Lymph node surgery and shavers


I’ve been advised that lymph node surgery can cause loss of sensation in the skin under the arm and so not to use a razor until the feeling comes back (if indeed it ever does) - so I guess I need to buy a lady shaver or suchlike.

As I’ve never owned one, do any of you have any recommendations for make/model, or what to look for, or even brands to be avoided?


I would wait to see if the hair re-grows before you invest in an expensive razor. Mine has never re-grown in the axilla of my affected arm - and I don’t need a deodorant that side either. (a rather small plus for having BC!)

Now that would be nice :slight_smile:

I have had slight regrowth and am waiting for it fall out from chemo, but I like to be prepared, especially as it usually takes me ages to make any decisions, even for minor things like this!

Hi I was wondering about this. No deodarant needed no sweat under that axilla but hair growth still occuring had thought I would use a depilatory cream but am unsure about a shaver? Jackie

I’ve looked at those lady shavers and decided they’re an over-priced rip off aimed at us women. I use a normal men’s wet shave type razor (Gillette G2 as it happens, since I pinch one from my husband). I can’t imagine that anyone would shave their armpit by feel alone, far too risky. I do mine whilst looking very carefully in the mirror WITH my glasses on (the over-40s here will know what I mean), so the loss of sensation really doesn’t make any difference. There’s just a bit less hair where it’s been nuked away by the rads.

hi everyone,

i had a hospital physio session this week to give me exercises to do whilst having radiotherapy, and also to advise about reducing the risks of lymphodoema. One of the things which they said was a definite no-no was wet shaving under the arms as a cut or infection can increase lymphatic fluid and they think cuts/infections are one of the things which can bring on the condition. They recommended electric shavers. Neither of my arm pits has any hair yet since chemo ended in august, and i am hoping it stays that way! Obviously, different hopes apply to the hair on my head!


Should have said- I’ve never actually asked anyone whether my permanent loss of axillary hair is as a result of the 2 ops to remove my lymph nodes-or whether it was due to the rads;- either way, it has taken all the hair!

Like you I’d never owned one. I use a Phillips wet and dry one for sensitive skin. I read a few reviews-it seemed to be a decent one. When I was buying it there were a lot of half price sales on shavers in the lead up to Christmas, so that influenced me. I have no sensation, and lymphoedema, so I was very cautious with it at first, but now, although I wouldn’t say its anywhere near as good as a plain old razor, it does a reasonable job. Although there is one bit on my affected side it just won’t reach into!

I’ve had little hair regrowth since rads, but on what there is I use a Venus (?) which is wet razor with gel round the blades so it’s virtually impossibble to cut yourself - I’ve not managed yet anyway!!


I had surgery nearly 3 years ago. Having tried various options I have a standard Venus razor, and I use sensitive shaving gel. In that time I haven’t cut myself. These razors are so good that if you are careful you can shave as normal.

I bought a silk and soft from Braun but was not impressed so i then purhase a Babyliss one from argos which is better if the hair is short but is not as smooth as the razor i used before.


I bought a Philips wet & dry, it’s not as good as wet shaving but safer and I’m happy with it.


Seems that nothing works as well as a good old-fashioned wet razor … but that the Philips wet’n’dry gets two votes.

I’m afraid I’m too anxious about the risk of lymphoedema to continue with the wet razor.

Tarragon I too am afraid of the prospect of lymphoedema.As no one has mentioned cream hair removal will think again about this. Luckily hair growth especially in affected axilla is apparent but slow.Jackie

1 was advised no wet shaving and no creams to be used on the affected arm. Since chemo and rads which finished in March I have no hair in either arm pit!! I have also noticed that I don’t need deodorant. I bought a Phillips wet and dry so another vote for this one. I use it on my legs instead, although the hair growth their is much less than before. At least one bonus from chemo.

I was advised against cream as apparently your skin might react against it even if you didn’t react before. So if you are thinking of using cream it might be best to do a small test patch before using


A bit off topic but not…
I had a lumpectomy and axillary clearance on 4/10 and at my pre-op (3 days before) was told not to shave again… well since the op I have had problems with BO under that arm only…although because of an infection, have not showered daily, have washed (very carefully). This is doing my head in, I can smell it…although nearest and dearest assure me it’s not a problem … I have never had BO before - anyone else had this.

PS have not dared to shave there yet, wish I had ignored pre-op advice!

I was told not to use a normal razor ever again. I think it can cause very tiny cuts not even visible and that can potentially lead to infection and therefore increase lymphodema risk. I use a Phillips electric razor and that seems fine.

I was also told never to use a wet razor again, but as my skin is (and always has been) too sensitive to both electric razors and hair removal cream (I tried recently and ended up with a very angry rash), I have had to go back to shaving VERY CAREFULLY with one of those Venus razors with the special coating and with Aveda shaving cream/gel as extra protection. So far it seems to be working.

Waxing has previously worked fine - does anyone know if waxing - or sugaring - is considered safe now?

Debs x

Hi ladies,

I was told, and repeatedly told not to wet shave but…I’m afraid I do. I was dx over 4 years ago and have wet shaved ever since and…touch wood…had no problems.

I’m not encouraging anyone to do the same but just sharing my experience.


I bought myself a shaver (having previously used a wet shave). I did my at risk underarm yesterday. It is difficult to do when you can’t feel much. Later I noticed that I must have nicked my skin. After a bath I couldn’t see anything, so it can’t have been much. However, I still keep checking that to see if it looks or feels any different. I’m going to have to get better at it. I’m glad I don’t have to shave very often.