After you wax your body hair yourself or visit the esthetician to wax your body hair, you often notice red bumps on areas of your skin from where the hair has been removed. This is a common reaction to waxing, but it can also be embarrassing if the bumps are seen on the visible areas of your body. Sometimes these bumps can be uncomfortable and itchy as well. Bumps formed after waxing are because of a short term reaction of the hair follicles. But it can also occur due to some other reasons as well.
Waxing Bumps Causes:
Short term irritation:
This is a very common reaction to waxing. As you know, each hair is attached to a living tissue found inside the hair follicle, underneath the surface of the skin. When you remove the hair with waxing, the hair is pulled out along with the wax. This can put the tissue within the follicle under trauma. Like in any type of skin injury, the body here respond with an inflammatory reaction. So, the pinkish bumps that you see on your skin after waxing is nothing but the reaction of your hair follicles to the trauma of having hair pulled out. The short term reaction takes place almost as soon as you finish waxing and usually waxing irritation is gone within a day or two.
Folliculitis after waxing:
Folliculitis means a pimple like rash that involves the hair follicles. Each pink bump is tender and has a head filled with fluid. They appear on the skin surface with folliculities. If the waxing is done on the face or chest, we often confuse folliculitis with an acne breakout. In most cases, folliculitis after waxing is a minor infection of the hair follicles. When the hair is pulled out during waxing, these hair follicles are left open and bacteria on the skin surface cause infection. In some people, no infection of the hair follicles takes place, but they still suffer from folliculitis because of the irritation felt. If you wear tight clothes after waxing, friction may be caused, and this can lead to the development of folliculitis after body waxing or bikini waxing.
Pseudofolliculitis barbae (razor bumps):
Sometimes bumps are developed about one week or more after you have waxed your body. This is due to ingrown hairs. This condition is medically referred to as pseudofolliculitis. It is most likely to appear when you wax your body to remove coarse or curly hairs. So, this means that ingrown hairs are most likely to develop with pubic or chest waxing rather than with brow or upper lip waxing. Ingrown hair develops when the hair removed grows again, but curls back into the skin as it emerges at the surface of the skin. This can lead to the development of bumps, which are often tender and inflamed, looking like pimples. While the irritation bumps that appear immediately after your waxing session are large in number, late bumps that appear due to ingrown hairs are less numerous.
Whether you have bumps after waxing or not depends on how sensitive your skin is, as well as the area that you are waxing, the product you are using and the waxing technique. Although no guarantee can be offered that you can completely avoid the development of bumps, you can follow some steps that can help you to reduce the appearance as well as the severity of the bumps that appear after waxing. Here are the tips you can follow:
- Clean the skin before you wax.
- Make sure that the wax and the spatula you use are clean and new.
- If you are going to the salon to do waxing, then you should make sure that the salon and the esthetician use proper techniques, so as to avoid infection.
Post waxing care tips to follow:
After waxing, a cool compress or shower is good. This helps in reducing post-waxing irritation that can develop immediately after waxing. You can use an over-the-counter cortisone cream on the area involved for a day or two. This can reduce the itching and inflammation that may be present. You may use a soothing, moisturizing lotion on your skin. This is also very helpful. It is best that you avoid swimming in unchlorinated water or using hot water tub for about 24 hours after you do body or bikini waxing. This helps in avoiding folliculitis.
For super folliculitis you need not need topical or oral antibiotics. It will go away on its own. Make sure to keep the area clean. Also avoid sharing towels or clothing with others until the infection is gone completely. If you get large or growing bumps, or if you experience fever, the redness spreads or experience other symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
How to Prevent Bumps after Waxing:
- Wear loose-fitting clothes over the area. If the bumps appear on your legs after waxing, then you can wear a skirt or dress. This will prevent the bumps from getting rubbed by the cloth you wear.
- You can apply topical ointment on the bump once a day for the first three days after they appear. Topical ointments containing polymyxin B sulphate and bacitracin zinc are good for healing the bumps and treating infection.
- If you have burning and itching sensation, apply ice. All you have to do is to place an ice cube in a cup of warm water and allow it to melt a little. Now remove the ice cube and run it over the bumps for a cooling effect. You can repeat it many times till you get relief.