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Pubic hair grooming: Top things to know

18 August 2017

Compared with nonelectric blades, waxing was associated with a reduction in high-frequency injuries among women (adjusted OR = 0.11; P =.001).

Researchers found that people who remove all their pubic hair multiple times throughout their lifetime are much more likely to experience injuries. In women, the mons pubis (located above the vulva) was the most common site of injury, reported by 51 percent of injured women, followed by the inner thigh (45 percent), the vagina (43 percent), the area between the vagina and anus (13 percent) and the anus (6 percent).

Researchers from the University of California San Francisco, University of Texas Dell Medical School and Washington University School of Medicine conducted a survey of 7,570 adults in the United States ages 18-65 in January 2014 to gather information about grooming habits and their risks. Women were most likely to injure their pubis, or the pelvis area, and men were most likely to injure their scrotum. Out of the respondents, 25.6 percent of them reported injuries from grooming. Among the questions, participants were asked the age at which they began grooming their pubic hair, how hairy they thought they were, and whether they had ever sustained injuries through grooming.

Pubic hair grooming: Top things to know
Pubic hair grooming: Top things to know

They found that 66.5 percent of men and 85.3 percent of women reported a history of grooming.

A similar trend was reported for women who removed all pubic hair 11 times or more compared with those who did not, with injuries (adjusted OR = 2.21; P .001) and high-frequency injuries (adjusted OR = 2.98; P .001) reported more frequently in the former group. Women were more likely to injure themselves if they groomed weekly or monthly or removed all of their pubic hair a few times, compared with nongroomers, the study found.

Getting someone else to do your grooming for you can be risky too, as another person won't have the sensation of knowing something is uncomfortable or scissors are too close for comfort.

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Notably, waxing seems to be the safest method of hair removal - probably because it doesn't involve a blade (though there is still the risk of a burn).

He said rushing, using a boring razor and using hot or chemical products can lead to injuries.

Many doctors, in fact, say that pubic hair grooming can cause problems.

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In a previous study, Breyer and colleagues found that genital injuries sent almost 16,000 people over age 18 to USA emergency rooms between 2002 and 2010.

The most common injury was laceration (cuts), followed by burns, and then rashes. We are interested in particular how grooming is related to STI transmission. Results were analyzed between mid-2016 and early 2017.

While the authors note that the majority of injuries were minor, 2.5% of those who reported injuries said they were severe and needed surgical intervention, from requiring stitches to the draining of abscesses.

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"Thus, injury-prevention efforts are necessary", the authors wrote. The present data may help identify injury-prone groomers and lead to safer grooming practices.

Pubic hair grooming: Top things to know