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"Barbers may help men of color spot hair follicle problems"- Lisa Rapaport

  • Reuters
  • New York, NY
  • (November 03, 2017)

Barbers may be able to recognize hair follicle problems that are common in men of color and advise them on how to shave to avoid irritation or complications, a small study suggests. Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB), also known as razor bumps, is a common problem African American men in particular can face due to the texture of their hair. Most barbers also knew that razor use would aggravate PFB and another type of hair follicle problem known as acne keloidalis nuchae (AKN) that develops at the back of the head and neck. Early detection and treatment can keep both types of hair follicle problems from getting worse, and barbers are well positioned to help men catch issues early, said Dr. Andrew Alexis, a dermatology researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City who wasn’t involved in the study. He states, “Severe cases can result in keloids (large elevated scars), severe discoloration, drainage of pus, and other disfiguring features.” By detecting these problems early, this can reduce the risk of these occurrences.

- Andrew Alexis, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, The Skin of Color Center at Mount Sinai, Site Chair, Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Mount Sinai West

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