Applied Nursing Research

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Applied Nursing Research

Applied Nursing Research

Hair Removal

Preoperative hair removal is the removal of hair from the skin area, which is subjected to a surgery. It is done to minimize interference with the incision and infection. The hair removal is part of the preoperative preparation of the patient and is one of the most significant factors in the control of surgical-site infections (SSI). Once the area has been cleaned up, the nurse can proceed to reduce microbial skin with proper hygiene and antiseptic treatment. The preoperative removal of hair with blade has become a practice widely established, which is based on the presumption that it prevents post-operative infection.

Although it is necessary to reduce the chances of developing problems, hair removal is itself a risk of infection because it can cause micro-lesions of the skin. The data reported in the literature is well known that preoperative shaving of the surgical site is associated with a significantly higher risk of infection than the use of depilatory creams or not shaving. The increased risk of SSI associated with shaving has been attributed to microscopic lesions, which then serve to "estuary" for propagating bacteria (World Health Organization, 2009).

The onset of complications and ISC depend on the method used for shaving and when this is done:

Seropian and BM Reynolds have investigated the relationship between these factors:

On a hair removal, performed immediately before the frequency of SSI was 3.1%

On a hair removal, performed within 24 hours prior to the ISC rate is 7.1%

On a hair removal, performed more than 24 hours prior to the ISC rate is 20%.

Rationale that Why It Needs Change

It needs changes because preoperative hair removal with instruments such as blades can cause immense damages to the skin including skin allergies and infections.


The effect lasts for some times, ranging from a few hours to several days.

The users who have black hair can see a "shadow" of dark hair under the skin.

Usually requires daily use.

It may cause skin irritation or cuts.

For some, it can cause ingrown hairs. (Especially in the bikini area of ??women and men in the face of African-Americans).

It needs frequent checks and balances

Suggested Method

Laser hair removal method is suggested because its advantages are much higher than the disadvantages and it is the most effective medium to remove hairs. (Association for Preoperative Practice, 2007).

Basis for Practice

The basis for practice of preoperative hair removal for nursing practice in a hospital setting was pioneered by physicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital's Wellman Laboratories (

A study was conducted in Turkey at ASVAK Center of Laser Technology, and it concluded the results on 12 patients. It depicts the result that laser technology proves to be 60 times less painful, faster and better reliable than electrolysis method. The method is currently used in Massachusetts General Hospital.

No Hair Removal

According to Infection Control Society, today, many plastic surgeons no longer require hair removal, even on scalp ...
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