When unwanted hair is in a delicate area, such as the underarms, pubic area or around the nipple, special care must be taken when removing hair. Some methods, such as depilatories designed for the less fragile skin of the legs, will not be appropriate for more delicate areas, and can cause skin rashes of irritation. If having a professional remove the unwanted hair isn't an option, make sure to read the label on any hair removal product used to ensure the product is safe for the area you want to use it on.
Shave hair with a razor. This is usually the cheapest and easiest solution. Hair that is long or thick can be trimmed with scissors first to make shaving easier. For delicate areas, make sure to use plenty of water and shaving cream or shave in the shower to avoid irritating the skin. If you tend to get ingrown hair or your skin is sensitive, shave in the direction of hair growth. Otherwise, shave against the grain. Even so, shaving can lead to skin irritation and stubble as the hair grows in, so it may not be ideal for everyone.
Use a depilatory cream designed for the bikini line or underarms. Regular depilatories may be too harsh, so read label warnings and follow the directions carefully. Test the cream on a small, inconspicuous area first to see if your skin has any reaction to the product. Skin may be irritated after using a depilatory. Many of these products come with a small bottle of soothing cream or oil to use after hair removal, and this can help ease the discomfort.
Apply wax strips or liquid wax to the desired area and remove hair according to the package directions. Again, make sure the wax is intended for the area in which you want to use it. You can also have a professional wax the area if you're nervous. If skin is red or irritated after waxing, try putting a cool compress on the affected area.
Remove unwanted hair on a more long-term or permanent basis by having laser hair removal or electrolysis. These methods can be expensive and don't work on everyone, however. With laser hair removal, a laser destroys the hair follicle. In electrolysis, each individual hair root receives a shock that is supposed to prevent hair from growing back. When you have your appointment, the practitioner will advise you on aftercare for this type of hair removal.
Tweeze stray hairs in unwanted areas, such as around the nipple. Tweezing is fast, but may be painful for some women. Wash hands carefully before tweezing, and tweeze in a brightly lit area so you can see what you're doing. Grasp hair firmly with the tweezers as close to the root as you can get and pull the hair out. This method works best in areas where there are only a few unwanted hairs. If skin is irritated after tweezing, you can apply a cold compress until it feels better.
Kathy Gleason is a freelance writer living in rural northern New Jersey who has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a graduate of The Institute for Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Before leaving her massage therapy career to start a family, Gleason specialized in Swedish style, pregnancy and sports massage.