Waxing woes and how to avoid them

 
By • Published: March 30th, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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Waxing is a convenient way to remove unwanted hair, but it can be dangerous if it’s not done properly. Health magazine’s tips for your next waxing appointment can help ensure you leave the spa with smooth, healthy skin.

First, make sure the person performing the wax is actually licensed to do so. Not all spa employees are. A licensed technician is less likely to make mistakes than someone who has no formal training.

But even professionals make mistakes… like using wax that’s too hot. If wax applied to your skin feels excessively uncomfortable, don’t just ignore it. Speak up, and you could save yourself from scabs and scars.

Using numbing products on your skin before a wax might seem like a good idea, but it’s not. You need to feel and monitor the temperature of the wax used on your body.

Another hazard is infection, which can occur if the aesthetician double-dips sticks in the pot of wax. Germs from your body and previous customers can linger in the wax, then sneak into your newly waxed follicles. This can cause an infection called folliculitis [fah-lick-you-LIE-tiss].

To avoid folliculitis, ask your aesthetician to use a new stick every time he or she applies wax to your body. After the wax, you should wash the area gently with soap and water and apply antibacterial ointment.

Lastly, medications containing retinol can make skin sensitive and more susceptible to tearing. If you’re on a medication like this, it’s best to stick with tweezing.