The Hidden Dangers Of Getting A Bikini Wax

With summer upon us, you may be breaking out your bathing suit and with that, contemplating a bikini wax. Before you hit the salon for a Brazilian wax, you may want to read on to find out how such a spa visit can be risky.

While many of us spend time and money getting rid of pesky hairs, experts say they're there for a reason. "Pubic hair acts as a protector against allergens, bacteria, and other unwanted pathogens," says Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist in Briarcliff Manor, NY (via Health). When you wax away that layer of protection, you are leaving yourself susceptible to infections or skin irritation.

In fact, one study found a link between pubic hair grooming and an increased chance for contracting sexually transmitted infections — especially in those who reported grooming themselves upwards of ten times per year (via BMJ Journals).

The actual wax itself can also have some negative effects. If you wax too much, you can develop painful ingrown hairs that stick around long after your beach vacation.

Tips to make sure your bikini wax is safe

Waxing can also cause the outer layers of your skin to peel off, leading to inflammation and enabling bacteria to get under your skin (via Women's Health).

Experts suggest that leaving a small triangle patch of hair is a good solution, as you can still have some shield while donning that new bikini hair-free (via Health). Other tips to ensure a safe waxing experience are to research the facility beforehand, make sure they have a licensed waxing professional on staff, and take a look at their sanitizing practices to ensure you feel the space is clean and safe. You can also ask about the wax in use, opting for hard wax over speed wax.

If you decide to go for the wax, be sure to monitor for fever, any redness or swelling, itching or burning sensations, and skin peeling — as those may be signs of an infection. In that case, you should seek medical attention if needed.