Depilatory Creams

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Depilatory creams are hair removal creams containing chemical agents used as topical solutions for unwanted hair growth and hair removal.

Depilatory Creams Overview - 883

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The Skinny


Average Recovery

0 days

Permanence

Temporary

Application

Topical

Surgical

No

Cost

$3 - $15

The Specifics


What are depilatory creams?

Depilatory creams are a topical, temporary hair removal solution. Depilatories are most often creams, but may also be available as lotions, aerosols, and gels. Common brand names include Veet and Nair. Strong chemicals are used in depilatory creams to alter the protein structure of hair shafts, and so it is important to spot test the product on a small area of skin to determine if there is an allergic reaction.

Depilatory creams commonly cause skin irritation, but provide a longer lasting hair removal solution than other methods like tweezing, waxing, and shaving. Most depilatory hair removal creams are safe to use on body hair, facial hair, underarms, and in the bikini area. These hair removers reduce the appearance of fuzz and stubble, and do not carry risk of razor bumps and ingrown hairs.

What cosmetic concerns do depilatory creams treat?

  1. Unwanted Hair: The compounds in depilatory creams break the disulfide bonds in keratin (hair protein) and weaken the hair structure so it can be easily dislodged from the hair follicle.

Who is the ideal candidate for depilatory creams?

The ideal candidate for depilatory creams is seeking a temporary, topical solution for unwanted hair removal on the face and body. Depilatory creams are not recommended for those with irritated, inflamed, sunburned, or damaged skin, or those with sensitive skin types.

What is the average recovery associated with depilatory creams?

There is no recovery time associated with depilatory cream use. Skin may be irritated and sensitive following use so patients are advised to practice gentle skincare (with moisturizers, aloe, or vitamin E), and wear non-abrasive, loose clothing.

What are the potential side effects of depilatory creams?

Possible side effects associated with the use of depilatory creams include dryness, rash formation, chemical burns, redness, flaking/peeling, itching, skin irritation, and skin sensitivity.

What can someone expect from the results of depilatory creams?

The result of a depilatory cream is immediate removal of unwanted hair in the treated area. The results are temporary, and the product typically needs to be used every few days to two weeks.

What is the average cost of depilatory creams?

The average cost of depilatory creams are $5 to $15, but may be dependent on insurance. The actual cost of the depilatory creams will vary by location, healthcare provider, and individual candidate needs.

thumbs-upPros

  • Lasts Longer Than Shaving
  • No Pain

thumbs-downCons

  • Can Cause Skin Irritations
  • Harsh Chemicals

Invasiveness Score

mildmoderatesevere
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect


Chemical depilatories are used to remove hair from the face and body. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after treatment with depilatory creams.

The Takeaway


Depilatory creams are topical hair removal creams providing temporary, but longer lasting improvements to the appearance of body hair, facial hair, underarm hair, and hair along the bikini line.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association Hair Loss: Tips for Managing aad.org
  2. Paul T Rose Advances in Hair Restoration PubMed.gov; 2018-01-01
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