Your Bikini Wax May Be Bad for Your Health

OMG 13

bikini bottomAHA! I knew it! I knew the War Against Pubic Hair would end badly. Turns out the totally bare trend is "increasing the risk of infection and of sexually transmitted diseases" among the fuzz-free masses who spend an estimated $2.1 billion battling the bush every year (that's in the U.S. alone!). And it doesn't really matter which method of hair removal you choose, either. According to Emily Gibson, M.D., whether you're waxing, shaving, plucking, using depilatory creams or whatever else, you're also inadvertently causing the hair follicles to become irritated and inflamed, "leaving microscopic open wounds." Which, because they are in a "warm, moist environment," quickly become prime breeding ground for "some of the nastiest bacterial pathogens."

Sexy, huh? And wait until you hear what some of those "bacterial pathogens" are. (Hint: Ain't no amount of vajazzling gonna distract from these yuckies!)

Apparently it's common for doctors to encounter hair removal-induced boils and abscesses on people's genitals, not to mention "cellulitis, an infection of the scrotum, labia, or penis from shaving or from having sex with someone infected." Plus, it's easier to spread/contract herpes when you got no hair down there.

GROSS! Gross, gross, and more gross. Are boils really preferable to pubes?!

I mean, look. I'm not gonna lie: I waste way more time, effort, and money than any sane person should attempting to conform to the current, um, style (for lack of a better word). But I spend an almost equal amount of time wondering why. Why am I doing this? Somewhere deep inside I know it can't be healthy, these regular assaults on my bikini line. Why do I cave in to the pube-hating pressure? As Dr. Gibson points out, “Pubic hair does have a purpose, providing a cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion and injury, and protection from bacteria."

I'm totally down with the doc's idea to put an end to the hairless hysteria. But I don't know if I'm brave enough to pioneer the movement, truthfully.

So ... you first?

Do you think our obsession with hair removal is getting out of control?


Image via iamsuperkane/Flickr

general health, body image


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nonmember avatar HS

You wanna know what else is nasty? All those yummy juices getting trapped in all that hair and festering the day away. Keep it trimmed, neat, and cleaned, practice safe sex (if single), and don't wear restrictive clothing that will the rub the area right after doing what it is that you do to keep it neat. I give mine's an edge up with a razor. I apply neosporin (sp?) as soon as I get out of the shower and pat dry. Then I go commando till morning at least. And nooo rubbing down there...ladies, tell your man to be patient! It won't be out of commission long. When proper procedures are followed, you shouldn't have these types of issues. And pleeeease!!! don't try and say you can't contract herpes with hair down there (or it's "harder" to). That's like saying you don't have to wear a condom just make sure he pulls out.

Pinkmani Pinkmani

My friends think I'm weird for taking it all off. I think they're weird because they don't exercise with underwear. "...cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion and injury, and protection from bacteria". What the heck is going on down there? My grandmother and my OB/GYN told me to let it breathe at night. Whatever happened to that?

the4m... the4mutts

Jaqueline- I don't like a lot of what you post. But I have been having this internal battle with myself lately also.

Before I had kids, I was a stripper. So hair removal was a "must". But 9 yrs later, I'm still doing it. Why? Its a pain in the ass, I knick myself on a regular basis, and sometimes end up with painful razor bumps despite the proper care I take.

So if you're reading your comments today, I say this: I will stop shaving TODAY, if you do too. Let's take the "grow it out" challenge. I'll even update my blog on CM every 2 days so we can compare notes on how its going.

I know, that sounds stupid. But honestly, none of my friends could even FATHOM having a single hair down there. So why not compare with a complete stranger that has no shred of self dignity that will stop them from giving details? *I mean me. I have no shame*

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I know I'm in the miniority here, but I'm pro-bush all the way :D

Erinly Erinly

Ever since I got my first Brazilian wax 5 years ago, I've preferred to keep it bare. I recently started laser hair removal on the whole thing and LOVE it. Looks like I'm S.O.L if the bush makes a comeback.

amomm... amommy2jack

Yes, I think "hair phobia" has gotten totally out of control and place a lot of the blame on the porno industry who tends to promote hairlessness as the new norm.  I know there are  women out there who go hairless for their jobs (strippers, dancers, swimmers, lifeguards, gymnasts) but I'd have to say the majority of women who have opened up about this topic to me are doing it because its what their boyfriend, husband or SO expect.  Its fine to want to be sexy for your love IF that is what you wan, but when it starts becoming an expectation and some women are shunned or degraded for not following the trend, then it has gone too far.  It makes me sad that there are so many women ashamed of being womanly.  I proudly wear my pubic hair, I keep it clean and I will lightly trim the long ones, but that is it.  I've never had a problem interesting my husband (when I was married) and my boyfriend now, in some sexy time.

xreds... xredstarsx

I hate shaving! I think ill stop even though DF prefers it all gone.

nonmember avatar gigimama

It's amazing that people are surprised pubic hair serves a purpose.

nonmember avatar Amanda

I've been shaving it all for over 10 yrs, and I never had any problems. Love how clean I feel. Growing it out is never an option because I would feel so dirty and disgusting, like if I didn't take a shower for weeks! But to each their own, I'm not going to judge others because then others will judge me! :)

nonmember avatar Dee

I say to each their own but personally I find having hair womanly. I'm not a 12 year old girl or a stripper or bikini model. I keep it clean (duh) and trim every so often so as to keep it all landscaped rather then allow a jungle there and certainly DH wouldn't dare say a word, though he's into the natural look anyway. I tried waxing though for my honeymoon and hated it. But hey like I said, that's just my opinion whatever floats your boat but no one should feel PRESSURED about their pubic hair. That's kind of ridiculous

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