Waxing is one of the treatment options hirsutism (excessive hair growth), a common symptom Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). Waxing is relatively cheap and can be done by yourself at home or in a beauty salon estheticianthe results can last for several weeks.
Despite these benefits, waxing has some disadvantages. It can be painful and can cause breakouts or ingrown hairs. Although rare, it can also cause bruising or skin infections in susceptible people. That said, most of the potential adverse effects caused by hair removal can be prevented or at least mitigated.
Choose a beautician
Because hair removal is a procedure, safety and hygiene are essential. Check references, ask about experience, and confirm that the beautician and facility is fully accredited according to your state’s regulations. A cosmetologist license is required in all states except Connecticut.
This article explains some common hair removal side effects and what you can do about them if they happen to you.
Hair Removal Options for PCOS
Pulling hair from the root can be painful. However, there are things you can do before, during, and after waxing to reduce discomfort.
To reduce pain before waxing, try the following:
- Stop retinoids (acne medications) to reduce the risk of skin damage.
- Take your over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever an hour or two earlier.
- Trim your hair to half an inch to make it easier for the wax to stick.
- Use a hot compress to make hair fall out more easily.
If you are waxing facial hair and regularly use over-the-counter retinoids or prescription retinoid products, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends stopping two to five days before waxing to prevent the skin from being removed along with the hair .
When you anticipate pain, you may inadvertently hold your breath. Unfortunately, holding your breath can make the pain worse. So, practice deep breathing. Simple breathing techniques can reduce anxiety and pain.
Afterwards, applying a cold pack to the painful area and keeping the tub and shower lukewarm can help relieve discomfort.
Also, the friction of tight fabrics can exacerbate post-waxing pain.Tights are also a risk factor folliculitis (See below for information on this situation). Therefore, the clothes should be loose.
Many people find that the more and more often the waxing is done, the less comfortable the process is. However, if this is not the case for you, or you find the pain unbearable, consider other methods of hair removal.
To reduce pain from hair removal, take precautions beforehand, such as stopping retinol, taking pain relievers, trimming your hair, and applying heat. During this process, remember to breathe deeply to encourage relaxation. Afterwards, apply ice, keep your shower warm, and keep your clothes loose.
Comparison of hair removal methods
Folliculitis is a bacterial skin infection that can result from damage to hair follicles. Shaving can also cause it. One study found that folliculitis from hair loss occurs most often on the arms.
According to the AAD, folliculitis usually resolves on its own. Therefore, to help relieve discomfort, apply a warm compress to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day. You also should not wax, shave or pluck for at least 30 days.
Refractory folliculitis may require antibiotics.
Ingrown hairs are a common side effect of almost all hair removal methods. These are tiny hairs that curl back into the skin and continue to grow when not completely removed. This process produces tiny bumps that resemble pimples.
Infection is a possible side effect of ingrown hairs. To prevent them, exfoliate before and after waxing. Exfoliating removes dead skin and debris and helps keep hair pointed in the right direction.
When waxing yourself, pull the strip away from the hair growth. Doing this will help ensure that you get all the hair without leaving any ingrown hairs.
Because waxing removes a very thin layer of skin along with the hair, waxed areas tend to be more exposed to sunlight — this is known as photosensitivity. This sensitivity is especially likely to occur if you take hormonal birth control pills (such as birth control pills).
To prevent the sun from adversely affecting your waxed skin, take extra care to use sunscreen on exposed areas or wear protective clothing outdoors—even on cloudy days.
bruising and bleeding
Although rare, waxing can be traumatic to the skin. Certain people are at higher risk, including:
- Those who have spent a lot of time in the sun lately
- People who have undergone cosmetic surgery (such as dermabrasion)
- People taking bruising-related medications (such as aspirin, blood thinners, or hormonal birth control pills)
- people with certain medical conditions, such as rosacea or phlebitis (inflammation of the veins)
If your skin is already damaged or inflamed, wait until it heals before waxing.
Infections are not a common side effect of waxing. But if the salon or beautician doesn’t pay attention to hygiene — such as not changing waxes or cleaning equipment between appointments — waxing can spread germs from one client to the next.
Symptoms of a skin infection include:
If you experience any of these problems after waxing, see your healthcare provider right away. If it turns out you do have an infection, you can treat it with an antibacterial cream or ointment or oral antibiotics.
People with polycystic ovary syndrome often have excessive hair growth. Waxing is an excellent option for managing unwanted hair. However, it can cause side effects such as pain, infection, and ingrown hairs. To prevent or reduce the risk of side effects, it is important to choose your beautician carefully, prep your skin, and then soothe it.
Expect some pain from waxing. However, waxing will never cause skin trauma. If you notice signs of injury or infection after waxing, contact your healthcare provider right away. You can usually manage skin infections with home care. However, getting medical advice early can help speed up the recovery process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should hair be waxed?
Hair should be between a quarter and three-quarters of an inch in length before waxing. If desired, you can use safety scissors to trim your hair to this length. There is no way to completely prevent pain during hair removal, but shorter hair is easier to remove than longer hair.
How to prevent ingrown hairs after waxing?
To prevent ingrown hairs after epilation, be sure to exfoliate before and after epilation. If you’re seeing a groomer, ask them how long you should wait to exfoliate after hair removal. The best time to exfoliate after waxing may depend on the type of wax used. If you choose to wax yourself, remove the hair in the opposite direction of hair growth.
What post-wax care should I take?
Post-wax treatments may involve pain management and moisturizers to soothe the skin. Wrap the ice pack in a towel and apply it to the waxed area, 15 minutes apart. Then, using an oil-free or non-comedogenic moisturizer, lightly apply to waxed skin.
Do you have an allergic reaction to waxing?
Yes, some people have allergic reactions to waxing. This can come in the form of allergic contact dermatitis caused by rosin (rosin), an ingredient used in many different medicines, cosmetics and household products. You can perform a series of allergy tests to determine an allergic reaction to rosin.