“I’m finally going to do it,” Joanna* gushed over the phone.
“Are you serious?” was the reply.
“Yes, I’m tired of always talking about it,” Joanna said. “I’m just going to get it over with. Plus, I found this great half-off coupon online. You know I can’t resist a bargain.”
“Good luck! You will need it,” was the response.
Two days later, Joanna was driving to her appointment at the Silk Spa. She was going to get her first Brazilian wax, but what she ended up getting was a whole lot more than that.
After the unpleasant 45 minute appointment, Joanna was a carefree, hair-free woman, but one week later, her carefree attitude turned to panic when she noticed a small lump swelling near her pelvic joint. Less than 48 hours later, the lump had swollen to the size of a golf ball, and she was in so much pain that she couldn’t walk without a limp.
Uneasy about the sudden swelling and discomfort, she made an appointment with her gynecologist. Sitting in the waiting room, waiting for her name to be called, Joanna watched as expectant mothers waddled around her, holding their growing tummies with a mixed look of exhaustion and bliss on their faces. She sunk down further into her seat, ridden with shame and uneasy about the throbbing of her growing lump.
“How could I have been so stupid?” Joanna asked herself. “Everyone gets waxed at some point in their life. Why am I being punished for wanting to look good and feel comfortable?”
A few minutes later, the nurse called her back, and the doctor performed an examination.
“It doesn’t look good,” he said with a sigh. “I’m afraid you have a case of lymphadenitis and cellulitis. It’s a bad infection. We are going to have to do a procedure.”
Joanna fought back the tears. She sat obediently as the doctor retrieved his tools for the procedure and cried hysterically when it was over. The infection left her bed-ridden for nearly a week. It took another two weeks before the lump was finally gone, but the emotional trauma of undergoing such a physically painful experience still lingers with her today.
“I wanted to tell my story because I want other girls to know of the risks associated with waxing,” said Joanna. “They say, ‘No Pain=No Gain.’ But the pain that I suffered because of my bad waxing experience was not worth the price of beauty.”
In light of October being celebrated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, take time to evaluate your health and consider your beauty routine. Research your local salons and spas for cleanliness ratings and possible lawsuit histories. Brush up on spa protocol e so that you can keep an eye out for poor sanitation techniques. Remember, the price of beauty should never cost you your health.