7 Body Parts You Shouldn’t Wax or Shave

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It really may seem that almost no part of the body is off limits when it comes to waxing, but experts have a thing or two to warn you about waxing certain areas, or when it’s a bad time to wax. 

Dealing with body hair is something everyone experiences—both men and women. Which is why hair removal has become a regular part of our lives. Because of this, we have many options for removing unwanted hair from our faces and bodies. Many prefer shaving, some opt for laser treatments for a more permanent solution, and others choose waxing. Unlike laser hair removal, waxing doesn’t remove the hair follicle, so the hair grows back, but more slowly than it does with shaving.

While having reliable hair removal options is great, keep in mind that waxing, which is more common, isn’t necessarily the right choice for removing unwanted hair from different parts of the body. 

Before you start fussing about how many hair you have on your face, it might require a little research on your part to get to what might be contributing to your facial hair. For women especially, there are other things to pay attention to hair growth in different areas based on hormone imbalances, it can also be influenced by issues like PCOS, thyroid issues, medication side effects, iron deficiencies, and more. 

If your hair growth is normal and not due to any underlying issues, then it’s your choice whether or not to remove it. You also get to choose how to remove it. Second, another thing to take not of is being careful of how you remove hair in ways that won’t cause damage or lead to skin problems if you’re already prone to itchiness, rashes, or razor burns. For example, people with conditions like diabetes or dermatitis might find waxing uncomfortable. Here are 10 body parts where you should be careful about shaving or waxing, and experts giving reasons why it’s not recommended.



Waxing Nipples: Not a Good Idea

No need to be shy—nipple hair is very common. The hair usually grows from the area around the nipples, but it can appear anywhere on the chest. 

“The thickness and texture of hair on the breast varies based on the individual, similar to facial and body hair,” says Dr. Rina Allawh, MD, a dermatologist from healthline.

Nipple hair often looks and feels wiry. She further  explains that as we age or go through hormonal changes, this hair can become thicker and coarser. While it’s completely normal, you might want to remove it if you don’t like it. Being careful with the sensitive skin on your breasts to avoid cuts, infections, or ingrown hairs.

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Waxing can leave your skin raw and irritate sensitive areas. Experts suggest that simple methods are best for removing nipple hair. Plucking is a common method. Dr. Mona Gohara, a dermatologist, recommends a cautious approach for shaving. She advises using a one or two-blade razor, shaving in the direction of hair growth, and using shaving cream.



Waxing The Pubic Area

While it’s common to remove hair from the pubic area, this hair actually has a purpose, it traps dirt and helps prevent the spread of bacteria. However, it can also be uncomfortable, which is why you might prefer to get rid of it, either for comfort or looks.

There are ways to remove hair from the pubic area, but two are most popular; Brazilian waxes and such as bikini wax. These methods aren’t necessarily harmful, but they can cause problems like rashes and discomfort. This research even suggests that waxing might increase the risk of developing a condition called vulvodynia, which causes pain in the vulva.

If you want to remove your pubic hair but want to avoid these side effects, consider other options. You can trim the hair with scissors to make it shorter and more manageable. This way, you keep the protective benefits of the hair without the discomfort. Another option is to use hair removal creams, also known as depilatories. Although these creams can gently remove hair, there’s a catch; there’s a risk of getting a chemical burn. First or second-degree burns can occur if hair removal cream is left on for too long. This is especially likely in the groin area, where the skin is very sensitive. To be on the safer side, make sure you use one that’s safe for the bikini area and do a patch test first to check for any reactions.



Waxing Your Ears Hair

It might seem like a good idea to wax the hair sticking out of your ears, especially if you’re embarrassed by it. But let’s learn a bit about ear hair first. There are two types. The first is vellus hair, which is light and fuzzy, found on your earlobes and outer ears. Its job is to help regulate your body temperature.

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The second type is tragi hair. This hair is thicker, darker, and more noticeable. It grows in the outer ear canal and can be bothersome if it sticks out. If you’re dealing with tragi hair, you might be bothered what to do about it.

But waxing is not the best choice. It can be painful because the ears are very sensitive.

A better option is to use an ear hair trimmer. These gadgets painlessly cut the hair to a shorter length, so it’s less visible. While ear hair might not look great, it does help keep dust and germs out of your inner ears. Trimming it is a good way to manage the look while still protecting your ears.



Waxing When You Have Dermatitis

Living with conditions like eczema and psoriasis means dealing with skin that often feels irritated and uncomfortable. If you have dermatitis, you’re familiar with the symptoms: your skin can feel hot, itchy, and may flake, making it hard not to scratch. Waxing can be as harmful to your skin as scratching it is.

Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can make your skin constantly uncomfortable and irritated. If you suffer from any type of dermatitis, you’re familiar with the symptoms of a flare-up: hot, itchy skin that might flake, making you want to scratch endlessly. Waxing during these times can be as harmful as scratching.

Dr. Sheila Farhang, a dermatologist, told Everyday Health, “Physical methods like shaving or waxing remove the surface layers of the skin, and chemical methods like using a depilatory can burn the skin.” If you must remove hair during a flare-up, shaving is a safer option. To minimize irritation, shave slowly and carefully using a razor with multiple blades for a smoother experience.



Waxing Over Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are swollen veins that often lie just under the skin. They might not always hurt, but they can be uncomfortable for some people. Most of the time, they are mainly a cosmetic concern. You might not notice them until you see that your veins look very dark blue or purple. 

Sometimes, these veins can also bulge out or look twisted. Once you notice varicose veins, the best option is not to wax the skin around them. Heated wax can cause more blood to flow to the area, which can increase discomfort and make the veins swell even more. 

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Also, pulling the wax off your skin can be harsh and might injure the skin over the varicose veins. Shaving can also irritate the area, so it’s best to avoid using a razor on the affected skin. A better option is laser hair removal. This method is safer because the laser targets the hair follicles directly and does not touch the veins. Lasers can also be used to treat varicose veins themselves. This might be something to consider if you are worried about the feel and appearance of varicose veins.



Waxing Over Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs happen when hair grows back into the skin instead of out of it, leading to pain and swelling. You might notice a bump where the hair is trapped, which can get infected, turning red, hot, and filled with pus.

Applying wax to an area with ingrown hair is not a good idea. Waxing can irritate the hair follicle more, making the pain and inflammation worse. It’s better to wait until the ingrown hair heals completely before you consider waxing that area again. To ease the discomfort from ingrown hair, try using a warm compress. This can help increase blood flow to the area and reduce pain.

After the ingrown hair is healed, you might want to explore other hair removal options, especially if you frequently get ingrown hairs. Laser hair removal is one alternative that targets the hair follicle, helping to prevent future hair growth. 



Waxing and Retinoids

There’s no doubt that retinoids are amazing for anyone looking to improve their anti-aging skincare routine. Retinoid helps remove old skin cells, boosts new cell growth, smooths out wrinkles and fine lines, and leaves your skin looking fresh and glowing. But, it also makes your skin more sensitive. Since retinoids exfoliate your skin, using them can make your skin more prone to damage if you wax.

And since waxing is another form of exfoliation. When you combine waxing and retinoids, it can cause serious skin irritation that’s hard to fix. Experts suggest suspending any retinol products at least a week before waxing.

Retinoids are also known to thin the outermost layer of the skin, [the stratum corneum]. Without this protective layer, your skin can get damaged by waxing. Waxing under these conditions can lead to scarring. It’s best to be cautious and wax only when you won’t be spending a lot of time outside.


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