Side Effects of Waxing

Waxing is an effective and popular hair removal method that removes hair from the roots. It can be used to remove unwanted hair from any part of the body including facial hair. Though it can’t remove hair permanently like laser and electrolysis hair removal systems, it is comparatively an easier and less expensive option, for which its popularity has increased rapidly.

There are usually two types of waxing, hot and cold waxing. For removing hair from a particular area, sticky wax is applied on that area and a piece of cloth or a paper strip is pressed over it. Then with a quick and rapid movement, the cloth or paper is ripped off in the opposite direction of the hair growth. In this way, it removes the hair from the root and not superficially like hair removal creams. Prolonged use of waxing can result in a considerable reduction in hair growth. However, this easy and quick method of hair removal has certain major side effects which should be taken into consideration.

Waxing Dangers

It can sometimes produce some serious side effects, especially on sensitive skins and in certain medical conditions. First of all, this process of hair removal is very painful, especially for the first few times.
Loss of Skin Elasticity: An important side effect of waxing is loss of suppleness and elasticity of the skin, which over a period of time can result in the appearance of wrinkles.
Pigmentation: Pigmentation or darkening of skin, may also occur in certain skin types.
Skin Rashes: Skin rashes and redness of the skin, are some of the common side effects which are experienced by almost everyone. However, they usually do not lead to any serious conditions, and subside after some time.
Skin Irritation: In highly sensitive skins, it can cause irritation, minor bleeding and development of pustules. It may disturb the hair follicles and change the direction of hair growth, as the strip of cloth or paper is pulled back, against the direction of hair growth.
Ingrown Hair: Ingrown hair or hair that curls or grows sideways into the skin, is the common result of waxing, which can occasionally cause inflammation of the area and pain.
Burns: In the case of hot wax, skin darkening and burns may occur if the wax is overly heated.
Folliculitis: Folliculitis is another side effect which is characterized by the inflammation and infection of the hair follicles and may require medical treatment.
It is especially not recommended for patients of diabetes or people afflicted by varicose veins, as it can cause infections. It also should not be applied on chapped or broken skin, and the areas with pimples, moles or rashes. People on certain medications like Retin-A, Renova, Differin or Isotretinoin, should also avoid waxing. Many physicians have also expressed their concerns regarding pubic hair removal by waxing, as the hair provides the necessary protection to the highly sensitive skin and mucous membrane of the genital region.

An advantage of waxing is that it exfoliates the skin, i.e. it removes the dead cells from the skin besides removing hair. In order to avoid side effects, you should take adequate care and protection. As it generally causes irritation and redness, you should immediately apply ice on the affected area. Applying moisturizers can also be helpful in soothing the irritated and inflamed skin. In case of ingrown hair, you can scrub the area with a facial scrub or pumice stone while taking a shower. However, if it produces allergic reactions and serious skin rashes or scarring, you should immediately consult a dermatologist. Though you can perform waxing at home, it is better to get it done by a professional or a licensed cosmetologist, as he/she can do it efficiently, quickly and without causing much pain and irritation.

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