What It Really Means When Your Beard Itches

Often thicker and more coarse than the hair on other areas of the body, beard hair falls into the category of androgenic hair — the growth of which is influenced by fluctuations in androgen hormones, such as testosterone (via Insider).

If you find yourself experiencing an itchy beard, it could be the result of dry skin from everyday irritants, such as weather changes or topical products including soaps, creams, and lotions (via MedicalNewsToday). In other cases, it may be due to the growth of the beard itself. As hair regrows after shaving, its pointed edge can scratch the follicle, prompting an itching sensation. In particular, those prone to ingrown hairs may experience itchiness predominantly during the stubble phase (via the American Academy of Dermatology Association). In this event, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Anthony Rossi suggests using a gentle exfoliating scrub up to 2 times per week and advises always shaving in the same direction as hair growth. 

However, if your itchy beard can't be attributed to shaving, weather, or the use of skincare products, it may be due to a medical condition.

How to avoid an itchy beard

One such condition that can cause beard-itching is folliculitis (via MedicalNewsToday). This inflammation of the hair follicles is often brought on by a staph bacteria infection (via the Mayo Clinic) but can also occur from parasites, ingrown hairs, or viral or fungal infections. Symptoms include redness, tenderness, the development of white-headed pimples, or crusty sores.

Seborrheic eczema is another condition that can prompt an itchy beard, particularly in those with oily skin (via MedicalNewsToday). In addition to itching, individuals with seborrheic eczema may also experience redness, flakes, or the development of yellow, oily scales. In the event that your itchy beard is due to a medical condition, a doctor can prescribe oral, topical, or surgical treatment options.

To keep scratching at bay, Healthline suggests rinsing your beard daily with warm water and couple it with a beard cleanser. You'll want to shower every day or two, but be sure to keep shower times short, as overly hot water can cause dry skin and lead to itchiness, according to MedicalNewsToday. Conditioning your beard with products containing jojoba or argan oils can also help prevent skin irritation. Lastly, when it comes to shaving, allow beard hair enough time to grow out past the follicle to reduce damage or discomfort.