Underarm Hair Removal - Post Surgery

Following surgery I was told that I should avoid disposable razors and use an electric one. I bought one but can’t get on with it. It irritates my skin more than a disposable razor would and leaves the skin looking red and blotchy. I feel that I am doing more harm than good and would be better off risking using a disposable razor. Is it just me (or my razor) or do others have this problem? Is there an alternative? Do others have any suggestions regarding this?


Hi there

Must admit haven’t given this much thought, if you have to have rads you will probably find you don’t need to shave anyway. I had my first rads 25 years ago and I have never had to shave under that arm since.

So long as you are careful I can’t see it matters what you use, whatever you feel comfortable with I would go with.

Take care.


Sunny I was also told this, but never cut myself shaving before and not sure why I would now. Irritation from the electric razor was worse so I have gone back to my disposible. I’ve had no problems. I was told creams were also OK but I am having rads so can’t do that until everything has settled down x

Hi sunnyday it was the chemo that did the body hair for me.Even now almost 12 months later I have little hair growth in affected or ‘normal’ axilla Did try battery shaver. And just this morning for the 1st time used depilatory cream, after a trial and hey presto done a great job on the fuzz that was there. J xx

Hi Sunnyday

I bought an electric shaver and had similar problems but it was better if I talc’d the area first. After 1st FEC all hair was gone from under both arms so I only use it on my legs now (again to avoid infections). Things that used to be of great importance faded once I began the chemo road :frowning:

DaisyGirl xx

hi all
I was told by BCN not to use razor but to use creams. It was only when i logged onto this site that i became aware i could use an elec shaver.
A first i was becoming a little sore so i tried using a little baby talc under arms before hand and that seemed to help. Not sure if there is any reason why shouldnt do this but will carry on until told otherwise. x

Yes, the skin must be very dry to use an electric razor and it usually helps to hold it taunt. You can’t get quite so close as with some other methods, but you shouldn’t get a rash. If there is a meshlike bit with little holes, keep this part flat against your skin, not the teeth on the edge.


I have hardly any underarm hair ( even less on my mastectomy side) but I have been using an ordinary razor for years, being very careful, without any problems. I was never told not to use one. I only do it in the summer months when wearing sleeveless tops. Hope this helps someone. Val

That’s one set of hair I’ll happily wave goodbye to!

I was told not to use disposable razors after my ANC, but that using an electric shaver was ok. Think its due to the risk of lymphodema/ cellulitis (in case you cut yourself and then get an infection)? But I’ve never cut myself using a razor before, and the first time I used an electric one after my surgery wounds had healed enough to bother with hair removal, I cut myself! Doh. So I went back to my usual razor and didn’t have any problems. Now I’m getting FECCed, there is no such worry as hair has gone!

So if you know you are fine with a normal razor and it is kinder to your skin, you might be as well doing what you did before. Or going native…

Al x

I have a Phillips Ladyshave wet and dry and in the instructions it said that you can use a small amount of shaving gel/oil to help and it does. I use a tiny amount of baby oil and that really does the trick.

My ladyshave cost me £15.00 in Boots but you might get it cheaper online or somewhere like Argos.

If you are having rads you will find that after you will only need to worry about the other arm anyway. One of the upsides of it all I guess. . . :slight_smile: Plus I’ve lost all my body hair from chemo so at the moment I don’t need to de-fuzz anywhere! :slight_smile:

I am using hair removal cream now and it works fine. Affected arm pit has hardly any hair left, and it works well on other parts of body too. No more waxing or razors for me.
We often cannot see any cuts made by a disposable razor, but they do inflict tiny wounds. With a risk (probably small)of infection I was told to avoid it. I am no longer questioning these - to me - rather unimportant things considering the bigger picture that we are all dealing with…
Nikki x

I haven’t been on here for a while but thank you all for your helpful tips. All your replies are much appreciated.

I was fortunate and didn’t need to have chemotherapy so didn’t lose all my hair, and although I had radiotherapy my underarm hair has still grown back!

I saw my oncologist the other day and she agreed that I had made a bit of a mess of my armpits! She suggested using cream, but said to do a patch test first. I have bought some sensitive cream so this should be OK, but haven’t tried it out yet. I will however try CherylILT’s tip re holding the mesh flat, and will also try using talc as recommended by Daisygirl and givli, or a small amount of baby oil as suggested by nymeria.

Once again many thanks to all.