The pain involved with bikini waxing can be slight or severe as the hair is removed and may sometimes continue for some time after treatment. Take an anti inflammatory pain killer such as ibuprofen 45 minutes to an hour before your treatment. This will not only lessen the immediate pain but will also reduce post treatment inflammation. Remember that the skin may be more sensitive around the time of your period so it may be better not to wax around this time.
Make sure the hair is of the correct length for waxing. Too short and the wax won’t grip it and remove it, too long and the results will be painful and messy! Generally hairs should be around 3 to 5mm though some hot waxes can grip hairs as short as 1mm. Clean and gently exfoliate the area prior to waxing using warm, not hot water.
If you are having a professional wax then ensure you follow after care advice given by the salon carefully to avoid folliculitis (painful infection of hair follicles). In general, do not take hot baths or showers for at least 24 hours after a waxing. Keep the waxed area clean using a mild un-perfumed antibacterial product and use after care lotion such as a tea tree based antibacterial after wax lotion. Tea tree is an effective natural antibacterial.
If folliculitis does develop you will notice tiny red bumps which may be tender or itchy and may be filled with pus. Mild forms of folliculitis will clear on their own but more serious infections can develop particularly in the groin area due to the levels of bacteria in the area being naturally higher than on most other areas of the body and due to tight clothing providing a good breeding ground for bacteria.
There has been an increase in folliculitis, or infection around the hair follicle in recent times due to the fact that more and more women are removing more and more hair from the bikini area. Folliculitis infections can develop into more serious abscesses that require incision with a scalpel, drainage of the abscess, along with prescription antibiotics. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of folliculitis but other bacteria and also fungi can also be responsible. Cleanliness is essential!
Ingrown hairs can become infected leading to itchy, painful infected lumps. To prevent ingrown hairs, gently exfoliate regularly (but not for 48 hours immediately after waxing) to break down dead skin cells which might otherwise block the hair follicle. If you are waxing yourself, perfect your technique. Incorrect waxing technique can lead to hairs breaking off below the skin rather than being pulled cleanly from the follicle thus leading to ingrown hairs. Common errors in waxing technique include not holding the skin taut whilst removing wax, pulling the wax strip upwards from the area being waxed rather than pulling it back against the hair growth.