maintaining skin health during hair removal

Hair removal is a practice the human race has been doing for centuries – cavemen used two clam shells together to remove hair long before tweezers were invented.

Of course, we are more sophisticated when it comes to hair removal now and the options are almost limitless, from cream hair removal products, such as Nair, to a simple razor and tweezing. We also have more permanent methods, such as LASER and electrolysis. Waxing, dermaplaning and threading are also common methods of hair removal.

Some of these types of hair removal may be done at home and some of the more complicated, such as the use of LASERs or electrolysis, require certification or licensure of some type, depending upon state or location.

LASER hair removal, photo courtesy of http://www.webmd.com.

Regardless of the method of hair removal, we as clinicians must also take into account the skin type and condition of the patient seeking hair removal. One of the more important things to consider is the hereditary background of the patient. Since a majority of the hair removal methods induce heat and/or friction, the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a concern. Another factor to consider is rosacea or impaired barrier function, as patients with these conditions may be prone to complications when heat or friction are used.

If your patient is prone to hyperpigmentation, have them begin a pigment-inhibiting regimen before their hair removal begins. Start with daily care products for about two weeks and then have them come in for a professional treatment, such as a gentle chemical peel formulated with ingredients that will further suppress the pigmentation process. Two weeks after that, you can perform their hair removal. Send them home with products designed to soothe the skin post-treatment. Then, about two weeks later, you can have them come in for another professional treatment. This is an especially effective course of action when using LASER or electrolysis.

Patients with rosacea may not be candidates for waxing or other types of hair removal; however, dermaplaning is a great option that will not only remove the hair but also provide a gentle form of exfoliation. Some gentle chemical peel formulations that are specifically designed for rosacea and sensitive skin can be applied directly after dermaplaning. Again, by educating the patient on proper daily care products to alleviate their rosacea symptoms before, during and after treatment, the health and appearance of their skin will be further improved.

Offering hair removal in conjunction with daily care and professional treatments for one price is a great way to improve the health and appearance of the patient’s skin during the hair removal process. It will also ensure return revenue for your practice, as patients will continue with product use and professional treatments long after their hair removal procedures have ended.

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