Many people have unwanted hair. It’s common on the upper lip, chin, cheeks, back, legs, fingers, feet, and toes.
It can have many causes, including genetics, certain medications such as steroids, higher levels of certain hormones, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. There are several ways to remove unwanted hair. With most methods, at least some of the hair will eventually grow back.
Shaving is best for leg, arm, and facial hair. It can, though, cause ingrown hairs, especially in the pubic region.
Plucking or tweezing can be painful, but it may be a good option if you only have a few hairs you want to remove. Times when you might want to pluck include when you’re reshaping your eyebrows or pulling out a few stray hairs that appear on your face. You should not, however, use this hair removal method for large areas. It can cause ingrown hairs or scarring.
Hair removal creams, also known as depilatory creams, are available without a prescription.
They’re not all the same, so be sure to read the label. For instance, you shouldn’t use a hair removal cream made for pubic hairs to remove hair on your face.
The chemicals in these products dissolve the hair shaft. Using a cream improperly — for instance, leaving it on too long — can burn your skin. If you have a history of allergic reactions, you should first test a little bit of the cream on a small area on your arm to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction to it. Be sure to follow the directions on the cream.
You can do this at home or you can have it done by a professional in a salon. Hot waxing can be messy and painful and may leave some hairs behind because they can break off. Infection is one side effect to watch for. If the wax is too hot, you may get a burn. You should not use this method if you also use certain types of prescription acne creams (such as Retin-A) or take isotretinoin. If you do, the wax will pull your skin off. Many women use this hair removal method in the bikini area and to remove hair on the upper lip.