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1467 Hair Tourniquet syndrome, an audit on the efficacy of depilatory creams. An analysis of 3 years of Data, showed a positive rationale for supporting the usage of depilatory cream to remove the hair
  1. Julia Bragg1,
  2. Ffion Davies2
  1. 1Leicester Royal Infirmary
  2. 2Julia Bragg, Leicester Royal Infirmary


Aims, Objectives and Background Purpose of the study was to provide supporting evidence for the application of depilatory cream on a child presenting with hair tourniquet syndrome, and measure it’s efficacy and any side effects.

Hair tourniquet syndrome is a rare phenonium and there are minimal evidenced based studies to support best practice on how to remove them safely.

Our department has been using depilatory cream to dissolve the hair, and have audited 3 years worth of data in order to achieve a sample size large enough to show efficacy for this procedure. Sample size was still low at 22 patients, but this is representative of the rareity of the complaint.

Method and Design With patients attending with a hair tourniquet where the skin was intact, Depilatory cream was applied to the site for 6–8 minutes according to the products instructions, then washed off thoroughly with an aim to dissolve the hair.

The audit was a retrospective study of 3 years of attendances to a busy children’s Emergency department. It looked at the age of the child, site of the hair tourniquet, method used to remove the hair and any iatrogenic side effects from the method chosen. It also looked at any further care needed if removal was unsuccessful.

Results and Conclusion 95% of patients had the hair removed effectively within 1 hour of arrival in ED

x 3 children had the hair removed manually, of which one received a small wound from a scalpel.

x 18 children had depilatory cream applied, and of those 18 children it was effective in 83% 1st time. Two children required a second application and it was then successful and One went on to require removal by plastics, under a general anesthetic. It therefore 94% effective as a method of removal. Iatrogenic side effects included mild skin break down in 3 patients (16.6%).

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