During the 1920s shaving underarms gained popularity among American women, and hasn't fallen out of fashion since, but there's more to underarm hair removal than just the razor. What's the problem with the tried and true method? Shaving can lead to razor burn, nicks, and irritation -- and the results only last about one to three days. This leads some to seek alternatives, such as waxing and laser hair removal.
Waxing can be painful and may cause some redness and swelling immediately after the treatment, but it does offer long-lasting results -- hair-free armpits for about a month. Laser hair removal, on the other hand, permanently removes hair by destroying the hair follicle. Though it can take as many as eight sessions for full results, about 90 percent of underarms will be hair-free in as few as three to five treatments [source: WebMD].
Author's Note: 5 Ways to Get Nice Underarm Skin
I knew the market for keeping odor and wetness at bay was big, but the U.S. market for antiperspirants is almost $3 billion. That's a lot of sticks, gels and sprays to keep the sweat away. What I didn't expect was to learn that the majority of women in the U.S. have a problem with their underarms, not the old hair or no-hair debate and not just the occasional razor burn or a nick from an old blade, but a serious discomfort with the condition their underarm skin is in.
More Great Links
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Dry skin: Diagnosis, treatment, and outcome." (April 17, 2014) http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/a---d/dry-skin/diagnosis-treatment
- Aragon, Britta. "Dimethicone: The Truth Behind This Common Cosmetics Ingredient." Cinco Vidas. April 14, 2012. (April 17, 2014) http://cincovidas.com/dimethicone-the-truth-behind-this-common-cosmetics-ingredient/
- Barba, Alicia. "Nonlaser Hair Removal Techniques." Medscape. Nov. 11, 2013. (April 17, 2014) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1067139-overview
- Berman, Kevin. "Hyperhidrosis." U.S. National Library of Medicine - MedlinePlus. May 13, 2011. (April 17, 2014) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007259.htm
- Bright, Stacie. "Perceptions of Unattractive Underarms Have Women Shunning Sleeveless Attire." Unilever. April 4, 2011. (April 17, 2014) http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/dovegosleeveless/49554/
- Byron, Ellen. "Unilever Tackles the Ugly Underarm." The Wall Street Journal. March 30, 2011. (April 17, 2014) http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748703696704576223112705412404
- Castanedo-Cazares, Juan Pablo; Larrago-Pinones, Gabryela; Ehnis-Perez, Adriana; Fuentes-Ahumada, Cornelia; Oros-Ovalle, Cuauhtemoc; Smoller, Bruce R.; and Bertha Torres-Alvarez. "Topical niacinamide 4% and desonide 0.05% for treatment of axillary hyperpigmentation: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study." Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Jan. 14, 2013. Vol. 6. Pages 29-36. (April 17, 2014) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3552481/
- Columbia University Medical Center: Herbert Irving Center for Dermatology and Skin Cancer - Department of Dermatology. "Laser Hair Removal." (April 17, 2014) http://dermatology.columbia.edu/conditions/hair_removal.html
- Draelos, Zoe Diana. "Uncovering the cause of armpit irritation." Dermatology Times. Jan 1, 2014. (April 17,2 014) http://dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com/dermatology-times/news/uncovering-cause-armpit-irritation
- Gekas, Alexandra. "Waxing 101: Tips and Tricks for Beginners." Woman's Day. (April 17, 2014) http://www.womansday.com/style-beauty/beauty-tips-products/waxing-101-tips-tricks-for-beginners-108331
- Health.com. "Exfoliating 101: How to Let Fresh, Radiant Skin Shine Through." Feb. 22, 2008. (April 17, 2014) http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20410841,00.html
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- James, A.G.; Pople, J.E.; Parish, W.E.; Moore, A.E.; and N. Dunbar. "Histological evaluation of hyperpigmentation on female Filipino axillary skin." International Journal of Cosmetic Science. August 2006. Vol. 28, no. 4. Pages 247-253. (April 17, 2014) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18489264
- Levine, Norman. "Laser Hair Removal." WebMD. June 26, 2012. (April 17, 2014) http://www.webmd.com/beauty/hair-removal/laser-hair-removal
- Martin, Laura J. "Get Glowing: Exfoliation Products for Your Face and Body." WebMD. Nov. 8, 2012.(April 17, 2014) http://www.webmd.com/beauty/skin/you-asked-exfoliation-products
- Mental Floss. "When Did Women Start Shaving Their Pits?" Aug. 13, 2009. (April 17, 2014) http://mentalfloss.com/article/22511/when-did-women-start-shaving-their-pits
- Moninger, Jeannette. "Choosing an Antiperspirant for Sensitive Skin." WebMD. July 26, 2011. (April 17, 2014) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/antiperspirant-sensitive-skin
- Oliver, Dana. "Shaving Your Armpits: How To Tell If You're Doing It Wrong." The Huffington Post. May 26, 2013. (April 17, 2014) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/24/shaving-your-armpits_n_3310144.html
- Stulberg, Daniel L.; Clark, Nicole; and Daniel Tovey. "Common Hyperpigmentation Disorders in Adults: Part I. Diagnostic Approach, Cafeau Lait Macules, Diffuse Hyperpigmentation, Sun Exposure, and Phototoxic Reactions." American Family Physician. Vol. 68, no. 10. Pages 1955-1961. Nov. 15, 2003. (April 17, 2014) http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/1115/p1955.html
- U.S. National Library of Medicine - MedlinePlus. "Skin Pigmentation Disorders." March 26, 2014. (April 17, 2014) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/skinpigmentationdisorders.html
Humans have tried for centuries to mask the scent emanating from their bodies, so what do deodorants do differently?