUM - Tellurium is effective for Barber’s itch. It is prescribed when ring like eruptions occurs with offensive odour from the affected part. There is stinging pain on the affected part.
RHUS TOXICODENDRON -Rhus Tox is one of the most suitable Homeopathic medicines for Barber’s itch cases where the beard area is covered with moist eruptions with thick scabs. Suppuration in eruptions may be noted. It is attended with itching. Washing with hot water may bring relief. Sweating worsens the itching as also rubbing the eruptions.