Tiny red bumps clustered all over your bikini area can ruin your look and make you feel less than confident in your bikini. While aesthetically unappealing, the small red bumps are a normal post-wax symptom for many women, according to Dr. Larissa Hirsch, an instructor in pediatrics at NYPH Cornell and a medical editor at the Kid’s Health by Nemours website. By keeping your skin clear of oils and bacteria that can clog your pores and cause the red bumps, you can often help speed up your skin’s healing, and even prevent the annoying red bumps from reoccurring.
Wash the area thoroughly with antibacterial soap using a gentle, circular, up-and-down motion. Dr. Allison Vidimos, a staff dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, suggests that washing with antibacterial soap at least twice a day can help eliminate bacteria that can creep into hair follicles and cause infection.
Administer an over-the-counter astringent to keep your hair follicles clear of irritation-causing bacteria. Dorota Lisowski, an aesthetician at the Brigitte Mansfield Spa in New York City, recommends creating a mixture composed of one part baby oil and one part salicylic-acid-based astringent and applying it to your bikini area. According to Lisowski, the baby oil soothes your skin while the astringent opens your pores and reduces their chances of becoming clogged by bacteria.
Apply an over-the-counter topical antibiotic cream and an anti-inflammatory hydrocortisone cream to the affected area. Dr. Bruce Robinson, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, says these treatments can soothe the irritation and speed healing. They also can help prevent the mild irritation from turning into a more serious infection.
Consult your doctor if your skin irritation fails to clear up within a few days of the waxing procedure or if you notice any signs of infection, such as fever, redness or swelling, or peeling of the skin. While bikini waxing usually poses few complications for healthy women, waxing strips away the outer layer of your skin. This can create a doorway for bacteria to enter into your skin, which can lead to potentially dangerous complications such as skin infections, folliculitis -- an infection of the hair follicles -- and ingrown hairs.
Exfoliating with a loofah or sponge and a mild exfoliating scrub before waxing can help decrease post-waxing irritation by reducing the amount of bacteria and oil on your skin.