Oh why oh why did I do that.
December 17, 2006 12:47 PM   Subscribe

oh CRAP filter: I just waxed off a huge chunk of skin from my upper-lip and eyebrow. Help!

I was waxing my 'stache and eyebrows as usual when I decided to go in for a second round to rip off some remaining hairs (oh how I wish I could go back in time and just tweeze them out). After ripping off the second application I noticed the skin I had just waxed looked extremely smooth and shiny (compared to the rest of my skin). Um, uh oh??

After realizing what I'd just done, I rushed to put ice on the skin and put some moisturizer on it. Right now I look like I just got burned twice badly on my face by a curling iron.

I've never had a problem like this before, and on hindsight this is probably due to my latest beauty regime of alpha hydroxy based treatment every night. Sigh.

The best part is, I have to be at work in a couple hours. Yay.

Besides the ice and lotion, what else can I do for my newly "super exfoliated" skin or am I too late? Anyone know how long it will take for my skin to uh, grow back? Is this going to leave a terrible scar?

Any help would be appreciated, thanks so much in advance!
posted by zippity to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This has happened to me and a number of women I know due to overzealous beauticians. (Damn you, Hair Cuttery!) It's common, so don't worry about it.

Bad news--the only thing that will heal it is time. Keep moisturizing it. No exfoliants. The over-layer of skin will grow back in a few days, so you'll be able to apply makeup over it, but the redness will take a few weeks to fade entirely. It shouldn't scar. And the redness is not a scar, so don't use retinol or hydroxy products on it!
posted by Anonymous at 12:59 PM on December 17, 2006

On preview--Jesus, the ER? Look, you scraped off the very top layer of skin. They can't do anything for you. They'll slap triple-antibiotic ointment and tell you to go home. If you're worried about the scarring, just use lots of Neosporin.
posted by Anonymous at 1:00 PM on December 17, 2006

Maybe try some aloe? Or I have read that chamomile can work for irritated skin...maybe some cooled tea bags?
posted by engling at 1:02 PM on December 17, 2006

Best answer: You're right to blame your alpha hydroxy treatment. I had this same thing happen to me... basically just keep it mouisturized (you can put concealer on it to cover it up) and it will heal and fade in time. You may have to give up waxing altogether while you're using the hydroxy stuff. At least stop putting the alpha hydroxy cream on the areas you'll be waxing a week before, and never ever wax the same section twice. Look into threading as an alternative hair-removal technique.
posted by bonheur at 1:13 PM on December 17, 2006 [1 favorite]

A beautician got the wax too close to the outer corner of my eye and did that to me once. It took a week or so to heal and there was no scarring. I upped my intake of vitamin E and zinc, and applied rose hip oil.
Quite a few people asked what had happened as it looked a bit bit like I had a black eye.
posted by goshling at 1:36 PM on December 17, 2006

Best answer: I've personally witnessed the miracle that is cocoa butter employed in exactly the same situation. And considering that it's like $1 for a massive lard-sized tub, it's worth a shot.
posted by catesbie at 2:26 PM on December 17, 2006

An anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, also helps this kind of thing (and it's even better when taken about 45 minutes before waxing- helps take out some of the sting and the "angry" looking skin. )
posted by ambrosia at 2:38 PM on December 17, 2006

Best answer: This happens to me every time I re-wax an area that I have already waxed (or when the wax is too hot). My best advice for the future is only to wax an area once. If you need a touch-up, tweeze. And time will take care of the booboo. In my experience it acts a lot like a bad sunburn, and will eventually peel.
posted by Addlepated at 2:51 PM on December 17, 2006

Applying vitamin E oil to both areas before you go to bed will do wonders. Also drink lots of water, as that helps replenish your cells.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 5:55 PM on December 17, 2006

It shouldn't scar. You've basically just given yourself a version of one of those hardcore glycolic peels.

Use antiseptic/antibacterial ointment on it if it's open/weepy until the new layer of skin has grown back and then something like rosehip oil if you've got a lot of redness.

I've done much worse damage coming off my bike and leaving most of the skin from my chin on the road, and I don't have any scarring to show for it, so really don't worry about ending up with scars.
posted by sarahw at 6:16 PM on December 17, 2006

Yeah, when I had a stitches on my chin I just applied vitamin E directly to the area before bed, and once or twice during the day when not going out in public immediately afterwards. It's sticky. You can poke a hole in one of those capsules and squeeze out as much as you need. Mine was more than just the top few layers, but my scarring is pretty minor. My mister says the only reason he knows they're there is that I told him.
posted by librarina at 7:15 PM on December 17, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you all for your great advice! For the time being I will stay away from my alpha hydroxy treatment and rub some cocoa butter onto my skin.

I feel like I should clarify I did not actually wax a chunk of skin off my face, rather I waxed a patch of skin off my face (in a state of panic I could not think of the correct wording), so indeed if I had waxed a chunk of skin off I should run to the ER (thanks Burhanistan!).

Before work I managed to cover up the redness pretty well with some foundation but by the end of my shift it had come off and I did not notice until I got home, heh! Thank you all for the strange looks tonight, customers.
posted by zippity at 9:59 PM on December 17, 2006

Response by poster: An update, for anyone who might come across this post in the future; after a few days the texture of the skin that was waxed off got very rough and difficult to conceal. Then it started peeling a bit on the edge (..shudder..) and a couple days later I managed to peel off the tough layer that grew over. I moisturized heavily as much as possible and so far there is only a faint scar left on my upper-lip and no scar on my eyelid.
posted by zippity at 7:54 PM on January 2, 2007

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