Side-Effects of Waxing
Every method of hair removal has some side-effects and waxing is no exception to it. It is important that you know the side effects of waxing before you try to use this form of hair removal. Waxing is very popular for both men and women. It is quick, inexpensive, and provides longer lasting results than shaving or creams. It can also be used on most parts of the body. Besides removing unwanted hair, waxing is also a form of exfoliation that gets you get rid of dead cells and leaves you with softer, healthier skin.
Although it is a common and effective method of hair removal, there are some side effects to consider. Generally, waxing is very safe. However, there are possible problems that may occur. Some of these issues are very minor, but others can be quite serious, especially if you have sensitive skin or are taking certain medications. In rare cases, waxing should be avoided. But, for most people, the side effects can be reduced or prevented with the proper knowledge and preparation.
Here is a list of some of the possible side effects that you ought you know about.
- Redness and Irritation: This is the most common side effect of waxing. Most people will have at least some redness after the procedure. The amount of irritation will depend on the sensitivity of the skin and the area being treated. For example, bikini waxing usually causes more redness than eyebrow waxing. Not only is the hair being removed from the follicle, but your skin is also being pulled quite hard when the cloth strip is ripped off. This tugging may result in redness and minor swelling.
- Rashes, Bleeding, or Bruising: If you have very sensitive skin, you may develop a slight rash or notice some bruising. There may also be some minor bleeding on more delicate body parts like the bikini area.
- Ingrown Hairs: This is a possible side effect for many forms of hair removal. As a hair regrows, it can curl around and become trapped in the follicle or push sideways into the skin. This is called an ingrown hair. Ingrown hair can cause redness, rashes, or pain. With waxing, hair is removed in the opposite direction of growth. This provides a smoother result, but also increases the chances of ingrown hairs. People with sensitive skin may be more susceptible to it.
- Burns and Discolouration: If the wax is too hot, it can burn your skin. This may result in redness, swelling, or even blisters. Also, using overheated wax can cause dark spots to appear on the skin. This is called post-inflammatory pigmentation. It is more common on certain skin types. In some cases it can take months, or even up to a year, for this pigmentation to fade.
- Infections: At times, an infection can develop on areas where there was bleeding or a lot of irritation. Occasionally, a piece of skin may get torn during waxing and this can become inflamed. In rare cases, a condition called folliculitis may occur. This happens when the hair follicle becomes infected. Sometimes medications are needed to treat this issue. Infections are very rare, but are more common in people who have sensitive skin or health problems such as diabetes. If you are prone to skin infections, you may want to avoid waxing. Infections can also happen if waxing products are unclean or contaminated.
- Allergic Reaction: Some people may have an allergy to the ingredients of the wax. Allergic reactions may vary from very mild to quite severe. If you are new to waxing or if you are trying a new product, it is recommended that you test a small area first.
- Loss of Elasticity: Waxing involves pulling and tugging on the skin. Over time, this action can cause the skin to become less resilient. This loss of elasticity can result in more wrinkles around the time and again treated areas.
How to Prevent the Side Effects of Waxing
While serious problems are rare, almost everyone experiences some level of redness or irritation. However, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent most of these problems.
- Clean Your Skin: Washing your skin before waxing can remove dirt, bacteria, and dead cells. These things can clog your pores during waxing and cause rashes or other irritations.
- Get a Patch Test: Test a small area of your skin first to see how it reacts to the wax. If you are going to a professional waxing salon, ask if you can come in the day before for a patch test.
- Avoid the Sun: You should try to stay away from direct sunlight for at least 24 hours before AND after the procedure. If you cannot avoid it, be sure to use a good sunscreen. If you already recognize it as a problem for the past experience, it is important to stay indoors as much as possible until the skin has healed. In this case, sun exposure may make the problems worse.
- Only Wax Healthy Skin: Do not wax skin that has any cuts, sores, or rashes. Waxing should also be avoided if you have sunburn or any type of skin infection.
- Avoid Waxing if You have Diabetes: Diabetics are more susceptible to many of the side effects of waxing. If you have this medical condition, get your doctor's advice first or choose another form of hair removal.
- Check the Temperature of the Wax before Applying it to Sensitive Areas: Put a little bit of wax on the back of your hand to make sure it isn't too hot. Most salons will keep their wax at a proper temperature, but you must still ask to test it first.
- Apply Cold Compresses or Ice after Waxing: This will help calm the skin and reduce redness. You can also use a skin-soothing lotion.
- Get Professional Advice if You are Taking any Medications: Acne treatments such as Retin A, Differin, and Accutane can make your skin more sensitive. Also, tell your clinician if you are on hormone therapy or antibiotics. If you are using a DIY waxing kit, be sure to talk to your doctor first. Certain medications can affect the skin, and in some cases, waxing should be avoided.
- Tell Your Clinician about Other Skin Treatments You have Had: Botox, microdermabrasion, and facial masks can increase skin sensitivity.
- Wear Light Clothing after Waxing: Delicate areas will be especially irritated. Clothing that rubs against freshly waxed skin can increase the chances of more serious waxing side effects.
- Use a Qualified or Reputable Salon: A trained professional will be able to keep the drawbacks to a minimum. They will also advise you on what to do before and after the procedure. Make sure the salon or clinic you choose is clean. Ask about their hygienic practices and what precautions they take to protect their clients.
Waxing is a quick and easy way to remove unwanted hair. In most cases, it is very safe and side effects are minor. Over time, your skin will become used to waxing and you may have fewer reactions. If you are taking any medications or have health concerns, talk to your doctor before waxing. Any problem that lasts for more than a week or seems to be getting worse should be looked at by a specialised doctor.
Overall, the best way to avoid many of the side effects of waxing is to use a clinician that is trained in this type of hair removal. If you are waxing at home, make sure to carefully follow the guidelines provided in the instruction booklet to avoid and injury or damage to the skin.