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Most Barbers Can Identify Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

THURSDAY, Oct. 19, 2017 -- Barbers can identify pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) and acne keloidalis nuchae (AKN) and advise patients on management, according to a research letter published online Oct. 18 in JAMA Dermatology.

Prince Adotama, M.D., from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in Oklahoma City, and colleagues surveyed barbers serving predominantly African-American clientele. Each barber answered 20 questions and then was given an educational pamphlet about PFB and AKN, which showed digital images of the conditions and described how to manage them and when to refer clients to a dermatologist.

The researchers found that 78 percent of the 50 barbers enrolled properly identified PFB, while only 44 percent were able to identify AKN from a photograph. Sixteen and 30 percent confused PFB and AKN with tinea barbae. Overall, 58 and 46 percent of barbers indicated that they avoid cutting the hair of clients who have PFB and AKN, respectively. Ninety-four and 98 percent knew that razor use would aggravate AKN and PFB, respectively. Thirty-eight and 52 percent of barbers advised clients with PFB and AKN, respectively, to never shave at home; 44 and 28 percent, respectively, counseled clients to shave with clippers at home; recommendations for chemical depilatories were not favored.

"The dermatologic community can offer appropriate guidance so that barbers can become a unique ally in recognizing and treating PFB and AKN," the authors write.

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Posted: October 2017