Hot wax has long been a favorite method of hair removal. While this procedure was once left to the cosmetology professionals, it is now performed regularly in many homes. Unfortunately, if the wax is overheated it can burn the skin. Wax burns occur in other ways as well, such as from spilled candles 1. However the wax gets on your skin, the home remedies treating the resulting burn injury remain the same.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
When you've been burned by hot wax, immediately submerge the affected area in cool water for at least 20 minutes. Once the burn site has cooled, remove the injured skin from the water and try removing the cooled and hardened wax. If it lifts off easily, remove it completely. If it remains firmly affixed to the skin or causes undue pain in the removal process, leave it in place temporarily. Cover the injury site with a cold, damp cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Remove the wet cloth and examine the burn. Treating the burn properly requires evaluating the extent of the damage. If the area is red and painful and contains no damaged areas that are larger than a quarter, it is probably safe to treat your burn at home. However, if the edges of the burn are either white or black, if you can see muscle or bone, or if you have any burned areas larger than a quarter, you must seek professional medical help. This is also advisable if the burns are on your face, feet, hands, or pelvic region 12.
If your wax burn is safe to treat at home, remove any remaining wax. If the wax is positioned near a blister, leave it alone; attempting its removal may cause the blister to break, increasing your odds of infection. If there is no blistering, slather the wax in petroleum jelly. Rub it in gently, working it into the surface of the wax. Wait 10 minutes to allow the wax to soften and then wipe away with a tissue. Clean the injury site with soap and water to remove any traces of petroleum jelly.
Once the wax has been removed, dab a bit of vitamin E oil or aloe vera gel on the injured area. These compounds contain elements that soothe the burning sensation and promote healing of damaged skin. Next, coat a sterile dressing with a light layer of honey and cover the wounded area. Honey has natural antibacterial properties that helps prevent skin infections. Change the dressing, applying more aloe or vitamin E, at least three times daily. If your burn has not healed in two weeks, or shows signs of infection (such as increased redness at the burn site or foul smelling discharge from the wound) seek emergency medical assistance immediately.
- Sasha Shafto/Demand Media