How Do You Lighten Dark Spots Left After Waxing?

You just spent time and money getting a wax done but instead of smooth skin for your pain, you end up with dark spots. What happened and how do you lighten dark spots left after waxing?

First of all, let’s clear something up. Leg waxing doesn’t necessarily cause dark spots. Waxing exfoliates the top layer of skin and makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight and tanning beds.


“When the skin is damaged, even from mild trauma caused by pulling wax from skin, it can become inflammed and sensitive,” says Dr. Kellie Reed, dermatologist and skin care expert in Austin, Texas. “The damage and irritation can effect the pigment producing cells in the skin, and lead to a phenomenon known as post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.”

The best plan of attack is prevention. “Individuals with darker skin types are more predisposed to developing dark spots,” explains Dr. Reed. These patients have to take care with other resurfacing treatments as well, including chemical peels and laser procedures.

“Several medications, such as certain birth controls or antibiotics, can effect how the skin reacts to sunlight,” says Emily Johnston, certified physician assistant at Sanova Dermatology. “Certain acne medications are also notorious for causing discoloration and other issues after waxing.” So, talk to your skin care specialist and aesthetician about the medications you’re using prior to applying the wax! Avoiding extended exposure to sunlight for a few days isn’t a bad idea post wax appointment.

But what if you’re reading this after the fact?

“I always advise patients apply a good sunscreen before venturing out, even in cloudy weather,” says Emily. “This will prevent the pigmentation from worsening.”

Be cautious on trying Internet given home-remedies such as lemon juice! Direct sunlight on skin coated with lemon juice can cause a severe burn reaction in some individuals.

The best thing to do is visit your dermatologist. They will be able to discuss your skin type and whether or not you’re predisposed to this kind of reaction. A good dermatologist will also be able to help you figure out how to avoid dark spots next time and prescribe treatment for any you already have developed. “A number of bleaching and lightning agents are available for the skin,” reassures Emily.

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