Beard Burn: How to Prevent & Quickly Treat at Home

Did your make-out session give you beard burn? The simple fact is that mustaches, goatees, and beards can irritate skin. If you’ve ever had an intimate moment ruined by beard burn (aka “stache rash”), then you know exactly how painful it can be.

If you already have red, irritated patch of skin from beard contact then keep reading for some helpful advice and treatment tips.

Prevent Beard Burn

What is beard burn?

Beard burn is a common skin irritation resulting when coarse facial hair rubs against another’s skin causing the minor abrasion. Dermatologists refer to the condition as “contact dermatitis” and the result is typically a red bumpy rash. Beard contact often occurs while kissing some with a beard.

How do you get beard burn?

Beard burn irritation happens when kissing your partner and brushing against the stiff facial hair. The friction from the beard hair mildly scrapes (burns) your partner’s skin, causing the red irritation that’s often red and slightly inflamed.

How Long Does Beard Burn Last?

While it’s not as bad as razor burn, beard burn can be itchy and temporarily painful. However, it’s easily treatable and won’t last for long.

In most cases, the burned area shouldn’t last more than a few days, but depending on your skin type, or if you have sensitive skin, it can last up to a week or more.

However, doctors note that in extreme cases, they’ve seen beard burn last for up to 3 weeks. If that’s you consult your physician.


If kissing too closely with a beard gives you or your partner a rash, you may need to shave off your beard, especially if either of you suffers from “contact dermatitis.”

Beard burn is classified as prominent skin irritation, resulting in red skin, painful tingly sensations, and even red bumps.

Treatments for Beard Burn
Beard burn is common if your partner has facial hair.

However, beards brushing against your skin won’t make you break out in pimples. Instead, you may see a patch of small red bumps from pores being irritated by the rubbing of stiff whiskers against you.

Treat at Home

Beard burn is treatable at-home and doesn’t require a doctor, unless it’s something else. Just remember that only severe cases cause ingrown hairs, red bumps and inflammation, likely from beard hair scratching against skin for too long. Moisturizers, night creams and proper skin care can prevent the burn from getting worse.

So how can you heal beard burn fast? These post make-out treatments should provide you with quick relief from itchiness and irritation.

Moisturizing Creams

Dermatologists recommend using moisturizer to soothe these patches on your face. CeraVe or any other face moisturizer can do the trick.

Aloe Vera

Soothing for sunburns and rashes, aloe vera gels and creams work wonders for a small patch of irritated skin.

Hydrocortisone Creams

If you have a more severe case of beard burn, try an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream as it soothes itchiness, redness, and inflammation. Vanicream is a 1% hydrocortisone treatment that works for this purpose.


Beard burn can also cause problems for genitalia due to oral sex and beard contact. With this type of irritation, it’s important to use safe products like Vaseline that won’t exacerbate the situation.


To avoid beard burn, men with beards need to take breaks while kissing and even consider growing their beard hair longer if the whiskers are too stiff. You may also want to apply beard oil to soften your beard hair.

Stubble beards can cause a rash to form with just a small rub against the face.

Kissing Tips

When kissing a man with a beard, it’s important to stop when hair brushes too much on the skin, creating a burning, painful sensation.

Couple kissing slowly to avoid beard burn.
Stop or adjust your kissing if the beard is causing a burning sensation.

The good news is with the remedies above, you can quickly get rid of beard burn, so it’s not permanent and doesn’t require medical attention.

In some cases, if beard burn continues to be an issue, the beard may have to go completely. However, you must clean-shave and remove all stubble, which is the primary cause.

Avoid These Burning Mistakes

Dermatologists don’t recommend any of the following to treat beard burn:

  • Topical antibiotics like Neosporin or Bacitracin
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Skin powders
  • Baby wipes

Is it Contagious?

The bottom line is that you can’t spread beard burn. It only occurs from stiff beard hair contact against your skin.

So if your partner has a stubbly beard or stiff whiskers that hurt when you kiss, you’ll likely notice some redness and irritation.

When to See a Doctor

Beard burn presents differently than an STD. Typically, you’ll notice a patch of red skin immediately, whereas STDs take a few days or weeks to display any symptoms. In addition, herpes bumps are much larger and more painful than beard burn.

If you notice the bumps don’t go away after 24 hours or look more like pimply pustules, seek medical attention immediately.

By Eric Melillo

I'm the co-owner of B&B. I live in Guilford, Connecticut and I've been obsessed with bald & beard styles & trends for over 20 years..