How Is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae Diagnosed?

Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a common skin condition that many adults will face at some point in their lives. With so many people affected, you might wonder how it is diagnosed.

Pseudofolliculitis barbae is typically diagnosed by physical examination by a licensed healthcare provider, such as a doctor or advanced nurse practitioner. Medical tests, including studying skin tissue samples under a microscope in a laboratory, may also aid in the physician’s diagnosis. 

So how does a doctor examine pseudofolliculitis barbae? And how can someone find a physician to treat this problem? Read on to find out.

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How Pseudofolliculitis Is Barbae Diagnosed

Anyone who shaves is at risk of developing "shave bumps," "razor bumps," or ingrown hairs. But African American men are affected most. Studies show that between 45% and 83% of African American men who shave will develop pseudofolliculitis barbae. Men of other ethnicities and women too can experience this problem. It most often appears in the face but can also show up under the arms, in the bikini area, or the legs.

Physicians or practitioners can diagnose pseudofolliculitis barbae by physical examination at a simple doctor's visit. With any physician encounter, the first part of the diagnosis will be an interview. 

The doctor will ask the patient questions to figure out what is wrong or what the complaint is. Some common questions a provider might ask when diagnosing pseudofolliculitis barbae are:

  • What symptoms are you experiencing?
  • When did they start?
  • How have you tried to relieve the symptoms?

In addition to taking a history, the doctor will observe the skin for any changes. Small red bumps, tenderness, and itching are all signs that could alert the doctor to a possible diagnosis of pseudofolliculitis barbae. 

How To Find a Doctor for Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

Finding a doctor for pseudofolliculitis barbae is easier than ever. A dermatology or skin specialist referral may not be necessary. Many primary care doctors can diagnose and treat this problem with a quick check-up. 

There is also good news for patients who do not have a doctor. When someone doesn't have a doctor or is unsure how to find one, a virtual physician is a great option. Online doctor visits are often less expensive than going to a doctor's office. And in many cases, patients can book them faster. Most virtual physicians offer convenient appointment times, and some even have same-day bookings.

Whether online or in-person, it is best to contact the doctor and ask for an appointment to evaluate a skin condition. Give the doctor as much information as possible. If you think it's pseudofolliculitis barbae, then let the provider know when you book your visit.

Summary

A licensed healthcare provider is the only one who can say for sure if a skin rash might be a case of pseudofolliculitis barbae or something more serious. Luckily, an appointment to see a physician can be simple and inexpensive. Relief may be as close as a phone call or video visit today.

Connect with Our Board-Certified Physicians

Our caring experts can help answer your skin questions. To meet a top board-certified physician, book an appointment today. 

Sources

  1. Goldstein, A., Goldstein, B. (2019, April 19). Pseudofolliculitis barbae. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/pseudofolliculitis-barbae#H87492034
  2. Levinbook, W. (2020, November). Pseudofolliculitis barbae. Merck Manual. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/hair-disorders/pseudofolliculitis-barbae#v38068013

November 30, 2021
Sarah Falcone BSN, RN

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