- Psoriasis flares can happen anywhere on the body, including the skin on your face and under your beard.
- Keeping your beard clean, using good shaving practices, and choosing the right products can reduce issues.
- Consider your skin type and the ingredients when choosing cleansers, moisturizers, and beard oils.
It’s not uncommon for beard bearers to deal with the occasional bout of irritated skin. But if you also have psoriasis, painful skin flare-ups may be something you know all too well.
The good news? By caring for the skin under your beard, you can reduce the red, itchy, irritated patches associated with psoriasis.
Having a beard means you need to spend extra time on your skin care routine, especially if you have scalp or facial psoriasis.
Keep it clean
When caring for a beard, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says it’s critical that you wash your face and beard daily with a gentle cleanser (not soap) that matches your skin type.
Here are a few guidelines:
- If you have oily skin, stick with a cleanser that has salicylic or glycolic acid.
- Dry skin types should opt for a hydrating, fragrance-free cleanser.
- If you feel a burning sensation when cleaning your skin, stick to a creamy facial cleanser for sensitive skin.
After cleansing, make sure to moisturize the skin beneath your beard. A beard conditioner is best for acne-prone skin, while a beard oil is more suitable for normal to dry skin.
Exfoliate and groom as needed
If you have ingrown hairs, include a gentle exfoliating scrub into your routine at least one to two times per week.
And finally, make sure to groom your beard with a beard comb.
When it comes time to shave, a few tips make for a better experience:
- Wet your skin and beard hair first.
- Apply shaving cream or gel for sensitive skin.
- When shaving, follow the direction the hair grows.
- Try to rinse the blade after each swipe.
- And don’t forget to apply beard oil, beard conditioner, or beard moisturizer immediately after shaving to help lock in moisture.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated condition that causes inflammation in the body, which leads to an increase in skin cell growth. When this happens, you may notice scales on your skin and raised plaques that can itch, burn, or sting.
Although psoriasis can appear on any part of your body, it commonly flares-up on the:
The skin on your face and neck is very sensitive. Because of this, you need to be careful when choosing and applying products.
You’re also dealing with the hair of your beard, so you may have some luck in using treatments designed for scalp psoriasis, like shampoos or creams.
Products that treat psoriasis are either over-the-counter (OTC) or available by prescription from a doctor.
Consider the ingredients
In general, OTC products for psoriasis contain one of two active ingredients: salicylic acid and coal tar. Although many topicals have other ingredients, these two are approved by the Federal Drug Administration for treating psoriasis.
Salicylic acid can help remove and soften skin scales. Follow the directions when applying products with salicylic acid, though. Too much may actually worsen psoriasis symptoms.
Coal tar is an active ingredient in both OTC products and prescription drugs. It works by reducing itching, flaking, redness, swelling, and scaling.
That said, it can also irritate your skin. The AAD recommends testing it out on a small area first to see how your skin responds.
Pine tar is another ingredient you may find in products for psoriasis. While not as common as coal tar, pine tar may help reduce redness, irritation, and inflammation associated with facial psoriasis, according to a
You may find this used as an ingredient in some beard oil products, like Beard Oil by Mountaineer Brand.
Talk with your doctor about corticosteroids
Topical corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, are available over-the-counter. Your doctor may recommend using this short-term to reduce the severity of mild facial psoriasis.
If your psoriasis is more severe, you may need a prescription corticosteroid.
Address the symptoms
If you’re battling itchy skin, consider an FDA-approved product for treating itch, such as:
Moisturizers are a critical part of your skin care routine. To reduce itchy, red skin, you’ll want to keep it lubricated with a heavy cream, ointment, or oil.
The National Psoriasis Foundation mentions ingredients like jojoba oil, aloe vera, and zinc pyrithione to help soothe, moisturize, and remove scales resulting from psoriasis.
Look for the Seal of Recognition
When shopping for products for psoriasis, look for the National Psoriasis Foundation Seal of Recognition. Products carrying this label are more likely to be nonirritating and safe to use if you have psoriatic disease.
To find a product safe to use on your beard and the skin under your beard, you can search this database by category, brand, and type. For example, CeraVe Psoriasis Cleanser and Cream are two products recommended for psoriatic skin.
- Fragrance. If you have sensitive skin or irritation from psoriasis, avoid products that contain a fragrance. Look for labels that say “fragrance-free.”
- Alcohol. Also, avoid lotions, moisturizers, or cleansers that contain alcohol since it can dry your skin and worsen psoriasis symptoms.
- Harsh scrubs. Avoid scrubs that may be too harsh for your skin.
The skin under your beard is hard to see. This can make it difficult to know if there are any problems.
That said, if your skin feels itchy, dry, or painful, or you can see red, raised patches, it might be time to reach out to the doctor.
Unexplained hair loss is another sign to consider. Although hair loss isn’t always a problem, it could indicate that something else is going on.
Some psoriasis symptoms are manageable through home remedies. But you should make an appointment with a doctor if your flare-ups are:
- getting worse
- increasingly painful
A board certified dermatologist can recommend products to manage psoriasis and care for your beard.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that can cause:
- flaky skin
If you have a beard, properly caring for the skin under your beard as well as beard hair can help reduce skin flare-ups caused by psoriasis.
OTC products like gentle skin cleansers, heavy moisturizers, and beard oils may help manage psoriasis symptoms.
However, if your flare-ups are getting worse, it might be time to talk with your doctor or a board certified dermatologist.