Treatment of Irritation From Hair Removal

Close-up of a young man shaving in the bathroom
A man looks into a mirror as he shaves his face. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Warm weather calls for smooth skin, but getting rid of hair isn't always as painless as you'd like. Shaving, waxing and hair-removal cream can cause rashes or other irritation. You don't need to suffer until it goes away, though. Instead, speed up healing and ease the pain with items from your medicine cabinet.

Shaving Irritation

Shaving can cause razor burn, bumps or an infection called folliculitis. This infection is typically caused by a fungus or bacteria entering the hair follicle. Symptoms include redness, inflammation and blisters. If you think you may have folliculitis, treat it twice daily with an over-the-counter antibiotic cream, such as bacitracin or polysporin. If the irritation persists, see a doctor -- you may need a prescription antibiotic. To treat razor burn, smooth aloe vera gel or witch hazel over your skin once a day. You can help prevent irritation by treating skin with a glycolic acid moisturizer before shaving.

Wax and Hair-Removal Cream Irritation

If you've burned your skin with hair-removal wax, soak a washcloth in cold water and hold it against the affected area. Keep the washcloth in place for 15 minutes and then apply aloe vera to soothe the pain. If blisters appear, see a doctor or dermatologist. Hair-removal cream can cause a stinging rash. As soon as irritation develops, rinse your skin thoroughly with cool water and dab the area with a cold washcloth. Smooth a 1-percent hydrocortisone cream over the area. Use a petroleum jelly-based lotion to keep the skin hydrated as it heals.

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