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Allergic Reactions to Waxing: What to Do And How to Prevent Them

October 05, 2018

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Woman With Allergic Reactions to WaxingOverall, waxing is quite safe. Apart from a few expected and totally normal skin reactions, there is nothing to worry about when you book a waxing appointment. However, the possibility for an allergic reaction is present for some people and it can be unexpected.

To understand why and what kind of reactions could happen with hard/soft body waxes or other depilatory products, we will break down the possible allergic reactions to waxing. Similarly, we will guide you as to which reactions are normal or not.

Can I Really Have an Allergy from Waxing?

The answer is, yes, but it's rare. The first thing we can do here is understanding what an allergic reaction is and what it involves.

An allergy is simply a hypersensitivity to a substance that would otherwise be harmless. The body processes some substances as dangerous and the immune system has an extreme reaction to battle it. Once the body detects a "threat", it unleashes a series of defense mechanisms, one of which is the release of histamines, molecules that try to "chase away" allergens from the body. To achieve this, histamines cause blood to flow to the area where the threat is being perceived, as well as cause fluid to build up from the mucosa and, therefore, inflammation ensues. Apart from that, wheezing, coughing, sneezing, and itching are other symptoms that histamines can prompt during an allergic reaction.

Avoid Allergic Reaction to Waxing With Post-Depilatory Calming Oil

What Exactly Can Cause an Allergic Reaction During Waxing?

When it comes to allergies, there isn't a single trigger or a fixed amount of it for everyone. Different people can be more or less sensitive to the same trigger, or nothing at all. Typically, pine rosins, jojoba oil, copolymers, lanolin, and beeswax can cause allergies in some people.

Other people (especially people with very sensitive skin) can get a histamine reaction after waxing since it removes the superficial layer of skin. This is especially possible if you abuse heavily perfumed or tinted products right after waxing. To avoid this risk, many estheticians recommend steering clear of lotions, perfumes, deodorants, and even makeup exactly after depilation. It is better to allow the skin to rest for a few hours.

Allergies to waxes or waxing products can produce inflammation, redness, itching, swelling, a rise in temperature (the area gets tender and hot), bumps, rashes or hives, and blisters. In very serious cases, there can be an anaphylactic reaction, which is an extreme allergy that causes airways to be swollen and blocked, resulting in an inability to breathe.

How Can I Avoid an Allergic Reaction to Waxing?

The best way to avoid allergies when waxing is to do a patch test before your appointment. This will help rule out any adverse reaction to the waxes and waxing products that are going to be used.

Likewise, it is important to use waxes and waxing products for sensitive skin . Most of these waxes are enriched with soothing, emollient ingredients. Quality is another essential trait you must look for when you choose waxes. This will guarantee that your health is safe, and you get excellent results.

How Can Allergies from Waxing be Treated?

The first two things you can do is apply a hydrocortisone cream and take an antihistamine. These two medications will help to diminish the reaction both in the affected area (with the cream) and internally (with the pill).
If the reaction includes inflammation, it is necessary to take an anti-inflammatory too. Ibuprofen is safe in most cases (unless you have an allergy to it), and easy to find.
Woman with Allergic Reaction to Waxing Itching

Normal Reactions to Waxing

You should know that waxing will invariably produce a few effects that are completely normal, regardless of skin type and skin area. These reactions do not signal to an allergy, unless they are accompanied by several other of the symptoms we mentioned earlier such as sneezing, wheezing, swelling, or even difficulty breathing that seem not to subside and started more or less at the same time.

These normal reactions manifest in all cases, they just vary in intensity according to individual characteristics.

  • Redness/Bumps: this happens because the body reacts to the follicle being pulled out from the root by causing transitory inflammation. Remember that even though hair is dead, it is attached to living tissue within each follicle. Post-waxing redness can look smooth and uniform, or tiny red bumps can appear; both are normal.

  • Mild Burning Sensation/Itching: both these reactions are related to redness or bumps. They are forms of irritation and the body's way to respond to the external threat of follicle pulling.

  • Rashes/Spot Bleeding: again, both these reactions are a result of skin the mild trauma that the follicles are exposed to from the pulling. A mild rash is normal and should subside around the same time that redness would. Spot bleeding should be minimal, just a couple of pores, and mostly if the area you have waxed is very sensitive.

  • Mild Bruising: extra-sensitive skin and sensitive areas can develop bruises as many capillaries can get ruptured with the tugging and pulling.

As you can see, waxing is mostly safe, but there can be unexpected allergic reactions. For that reason, be safe and take all precautions. You won't have to worry about your clients' health if you use the best waxes and waxing accessories in the market. Beauty Image USA has a wide range of waxes for all skin types, including sensitive skin, to ensure maximum effectiveness with minimum risk of allergies and adverse reactions. Call TOLL FREE 1-888-513-8815 or fill out the contact form on this website to get in touch with us and learn more about our wax lines. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news about us right in your inbox!

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