The rise of popularity in cosmetically ridding yourself of unwanted hair has led to the development of many hair removal treatments. Among which, waxing maintains a steadfast loyalty for its ability to deliver smooth-skinned results for a long time.
Every method of hair removal has some potential side-effects and waxing is no exception. As with all cosmetic treatments, this depends entirely on the individual to a certain extent. But it is also possible to help prevent certain side-effects by taking good care of the skin to be waxed.
Waxing remains popular because it is quick, inexpensive, and provides longer lasting results than shaving or hair removal creams. Much has been done in recent years to help make it as painless as possible now too. It can be used on most parts of the body and is as common among men as well as women nowadays. Besides removing unwanted hair, waxing is also a form of exfoliation that helps you get rid of dead cells and leaves you with softer, healthier skin afterward.
There are typically two forms of waxing: known as hot and cold waxing. To remove hair from a certain area, sticky wax is administered on the skin, and a paper strip or piece of cloth is pressed over it. Then in a fast movement, the cloth or paper is ripped away in the opposite direction of the hair growth. This method removes the hair follicles direct from the roots. If kept up with regularly, waxing can reduce hair growth quite significantly.
Although it is a common and effective method of hair removal, there are still some side effects to consider and be aware of in advance. Generally, waxing is very safe. However, there are some potential 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.
It is important to learn about the side effects of waxing before you try to use this form of hair removal. As you’ll gain the best results by caring for your skin appropriately. In rare cases, waxing should be avoided altogether. But, for most people the side effects can be reduced or prevented with the proper knowledge and preparation.
Possible Side-Effects with Waxing
Here is a list of some of the possible side-effects with waxing that you ought you know about.
Here is a list of some of the possible side-effects with waxing that you ought you know about.
1. Redness and Irritation: This is the most common side-effect of waxing. Most people will see 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. The skin in this area is particularly sensitive as opposed to the skin on your face which is hardened by weather and and the environment. Not only is the hair being removed from the follicle, but your skin is pulled quite hard when the cloth strip is ripped off. This tugging may result in redness and minor swelling.
2. Loss of Skin Elasticity: Over waxing can cause the skin to lose some of its suppleness and elasticity which can lead to the appearance of wrinkles.
3. Rashes, Bleeding or Bruising: If you have very sensitive skin, you may develop a slight rash or notice some bruising after the treatment. There may also be some minor bleeding from some hair follicles on more delicate body parts like the bikini area.
4. Ingrown Hairs: This is a possible side-effect for many forms of hair removal. As a hair regrows, it becomes less dense and it can curl around becoming trapped in the. This is called an ingrown hair. Ingrown hairs can cause redness, rashes or become painful spot-like pimples. 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 them too.
5. Burns and Discolouration: If the wax is applied too hot for your skin, it can cause a mild burn. 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 and tones. In some cases, it can take months or even up to a year, for this pigmentation to fade.
6. 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 antibiotic medication is 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.
7. Allergic Reaction: Some people may have an allergy to the ingredients of the wax used by the cosmetic technician. 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 whenever you visit a new salon.
How to Prevent the Side Effects of Waxing
While serious problems are rare, almost everyone experiences some level of redness or irritation post-waxing. Much of this soreness will ease after a couple of hours following the treatment. Moisturizing creams and cold compresses can also help soothe the treated area.
However, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent most of these problems.
1. Clean Your Skin:
Washing your skin before waxing can exfoliate dirt, bacteria, and dead cells. These things can clog your pores during waxing and cause rashes or other irritations.
2. Get a Patch Test:
Test a small area of your skin first to see how it reacts to the wax. Always get a wax patch test if the salon you are visiting is using a new brand of wax you haven’t tried before or if you have never been there previously for waxing treatments.
3. Avoid the Sun:
You should try to stay away from direct sunlight for at least 24 hours before AND after the waxing procedure. If you cannot avoid it, be sure to use a good sunscreen. If you already recognize it as a problem from past experience, it is important to stay indoors as much as possible until the skin has healed. It is important to note that sun exposure can make many of the side-effects of waxing listed above much worse.
4. Only Wax Healthy Skin:
Do not wax skin that already has any cuts, sores or rashes over the area. You will only aggravate the sore skin further. Waxing should also be avoided if you have sunburn or any type of skin infection.
5. Avoid Waxing if You Have Diabetes:
Diabetics are more susceptible to many of the side-effects of waxing as outlined above. If you have this medical condition, get your doctor's advice first or choose another form of hair removal treatment.
6. 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 may still ask to test it first if you are concerned. If you are waxing at home, it is important not to overheat the wax yourself.
7. Apply Cold Compresses or Ice after Waxing:
This will help calm the skin and reduce redness or irritation. You can also use a skin-soothing lotion. Lean towards moisturizers that are unperfumed or fragrance-free as artificial fragrances in creams can further irritate the sore area.
8. Get Professional Advice if You are Taking any Medications:
Acne treatments such as Retin A, Differin, and Accutane can make your skin more sensitive than normal. Also, tell your cosmetic 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 about any possible reactions. Certain medications can affect the skin, and in some cases, waxing should be avoided.
9. Tell Your Clinician about Other Skin Treatments You Have Had:
Botox, microdermabrasion, and facial masks can increase skin sensitivity. Be sure to inform the salon if you have had any other procedures in the area you wish to have waxed as this may affect the results.
10. 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.
11. Avoid Products:
Other than soothing lotions, it is best to avoid products such as make-up, perfume or deodorant that will further irritate the waxed area post-treatment.
12. Use a Qualified or Reputable Salon:
A trained professional will be able to keep the drawbacks and side-effects 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, professional and high-quality. 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 getting any area waxed. Any problem that lasts for more than a week or seems to be getting worse should be looked at by a specialised skin doctor.
Overall, the best way to avoid many of the side-effects of waxing is to visit 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.