what to do if you get white pimples after waxing

If you are looking for What To Do If You Get White Pimples After Waxing, then you are on the right page. It contains what to do if you get white pimples after waxing on face and home remedies for bumps on face after waxing. Suppose you want to know what to do after waxing face instead. Then this article is what you need.

Waxing is a quick way to remove hair from most areas of the body. However, it is common for bumps to develop on the skin after waxing.

Many people will observe small, red bumps on the skin immediately after waxing. Others may notice them about a week later.

This article describes some of the possible causes of bumps after waxing, as well as some treatment options and prevention tips

what to do after waxing face

What To Do If You Get White Pimples After Waxing


The following are some common causes of bumps after waxing:

Contact dermatitis

a man who may have bumps after waxing his legs
Possible causes of bumps after waxing include contact dermatitis, folliculitis, and ingrown hairs.

Contact dermatitis occurs due to an allergic reaction or irritation.

Fragranced soaps and detergents are common culprits, but the wax and any chemicals it contains may also contribute to contact dermatitis.

Usually, the bumps that occur after contact dermatitis are very itchy. Contact dermatitis can also cause the following symptoms:

  • burning
  • a stinging sensation
  • swelling
  • peeling skin


Folliculitis causes itchy bumps that may have a red ring around them. They may also look similar to those of acne.

Folliculitis occurs due to damage following hair removal. Damaged hair follicles are more vulnerable to invading bacteria. When bacteria — such as staph bacteria, which are naturally present on the skin — infect the hair follicles, folliculitis can occur.

Wearing very tight clothing that rubs against the hair follicles can cause further irritation and may make the condition worse.

According to one study in the International Journal of Dermatology, of 28 women who developed folliculitis after waxing, an estimated 100% had waxed their arms.

The authors conclude that a person is more likely to develop folliculitis on the parts of their limbs that are closest to the body, such as the thighs and upper arms.

Ingrown hair

An ingrown hair may appear about a week after waxing. Ingrown hairs occur when the hair grows and reinserts itself into the hair follicle.

Ingrown hairs can cause itchy and sometimes painful bumps that often look like pimples on the skin. Without treatment, ingrown hairs can become infected.

Symptoms of an infection include the hair follicle leaking pus, the area feeling warm to the touch, and in some cases, an ingrown hair cyst.MEDICAL NEWS TODAY RESOURCEVirus spread and climate change: A West Nile virus case study

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Treatment options

In most cases, a person can treat bumps after waxing at home.

Try to keep the area clean, dry, and moisturized, as this can help reduce irritation until the skin has recovered from waxing.

Home remedies

cold compress knee
Applying a cold compress may sooth skin irritation after waxing.

Some home remedies that can soothe bumps after waxing include:

  • Cleansing the skin: Using a gentle soap and warm water to cleanse the skin can help minimize irritants. Gently pat the skin dry to avoid further irritation.
  • Using cold compresses: Applying a cold compress to the area can help soothe irritation and reduce post-waxing bumps. A person can run cold water over a washcloth and apply it to the skin.
  • Wearing loose clothing: Not wearing tight clothing for 1–2 days after waxing can help keep the fibers from rubbing against the skin and causing irritation.
  • Using warm compresses: Warm compresses are helpful for ingrown hairs, as they can help the pores open up and potentially release the ingrown hair.
  • Using cortisone cream: Applying cortisone cream to clean skin after waxing may help relieve inflammation and swelling.
  • Applying fragrance free moisturizers: Applying fragrance free moisturizers, such as aloe vera gel, may help soothe irritated skin post-waxing and reduce inflammation.

Medical treatments

A person should see their doctor if the bumps start showing signs of infection. If this does occur, it will usually do so starting 2–3 days after waxing.

A doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics to treat the infection. These either prevent further bacteria from growing or kill off existing bacteria on the skin.MEDICAL NEWS TODAY NEWSLETTERStay in the know. Get our free daily newsletter

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A person can take steps to help prevent bumps after waxing different areas of the body. These include:


Before waxing the face, it is best to:

  • Avoid using retinol products for 2–5 days before waxing. These products increase the risk of skin damage due to waxing.
  • Refrain from applying makeup to the skin before waxing, and do not use makeup for the remainder of the day after waxing, if possible.
  • Apply fragrance free moisturizers to the skin post-waxing. Avoid using products that contain “actives,” such as glycolic acid or retinol, in the immediate post-waxing period.

When washing the face, avoid scrubbing or rubbing the skin with a towel. This could further irritate waxed skin.

Legs, arms, and bikini area

sugar scrub in a bowl.
A person may be able to prevent bumps by exfoliating the skin with a sugar scrub before waxing.

Exfoliating the skin using a gentle sugar scrub or body brush before waxing can help both reduce dead skin cells and enhance waxing results.

A person should also wear loose fitting clothing after waxing.

Refraining from picking at or scratching bumps after waxing can also help reduce the risk of further complications.


Bumps that occur after waxing are usually temporary and will resolve without treatment.

If they persist beyond a few days or start showing signs of infection — such as redness, warmth, or swelling — a person should speak to their doctor. If the bumps persist after every wax, a person should consider using different waxing products, or speak to their aesthetician about ways to reduce skin bumps.

Some of the treatments and remedies listed in this article are available for purchase online:

  • Shop for cortisone cream.
  • Shop for aloe vera gel.
  • Shop for post-waxing products.
  • Shop for exfoliators.

Are bumps normal?

Absolutely. When hair is forcefully removed, like with waxing, it causes stress to the surrounding skin. Many people develop mild bumps and inflammation afterward. Although this usually clears up in a few days, treatment can speed healing and prevent future bumps.

Read on to learn more about why these bumps form, tips for quick relief, what to do immediately after waxing and between waxes, and more.

What causes bumps to form?

Many people develop folliculitis — a bumpy, pimple-like rash — after hair removal. It’s usually caused by inflammation. Inflammation typically goes away on its own without treatment.

If you have white or fluid-bumps that last more than a few days, your folliculitis may be the result of a mild infection. This can usually be treated at home.

If you develop bumps after the initial inflammation subsides — a week at most after waxing — they may be a result of ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are a specific type of folliculitis. They form when hair grows back into the skin instead of up out of the skin’s surface.

Ingrown hairs cause small, round bumps or pustules that resemble acne. Hair may or may not be visible inside the bump.

You’re more likely to develop ingrown hairs if your hair is naturally curly or coarse.

Although ingrown hairs may eventually break through the surface on their own, there are things you can do to help bring them to the surface and relieve your symptoms.

Quick tips to reduce swelling and inflammation

While it’s usually best to leave bumps alone so they can heal on their own, there are a few things you can try to reduce swelling and inflammation.

You should:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes. Tight fabrics can increase irritation on already sensitive skin.
  • Apply a cool compress to help soothe the affected area. You can use an ice pack or make a compress of your own by running a clean washcloth under cold water. Apply the compress to the affected area for up to 20 minutes.
  • Use a warm compress to help draw out ingrown hairs. You can use a heating pad or make a compress of your own by running a clean washcloth under hot water. Apply the compress to the affected area for up to 5 minutes at a time.
  • Avoid picking or popping bumps. Not only can this damage your skin, poking and prodding can introduce bacteria and increase your risk of infection.

What to do immediately after and between waxes

How you manage and prevent bumps after waxing depends on a few factors:

  • where you waxed
  • when you waxed
  • skin sensitivity

If you get professional waxes, your specialist should provide you with detailed aftercare information specific to the area. Here are some general recommendations.

Immediately after waxing:

  • Apply a cool compress or take a cool shower to reduce irritation and sensitivity. Avoid hot baths or showers.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid friction and irritation.
  • Avoid perfumed products, lotions, and creams, which can irritate sensitized skin.
  • Apply an over-the-counter cortisone cream on the waxed area to reduce inflammation.
  • Avoid excessive activity for 24 hours after waxing. Perspiration can irritate freshly waxed skin.

One to two days after waxing:

  • Continue to wear loose-fitting clothing to reduce friction.
  • Continue to avoid perfumed oils and creams. You can apply mild gels, such as aloe vera, to help soothe the skin as needed.

Between waxes:

  • Cleanse and exfoliate regularly. Removing dead skin and other debris can help release embedded hair and prevent additional ingrown hairs.

Home and natural remedies to soothe and exfoliate

If you’re dealing with lingering irritation or inflammation, you may be able to use home or natural remedies to find relief.

You may already have one or more of the ingredients for these DIY treatments in your kitchen or medicine cabinet. If not, you can probably find them at your local pharmacy.

Sugar scrub

A simple homemade sugar scrub can help soothe irritation and prevent ingrown hairs from forming. To make your own, mix half a cup of sugar with half a cup of coconut or olive oil. Apply a small amount to the affected area and gently scrub in a circular motion.

You may find that daily exfoliation is too harsh for your skin, so exfoliate every other day to start. Shop for pre-made sugar scrubs

Aloe vera

If you have an aloe vera plant, all you have to do to enjoy its nourishing benefitsTrusted Source is break off a piece of its leaf. Squeeze the plant’s essence directly onto the affected area and gently massage it into your skin to soothe inflammation.

You can do this up to three times daily. Shop for aloe vera plants

Tea tree essential oil

Tea tree oil can also soothe recently waxed skin. Oil is more likely to clog pores in the first day or two after waxing, so reserve this remedy for lingering or late-forming irritation.

You should dilute tea tree essential oil with a carrier, such as olive or coconut oil, before applying it to your skin. Add 10 drops of carrier oil for every 1 drop of tea tree oil. Test for allergies with a patch of diluted tea tree oil on your arm. If there’s no reaction in 24 hours, you should be able to use it.

You can apply the diluted solution to the affected area up to three times daily. Shop for tea tree oil

Witch hazel

Witch hazel has astringent and antiseptic propertiesTrusted Source that can help calm and prevent rashes. Soak a cotton pad in pure witch hazel extract and apply to the affected area up to three times daily. Shop for witch hazel

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another natural antisepticTrusted Source. Soak a cotton pad in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the inflamed area up to three times daily to speed healing and prevent infection. Shop for apple cider vinegar

Over-the-counter (OTC) products to soothe and exfoliate

You can also use traditional beauty products to soothe irritated skin and help prevent bumps from forming.

Creams and gels

Hydrocortisone cream is a topical steroid that reduces inflammation and swelling. It can be applied after waxing to soothe irritation. Shop for hydrocortisone cream

Gel containing tea tree oil can help soothe inflammation and reduce your risk of infection. Unlike tea tree oil, gels won’t clog your pores and can be applied immediately after waxing. Shop for tea tree gel

Aloe vera gel, derived from the aloe vera plant, also has soothing, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Shop for aloe vera gel

Exfoliants and other solutions

Exfoliating pads make it easy to remove dead skin cells and other debris without over-scrubbing. Traditional scrubs may be too harsh on freshly waxed skin. Shop for exfoliating pads

Tend Skin is a cult-classic product hailed for its ability to reduce ingrown hair and bumps. Shop for Tend Skin

PFB Vanish + Chromabright is another must-have among beauty insiders. The chemical exfoliant helps prevent ingrown hairs, as well as minimize waxing-related hyperpigmentation. Shop for PFB Vanish + Chromabright

How to prevent future irritation

Routine cleansing and exfoliating is the easiest and most effective way to prevent bumps from forming after you wax.

Make sure you use a mild scrub or exfoliating cloth every other day, at a minimum, to prevent the buildup of dead skin cells and other debris.

Once you start waxing, it’s important to maintain your appointments. They’re typically spaced four to six weeks apart to align with your hair’s natural growth cycle.

If you schedule an appointment outside of this timeline — or use other hair removal techniques between appointments — it disrupts your growth pattern. This increases your risk of irritation and ingrown hairs.

If your skin is still irritated as your appointment nears, call your waxing specialist. They can determine whether you should reschedule.

You should also check in if you’re on or close to beginning your menstrual cycle. Although your waxing specialist can still perform the service, your skin may be more sensitive than usual during this time.

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