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Elizabeth Boskey, Ph.D.

Pubic Hair Scare

By July 10, 2011

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An interesting article from a New Zealand website raises an important question : could pubic hair grooming increase the risk of STD infections, including herpes? The evidence in that article is anecdotal, and disturbing in the scarring it describes from poorly performed hair removal techniques, but there is little actual research on the topic. My feeling on the subject is that the answer is a solid maybe.

Pubic hair removal could increase the risk of STD infection in three ways. The first is that microscopic cuts from shaving could make it easier for pathogens to enter the skin. The second is that disturbing sores could increase the spread of infectious materials. The third is that removing the cushioning hair could increase the spread of those diseases that are transmitted by skin to skin contact.

So should people stop removing their pubic hair? There isn't enough evidence to make such an extreme recommendation. If the aesthetic choice of pubic hair removal appeals to you, then it should be fine to proceed - with caution. However, it's probably just common sense to avoid shaving immediately before you have sex. It's also not a bad idea to stop and think about what your hair removal techniques are doing to your health. If every time you shave you end up itchy and uncomfortable from ingrown hairs and skin infections, it might make sense to go another route.

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Comments
November 11, 2012 at 12:33 am
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