Facts before you wax
Permit me space in your magazine to respond to an article written by Ms Nicole Farrell, with the caption 'Brazilian Waxing Benefits....after all is done'. On the Express Woman magazine dated July 22. As a reader of your very informative magazine I felt that it is necessary; to inform the reading public of the risk associated with Brazilian waxing.
Brazilian waxing became known in the 1980s, the technique was subsequently introduced to the United States by the 'J' sisters of Brazil when they opened a salon in New York offering the technique to clients. The technique became popular as a result of the thongs bikini.
What is Brazilian waxing? Brazilian waxing by definition — is a technique that involves the total removal of pubic hair from the genital area. Brazilian waxing is not performed on women only, males also request the service. Some technical terms used to describe particular Brazilian waxing techniques are:
• Landing strip (most popular technique requested).
• Heart attack.
• Clean scene (total removal of all the pubic hair in the genital area)
Risk associated with Brazilian waxing technique:
• Yeast infection
• Bacterial infection
• Recently there has been reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The risk mentioned above occurs when infection control practices are breached by the aesthetician or cosmetologist during Brazilian waxing technique service.
The following are reported cases and published data as evidence of the health risks involved in Brazilian waxing.
2009: New Jersey Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling was sued by a woman who reportedly was hospitalised from an infection after having a Brazilian wax. The lawsuit prompted the board to consider banning Brazilian waxing in the state of New Jersey. (source Women's' health.com and — NBC news)
2009: Cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin underlying tissue, was the bacterium identified by medical authorities as the one responsible for a New York woman being hospitalised for 15 days after she received a Brazilian wax.
2007: An Australian woman with Type1 diabetes developed life threatening bacteria streptococcus pyrogens and herpes simplex after a Brazilian wax. (source 2007 -Report by the Melbourne infection disease department)
The following are infection control best practices that the client should observe during a Brazilian wax procedure:
• A clean spatula should be used for each stage of the wax application (no double-dipping). This is to avoid cross-contamination of the wax.
• A clean, disposable sheet should be placed on the bed for each client and disposed immediately after completion of the service. (this should be done in the presence of the client)
• Clean, disposable gloves are to be worn by the cosmetologist or aesthetician for each client. This is necessary due to the fact that bleeding may occur, exposing the cosmetologist or aesthetician and clients to possible contact of blood borne pathogens.
• Body wax should not be used for facial waxing .
• Waxing equipment should be cleaned after each use
• Cosmetologist or aesthetician should wash his/ her hands before placement of the gloves and after the removal of the gloves.
Clients with the following health issues should avoid Brazilian waxing.
• High and low blood pressure
• Hypersensitive skin
• Skin disorder
• Thyroid condition
In addition, alcohol or herbal tea should not be consumed 24 hours before a Brazilian wax.
After a Brazilian wax avoid the beach for 24 hours. Reason for this is that the hair follicles are opened and are therefore susceptible to infection.