Bikini Wax Problems

Dear Laurel:  I am going on vacation in a few weeks and would like to get a bikini wax beforehand. I have had them done in the past and haven’t had a problem, but the last time I went, I noticed a couple of small bruises. Although they went away rather quickly, I’m concerned that it may happen again. Can you tell me what causes this and what I can do to prevent it from happening again? 
Lisa ~ Woburn

Dear Lisa: One of the most noticeable waxing side effects is some degree of redness or inflammation. This usually occurs right after waxing, especially for those with more sensitive skin, but usually subsides quickly throughout the day. Waxing entails not only pulling hair out of the follicle, but it also tugs at the skin, so some minor irritation is expected. Bruising after waxing is not completely unheard of, but can be painful and unsightly, especially if you are going to be in a bathing suit anytime soon.

There are many factors that may have caused your skin to react in this manner: certain medications, tensing or moving while being waxed, excessively coarse hair, extended time between waxing, and whether or not it’s that “time of the month”. All of these things can play a role in why you may have been bruised.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent excessive irritation or bruising from occurring:

  1. Be selective when choosing a spa or salon to perform your waxing services. There are super-cheap waxes to be had at neighborhood nail joints, but a bit pricier spa-type establishments often use better waxes.
  2. You may want to try taking a pain reliever 45 minutes to an hour prior to waxing to help alleviate some of the discomfort of waxing and remember… breath and relax. Tensing up in anticipation of the hair removal process can ultimately cause the process to be even more painful then you imagined in the first place.
  3. Waxing the week AFTER your monthly cycle will help you avoid the heightened sensitivity typical during that time period and before.
  4. Inform your waxing specialist of any medications you may be taking or using on your skin, especially acne or anti-aging products that contain ingredients that can cause the skin to be thinner and more vulnerable to irritation and bruising.
  5. Exfoliate the day before your scheduled wax in order to rid yourself of any dry surface skin. This will also help to free any hair trapped beneath the surface and the waxing to be more effective at removing all unwanted hair.
  6. Wax frequently and consistently throughout the year, including during the winter months. This will help to keep the hair follicle weak and the new hair growing back will be finer and easier to wax off during subsequent visits. Maintaining your bikini area will not only aid in making the whole process less painful, it will actually assist in preventing some hair from ever returning. How about that for an added bonus!

Though bikini waxes aren’t exactly pleasant, the pain is similar to that of pulling off a Band-Aid, these are some of the things you can do to make the experience a whole lot more pleasant or at least tolerable.

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