Self-care methods to remove unwanted body hair include:
- Plucking. Using tweezers is a good method to remove a few stray hairs, but is not useful for removing a large area of hair.
- Shaving. Shaving is quick and inexpensive, but it needs to be repeated regularly since it removes the hair only down to the surface of your skin.
- Waxing. Waxing involves applying warm wax on your skin where the unwanted hair grows. Once the wax hardens, it's pulled back from your skin against the direction of hair growth, removing hair. Waxing removes hair from a large area quickly, but it may sting temporarily and sometimes causes skin irritation and redness.
- Chemical depilatories. Generally available as gels, lotions or creams that you spread on your skin, chemical depilatories work by breaking down the protein structure of the hair shaft. Some people are allergic to the chemicals used in depilatories.
Instead of removing unwanted body hair, some women use bleaching. Bleaching removes the hair color, making the hair less visible. Bleaching may cause skin irritation, so test the bleach on a small area first.
Feb. 19, 2014
- DeCherney AH, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Obstetrics & Gynecology. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=788. Accessed Sept. 19, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2013.
https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 19, 2013.
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=45. Accessed Sept. 19, 2013.
- Barbieri RL, et al. Pathogenesis and causes of hirsutism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 19, 2013.
- Evaluation and treatment of hirsutism in premenopausal women: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Chevy Chase, Md.: The Endocrine Society. http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=12241&search=hirsutism. Accessed Sept. 19, 2013.
- Barbieri RL, et al. Evaluation of premenopausal women with hirsutism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 19, 2013.
- Barbieri RL, et al. Treatment of hirsutism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 19, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.