ePlasty: Vol. 11
Depilatory Wax Burns: Experience and Investigation
Angela C Chang,a Katherine M Watson,a Tara L Aston,a Marcus JD Wagstaff, BSc(Hons), MBBS, PhD, FRCS(Plast),b and John E Greenwood AM, BSc(Hons), MBChB, MD, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Plast), FRACSb

aUniversity of Adelaide Medical School, Adelaide, South Australia; and bAdult Burn Service, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia

Correspondence: john.greenwood@health.sa.gov.au

Objectives: To retrospectively collect data on patients with burn injury due to hot depilatory wax. To investigate the effect of varying microwave output power on wax temperature. To determine whether instructions provided by manufacturers allow safe domestic use. Methods: Data from the RAH burns database was collected for patients with wax-induced burns between January 1991 and January 2010. Wax temperatures were tested in a pilot study (4 wax products heated in microwave with power outputs of 800 W, 900 W, and 1100 (W) and a definitive study (5 wax products, 3 of each, heated in microwave with power outputs of 800 W, 1000 W, and 1200 (W). A number of different heating regimens were employed and temperatures were recorded using an infrared thermometer. Results: Twenty-one patients were studied. Mean age was 26.5 years. The majority of burns were superficial (33.3%) or partial thickness (25.8%). The right hand was most commonly aff .......