Aoife Marie Education

How to deal with post waxing folliculitis

Feb 02, 2024


There are many forms of folliculitis ranging from a yeast form Malassezia Folliculitis to the well known razor rash, Pseudofolliculitis Barbae.

Today I will be referring to Staphylococcus Folliculitis, post waxing.

What is Staphylococcus Folliculitis

Folliculitis is a skin condition that happens when hair follicles become infected with bacteria, usually Staphylococcus aureus (staph). Staph bacteria live on the skin all the time and it normally doesn't cause any issues. But if it gets inside your body it can cause problems.


Can vary but most commonly are,

  • Groups of small pimples
  • Whiteheads filled with pus
  • Area is sore
  • Area is itchy
  • Blisters that may ooze or crust

From a clients perspective folliculitis can be quiet painful, uncomfortable and embarrassing.


Causes of Staphylococcus Folliculitis

When it comes to performing waxing treatments in salons we know that the area must be correctly sanitized and this is why!

Folliculitis can occur,

  • When the area being waxed is not being correctly sanitized with a pre wax cleanser
  • Cross contamination where implements are not correctly sterilized such as tweezers
  • Cross contamination if wax is re used
  • If the therapists hands are not correctly sterilized


Below is an account from a client that suffered an outbreak of Staphylococcus Folliculitis post lip wax. 

My skin felt hot and puffy immediately post wax, I felt this was normal and didn't give it much thought. That evening bumps started to appear and by the morning my lip was covered in white pimples. The area felt very itchy and sore, moving my lip was incredibly uncomfortable. I felt very self-conscious, raw and yucky!


Prevention is key

As therapists we have a duty to our clients to ensure,

  • Area MUST be sanitized before waxing with a pre wax cleanser 
  • Therapists hands are correctly sanitized
  • If we are wearing false nails we must glove up. Think of the dirt and bacteria that is living under a long false nail if we then go to flick and remove hot wax with that nail.....
  • Tools must be correctly sanitized, tweezers, scissors etc. 
  • NEVER reuse wax
  • Avoid double dipping, use disposable applicators, spatulas
  • Use a pre cleanser before you use a pre wax oil
  • Ask client not to rub or touch the area post waxing
  • Always use a post wax cream/gel or lotion
  • If using a cool compress post wax removal ensure the compress is clean


Sanitizing Implements

There are 4 methods of decontamination.

  • Cleaning: when we use warm water and soap 
  • Sanitizing: when we use products that contain alcohol (nothing less than 70%)
  • Disinfecting: when we use germicides
  • Sterilizing: when we use high heat; kills all living organisms. It's the safest way.

Cleaning then sanitizing then sterilizing is the only way to effectively render bacteria harmless.



  • Client should contact you immediately with pictures if possible 
  • Cleansing the area with WARM water and a facial cleanser twice daily
  • Change face cloths and towels after each use
  • Apply a warm compress to the area 3-4 times daily
  • Try not scratch or itch the area, this can worsen the infection
  • Avoid all waxing, tweezing or any other treatments on the area
  • Don't squeeze, pick or burst blisters/pimples
  • Over the counter anti biotic cream will help speed up the recovery and in some cases is needed!
  • Over the counter cream can help with the itch
  • Soothing lotion
  • LED - Blue light combined with Near Infra red can help the healing
  • Avoid red light until swelling and heat has reduced
  • Avoid active serums, powders, exfoliators
  • Simplify at home facial routine until infection has cleared



Staphylococcus folliculitis is a skin condition caused by a bacterial infection in hair follicles, resulting in symptoms such as small pimples, pus-filled whiteheads, soreness, and itchiness. It can occur after waxing if proper sanitization and hygiene practices are not followed. Prevention measures, such as sanitizing hands and tools, avoiding reuse of wax, and using disposable applicators, are crucial in ensuring client safety. Treatment involves cleansing the area, applying warm compresses, avoiding scratching or picking, and using over-the-counter creams or antibiotics if necessary.


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