Typically when a person talks about skin care, cosmetic procedures, or anything related to beauty – they almost always gear it towards women.
Why is that?
Don’t men have to look good too?
Well, here at Advanced Dermatology P.C. we feel a little guilty about neglecting the male gender. Skin care is for everyone, and we fully embrace that idea in all of our offices.
Gentlemen, we apologize…This post is all yours!
So let’s chat about a familiar feature among men…facial hair. There has been an increased trend of men forgoing the clean shave and opting for a more rugged look. It seems to be that the more facial hair you have the better!
While they look fantastic, keeping up with maintenance is extremely important to prevent getting acne, skin irritation, or rashes. One of the most common areas acne forms are around hair follicles. These follicles regularly shed dead skin; when the dead skin combines with sebum it can clog pores. Sebum is an oil that comes from the sebaceous gland found right alongside hair follicles. While hormones like Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) help hair grow, this also allows for the formation of more sebaceous glands. Once the two combine they form comedones (better known as white and black heads). Bacteria formation is also quite common, thriving in clogged follicles bacteria grow and multiply, creating pustules. Infection and inflammation are typical outcome from bacteria forming in the follicles.
Avoid the Agony:
Simple maintenance can be done to prevent bacteria or any kind of acne from forming.
- Wash with shampoo (Nothing harsh that can irritate your skin) Following up with a conditioner is optional
- Pat your beard dry
- Comb through completely with a wide tooth comb, follow up with a brush if you wish.
Unless you’re planning on fully going caveman there will be times when it is necessary for a razor to be used for general up-keep. Shaving especially if not done correctly, or with the right tools can have adverse effects. Moral of the story: Get the right tools! Try using a store that specializes in hair and beauty to ensure you are getting the best quality.
Speaking of tools, the type of razor you use is extremely important, much irritation comes from using multi-blade razors. Opt for an electric razor, the shave may not be as close as you want it to be but you can avoid irritation this way. Or try a safety razor, the single blade is great for preventing skin irritation and in-grown hairs.
A common problem for men with curly or coarse hair is in-grown hairs, hair that has curled and grown back into your skin versus growing outward; when your pores are clogged it causes the hair to grow in different directions. They typically look like raised red bumps (sort of like a pimple), for men particularly they pop up in bunches after shaving the chin, cheek, or neck, you know this as razor burns. Typically an ingrown hair will go away on its own, but sometimes you may need to seek help from a dermatologist who can make a small incision to release the trapped hair – that is only necessary if the area is starting to become infected. Scarring can also occur if you pick at the area trying to release the hair yourself.
Whichever razor you do choose to get always remember to sanitize, try soaking it in alcohol 30 minutes to an hour before use.
Visit The Art of Shaving for quality products and great tips for at home grooming and shaving.
If you do come upon irritation and swelling over the counter topical treatments are always available. But sometimes it might be more than you can handle yourself. This is where the professionals step in, if you find that you are forming severe acne or skin irritation, seek assistance from a dermatologist, there are options! You can be prescribed topical creams and washes, or in more severe cases the doctor may ask you to consider a laser treatment.
Popular laser treatments include:
- Acleara laser: The combination treatment not only targets existing acne like black heads, but it works to eliminate acne causing bacteria. The results of this short 10-15 minute procedure can be seen after just one treatment. Of course depending on the severity of the acne, multiple treatments may be required.
- Fraxel: This laser resurfaces the skin to remove different kinds of skin damage. The treatment is great for getting rid of acne scars, large pores and irregular skin pigmentation among other things. You begin seeing results within 24-hours of the treatment.
- Others: Apogee Laser and Pixel CO2 Laser