Queen Bee Blog

Folliculitis: The Other F Word

cautionGuys, if you are thinking about waxing your back, chest or bottom, you NEED TO READ THIS before you do it. Ladies, if you’re waxing for the first time, this can also happen to you on the same areas or the top of your bikini line. It’s called folliculitis and it freaking sucks – but it is also totally preventable.

Wait, What is Folliculitis?
Folliculitis is an occasional adverse reaction to hair removal via waxing or shaving.

More specifically, and according to Wikipedia, folliculitis is the infection and inflammation of one or more hair follicles. The condition may occur anywhere on the skin with the exception of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The rash may appear as pimples that come to white tips on the face, chest, back, arms, legs, and head.

I found a great article on Glam Check that spells out some of the reasons people get folliculitis. Here’s a snippet:

Those who are overweight are more likely to develop folliculitis than those who are at an average weight. The reason for this is that having all that extra weight on the body puts a lot more pressure on the follicles than they are equipped to deal with thus leading to weakened or damaged follicles. Being obese also means that there are folds of skin all over the body which are difficult to keep clean. The folds are an inviting, warm, damp environment for bacteria of all sorts to come and set up house. Also, obesity puts pressure on your immune system which in turn means that your body has a harder time fighting off the infection.

Wearing Heat-Trapping Clothes
Knee-high boots are indispensable wardrobe items for many women but if they are worn for long periods of time they create the perfect atmosphere for infection. Those whose jobs require them to wear gum boots or waders for the better part of the day are also more susceptible. Even wearing skinny jeans or tights for too long increases your risk for the condition.


Clients can see this reaction occur a day or two after a wax. After getting a wax, some otherwise normal activities may aggravate the follicles more than usual. Think sweating, spinning, wearing tight clothing or encountering friction of any kind – all of these situations can contribute to irritation and possible infection. So, skip the gym right after your wax for at least a day and definitely don’t go straight there after your wax! I have never received a full answer from the doctors I have spoken with about the exact cause of folliculitis, except that it starts in the follicle and can be caused by irritation to the follicle, whereby bacteria can enter it.

At Queen Bee, we do a very good job at forewarning people about this and we also advise our clients about what to do if they feel as though they are breaking out. Here are answers to questions we get about breakouts on our website under “FAQs for Men”:

I’ve tried waxing my back and chest but those areas always break out with little red and white angry spots. What can I do to prevent this from happening?
Unfortunately, this is quite common, especially on men with sensitive skin or coarse hair and deep roots. Many men only break out the first couple of times they wax. Once a person’s skin gets used to regular exfoliation and hair removal, breakouts often stop. We also take many precautions to prevent breakouts: After a wax, we treat the skin with antiseptic and antibacterial products. After this, we apply an additional solution to soothe irritation. We also recommend taking home a bottle of our Anti-Bac Attack and Buzz Off Bumps to further prevent these little breakouts from occurring.

We also give clients an After Wax Card to take home. This card gives great advice on what to do if irritation occurs. Unfortunately, not every client reads this, and some come to us days after the irritation started (it gets worse when left untreated) when it could have been prevented and treated if dealt with immediately.

If left untreated, you’ll most likely end up on antibiotics to clear it up. The most important thing to remember is: don’t panic. The second you see a breakout happening, call us or read over your aftercare card and follow the directions. Don’t let it go for a few days unless you enjoy visiting the dermatologist.

There are also other types of folliculitis. For me personally, the worst of these is “Hot Tub Folliculitis”. Honestly this type is just completely unnecessary and the number one reason you won’t find me in any other hot tub other than my own – because I know that I cleaned it!