Besides that pull which makes you go ouch, does waxing often lead to a rash on your skin?
Still, you end up in the salon every time your body hair grows back, right?
Rightly so, for most women, waxing is a go-to option for unwanted hair. So, would you be relieved if we told you that there are ways to prevent and treat the rash? We understand, which is why we have decided to discuss this concern.
Keep reading to understand why it happens and how you can get away with smooth, non-bumpy skin after a waxing session.
What Expert Says
“Rashes post waxing are usually caused by inflammation. It goes away on its own without any treatment. White or fluid-bumps that last more than a few days can occur because of folliculitis. Geranium essential oil is proven to be effective on post waxing rashes as it has anti-inflammatory properties.”
Nikita Kolhe, Product Development Executive, SkinKraft
What Causes Rashes On Skin After Waxing?
Waxing is a process where the hair is removed by force with the help of a sticky substance, namely the wax, leaving a rash in certain people. Some of the causes for this rash are:
A common reaction to waxing that occurs after you have removed your hair is folliculitis .If the hair follicle is injured or damaged during the hair removal, it becomes vulnerable to bacterias like staph bacteria. The bacteria infect the hair follicles and lead to folliculitis. Its appearance is similar to a rash, which looks like pimples and is slightly bumpy. It is caused by inflammation that normally recedes on its own in a few days.
2. Ingrown Hair
Another cause of rashes after waxing could be ingrown hair . Ingrown hair grows back into the skin instead of outwards and this is also a kind of folliculitis. Ingrown hair looks like acne. They appear like small bumps or abscesses that are warm to the touch.
Sometimes, the hair is visible under the skin. If you have rough or curly hair, you may be more prone to ingrown hair. They appear as bumps, which crop up a few days after you have waxed.
If you have a folliculitis infection, the symptoms are white bumps filled with pus, or a cyst due to the ingrown hair. The infection may occur because the hair follicle, which might be damaged due to waxing, gets infected by the staph bacteria, which are usually present on the skin.
3. Contact Dermatitis
If you have sensitive skin, the wax used, or even the chemicals that may be present in it can cause rash after waxing, a result of contact dermatitis . Fragrances found in soaps you use or the detergents you wash your clothes in can also be a contributing factor.
If the rash occurs due to contact dermatitis, it can be quite itchy and accompanied with symptoms such as swelling, painful to touch and even a burning or stinging feeling on the skin.
How To Get Rid Of The Post-Waxing Rash?
There are several precautions you can take to get rid of a rash caused due to waxing. According to our product development executive, Nikita Kolhe, “Rashes post waxing are usually caused by inflammation. It goes away on its own without any treatment. White or fluid-bumps that last more than a few days can occur because of folliculitis. Geranium essential oil is proven to be effective on post waxing rashes as it has anti-inflammatory properties.” Here, we have listed all possible ways to fix post-waxing rashes.
1. Cool Compress
If you apply an ice pack or a clean napkin soaked in cold water to the affected area, it can substantially reduce the appearance of the rash. Do this for 15 minutes to half an hour all over the area you have waxed.
2. Loose Clothing
Wearing loose fitting garments can help alleviate any irritation to the skin caused by waxing and its aftermath. Tight clothes can irritate the skin further and may lead to itching, especially in summer.
3. Skin Creams & Gels
Apply a body lotion or a moisturiser that is hypoallergenic and devoid of strong fragrances post your waxing session. This can soothe your skin and reduce the rash. You can even use a cortisone  based cream to reduce swelling if any and inflammation of the skin.
5. Sugar Scrub
Sugar scrub is one of the best ways to exfoliate your skin. Take a teaspoon of sugar and mix it with any carrier oil of your choice such as coconut oil or olive oil. Then exfoliate the skin post waxing to prevent ingrown hair. It will make your skin smooth and reduce the chances of rashes after waxing.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel is ideal for a post waxing application as it has calming and moisturising properties that can minimise the rash, inflammation if any and itching.
5. Essential Oils
Depending on the severity of the rash, you can use an essential oil mixed with a carrier to soothe skin and reduce inflammation. Here are a few options:
A. Lavender Essential Oil
You can mix 15-20 drops of lavender essential oil with 1oo ml of calendula oil. Apply to the affected area and it will bring down the rash and any redness caused due to waxing.
B. Peppermint Essential Oil
Take an alcohol-free aloe vera gel or aloe-based cream (100 gm) and mix with 20 drops of peppermint oil. Apply to the affected area for quick relief.
C. Geranium Essential Oil
Take 100 ml of sweet almond oil and mix it with 20 drops each of geranium and peppermint essential oils. The sweet almond oil moisturises the skin, and the geranium oil reduces the regrowth of hair. The peppermint oil is for soothing the skin and reducing irritation.
Use these oils only if you are not allergic to them.
6. Warm compress
You can even make a warm compress with a napkin soaked in hot water and apply on the affected area for a few minutes at a time. This can open up the pores and the ingrown hair may come out on its own.
7. Cleanse And Exfoliate
After waxing, clean the area with a mild soap and lukewarm water. Pat the skin dry to reduce chances of irritation. You can even exfoliate the next day by gently rubbing a pumice stone over the area with ingrown hair.
Prevention Tips - DOs & DON’Ts
- If you pick at the bumps caused by waxing, you are more likely to infect it.
- Rubbing the area you are about to wax with ice cubes, before and after you wax, can minimise the chances of a rash.
- Before waxing your arms, legs and bikini area, use a gentle exfoliating scrub the previous day. This way, you get rid of dead skin cells and get better results with the waxing.
- If you are using a retinol-based cream for acne or as an anti-aging solution, avoid using it for at least five to six days before you wax your facial hair, to reduce any chance of skin damage or infection.
- Do not wear make-up while going to the salon for waxing and avoid wearing any for the rest of the day too, after you have waxed your facial hair. This will prevent blocked pores.
- A study  showed that all the women who participated in the research developed folliculitis after waxing their arms.
How Long Does The Waxing Rash Last?
Waxing rash usually subsides on its own in a few days. However, if you see pus forming, or ingrown hair getting infected, which may happen even a week after waxing, you should get it checked by a dermatologist. The same applies if you see a rash that recurs every time you wax.
Developing a rash after waxing is fairly common. What matters is how you treat it, especially if it doesn’t go away on its own. If you take the preventive measures mentioned above, the rash will not be a problem ever again.
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