A hairy back might feel like nothing compared to people who are worried about a hairy butt. And while some people may have more hair (darker, thicker, even) than others, it is easy to remove it if you’re feeling insecure about that hairy derriere.
“Most people grow hair around their anus and on their buttocks, and it’s completely normal,” says board-certified dermatologist Anna Chacon, MD, FAAD. Yet if it makes you emotionally or physically uncomfortable, you may want to remove it.
“It is only considered problematic if it concerns you, and if it impairs your quality of life to a certain extent. For example, if you are experiencing folliculitis, itching, discomfort or ingrown hairs secondary to excess hair growth on the buttocks,” she says.
What causes butt hair?
“Hair on the buttocks can be caused by a number of things including family history, localised hypertrichosis by chance, and of course, anyone can have hair on this area naturally,” she says.
It is typically light and soft, explains Stacy Chimento, MD, of Riverchase dermatology in Miami. It serves many of the same functions as pubic hair. “Humans as a whole used to have more body hair to keep us warm. Through evolution, we have less,” she says. “While some people may find it unattractive, it is purposeful, as these coarse hairs protect patches of skin from rubbing against each other.”
But if you really want it off your body, you can remove butt hair pretty easily.
Laser removal of butt hair
If you have a specific condition, you may want to try laser for the area, as it’s a long-lasting hair removal method. “Lasers can be used to remove excessive and cosmetically disabling hair due to hypertrichosis or hirsutism,” Dr. Chacon says.
“You will likely need four to six treatments depending on the amount of hair you have. Most patients can expect approximately a 75 to 95percent reduction in hair growth following these treatments,” says Dr. Chimento.
Treatments are spaced five weeks apart until the hair growth cycle begins to slow. If you want to reduce the pain of the laser treatment, you can take some acetaminophen beforehand.
“As for post-laser care, patients can tend to any redness or sensitivity by applying ice or hydrocortisone cream to the area,” says Dr. Chimento.
Laser functions as a form of semi-permanent hair removal, so it’s a great option if you have the budget for it and have a lot of hair you need to get rid of.
“There are certainly other ways you can remove hair on the buttocks, including shaving, waxing, depilation creams, and threading. But in my expert opinion, these are not as effective as laser hair removal,” Dr. Chacon says. “The other disadvantage is that if you experience ingrown hairs, these will likely continue to be a problem unless you consider laser hair removal.”
No matter how you remove the hair, try using a soothing emollient or moisturiser after you do it. It’s important to keep the area moist and soft.
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