What are the most effective methods for better skin care in the most sensitive areas
What are the methods of controlling growth of body hair?
It is the fastest, more convenient and inexpensive method. And the most widely used worldwide. By not removing the hair from the root, it does not allow a growth control for a long time, but it does produce a “peeling effect” on the area, so that effect in some patients improve the quality of treated skin. In some patients it can cause irritation, ingrown hairs, folliculitis, or inflammation.
I take this opportunity to emphasize in this segment, and demystify, that the shaven increases hair growth. Hair growth depends on genetic and hormonal factors, if only for shaving or not the area, many bald men would have already recovered their hair.
It is the second most widely used method, after shaving. By removing the hair from the root, it can take up to 6 weeks to grow again. After several hair removal in one area, the hair grows weaker and less dense. Since it is damaging the stem cell, adjacent to the hair bulb unit responsible for originating new hairs. It is noteworthy that in many patients this style of hair removal can cause irritation, ingrown hairs, folliculitis, or inflammation as well as a marked darkening (armpit, upper lip, and bikini).
Cares to be considered for patients who go to salons for waxing in the bikini lines:
• Infections are the biggest risk for women who wax in a beauty salon.
• This can include bacterial infections, or viral sexually transmitted diseases, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV).
• In case disposable underwear for the procedure is used, it should be discarded after each patient.
• Metal spatulas and instruments used for handling wax must be sterilized after each patient.
• The wax applicator stick should not be dipped in the same pot wax was used for previous patients.
• Wax heating units should be maintained at no less than 37 °C (100 °F). But to destroy the HPV virus and Herpes Simplex it needs at least 50 °C (120 °F).
Women with the following medical conditions should avoid waxing:
• Thin skin
• Vulvar varicose veins
• Bad circulation
• Poorly controlled diabetes
• Genital warts
• Active Herpes Simple
• Active skin infections
• Immunosuppressed patients, medicated isotretinoin and corticosteroids.
Sugaring or “Sugar Wax”
Egyptians have used this technique since the time of the pharaohs. Hair removal based on sugar (sugaring) is used in the Middle East and some countries in Asia and Eastern Europe. It is usually a homemade technique, although currently there are commercial products and also performed at certain salons.
Hair is removed with a sweet wax (a kind of candy ball). Which is formed by a mix of sugar, water, lemon and some honey, which is set to heat on the fire and then allowed to cool slightly. It has the advantage that it acts as natural exfoliant.
There are many models on the market (Silk-epil, Satinelle, etc), which allows a practical and fast method, but in some patients it can cause irritation, ingrown hairs, folliculitis, or inflammation.
Hair removal cream
Hair removal creams do not remove hair from the root, it dissolves the outer crust of it in just a few minutes thanks to sulphur products (thioglycolic acid salts), weakening it which enables to removedb it easily during the shower.
It is a painless, quick and easy method. But it can cause irritation and darkening of the skin in some patients. As made based on sulphur, they used to have a characteristic odour, but today most hair removal creams smell good.
Laser or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL- Intense Pulsed Light)
Latest methods for controlling hair growth, resulting in a progressive and long-term permanent hair removal.
I want to emphasize that it is commonly advertised as permanent hair removal, but the human being has the characteristic of having lifelong growth of new hair, so despite being a treatment in which the vast majority of the follicles are destroyed, always takes 1-2 annual sessions to control the new growing hairs.
It is important to highlight that laser hair removal or IPL must be supervised by a physician authorized by the Ministry of Health to manage this special type of instruments. Who will have the necessary knowledge to not cause side effects such as burns or depigmentation of the skin.
After making a brief summary about hair removal, I want to close this report replying to the great enigma that worries most of my patients, who always ask me, Doctor, is risky fully shaving in the bikini lines?
Although the genito-anal area is more sensitive than other areas of the body, after making a comprehensive review of the published scientific literature analysis, I have not found any publication that shows or evidencing that the total elimination of genito-anal hair increases the risk of urinary tract or vaginal (infectious flow) infections, so TOTAL hair removal in that area is simply a matter of taste, convenience and comfort of each patient.