Uh-oh. If you're one of those people who likes to keep things perfectly groomed "down there," then I've got some potentially bad news.
French researchers have found that shaving or waxing your bikini area may up your risk for contracting a viral skin infection. (Well, isn't that just great?)
Yep, apparently removing pubic hair (I hate that term) causes "micro trauma" to your bikini area, which can possibly help the spread of an infection called Molluscum contagium.
(Ick. It certainly sounds gross.)
Molluscum contagium is characterized by "pearly papules" on the skin. It can be spread by touching contaminated objects such as towels, or through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it.
And since having sex and skin-to-skin contact are virtually one in the same, it shouldn't come as a shock that doctors are seeing more and more sexually transmitted cases.
Researchers in Nice, France, examined 30 people who had the infection between January 2011 and March 2012. And guess what? They found that 93 percent of them had their pubic hair removed. Of those, 70 percent had shaved their bikini area, 13 percent had clipped it, and 10 percent went the waxing route.
Huh. Pretty interesting stuff. I guess it does seem to make sense that you'd have a greater chance of catching a skin-to-skin infection if you don't have any hair protecting you, but somehow I'm guessing this research isn't enough to stop anyone from waxing or shaving.
I know there's no way in hell I'm about to give up my razor anytime soon.
You see, I hate, let me reiterate that -- I H-A-T-E body hair. And somewhere around the time I entered college, I started clipping and grooming my bikini area, and then at some point, I switched to the razor and shaved most of it off and never looked back. To this day, I shave at least a couple times a week, and maybe even more often than that in the summer.
I love having things under control in my nether regions, and I can't even imagine tossing the razor and letting things grow wild -- even if it does mean I'm more susceptible to a freaky infection. I'd rather be clean and hair-free than have my lower half resemble some sort of jungle -- regardless of what the risks are.
But luckily I'm married, so (hopefully) this isn't something I'll ever have to worry about. (As long as hotels change their towels on a regular basis, I guess. Eek!)
Do you shave or wax your bikini area? Would you ever stop?
Image via Mary Fischer