No-Shave November might be a healthy thing – south of the face

November 7, 2017 Providence Health Team

If the onset of summer and lazy afternoons spent by the pool were indicators to banish body hair, the chill in the air and unpacking of winter coats are convincing enough to let it grow. The prospect of colder months ahead does more than give us an excuse to neglect our razor for a while, it could help us avoid some surprising health implications. A recent study found certain injuries related to pubic hair grooming are more common than you might think. Regardless of whether you’re male or female, proceed with caution and consider the following before your next trim.

The disadvantages of pubic hair grooming

The trend of shaving pubic areas isn’t new. In fact, depictions of hairless women date back to the ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians. What’s the fascination? A personal choice for many, most people think that having pubic hair signifies uncleanliness and others do it perhaps to seem more attractive to their sexual partners. There are many other reasons why men and women choose to shave, but here are some reasons why you shouldn’t:

Cuts, scrapes and other injuries. According to the study, most urinary injuries are related to pubic hair grooming. Hair removal is carried out through a variety of methods such as shaving, tweezing, waxing and using hair removal creams. All of these methods are risky enough to result in cuts, burns, and if you’re really unlucky—a trip to the emergency room. Most injuries happen when people try to remove the hair themselves, so if you really want to go hairless this winter, err on the safe side and see a specialist.

Sexually transmitted diseases. When we wax or shave, we leave tiny open wounds on our pubic region. Engaging in sexual activity most likely results in skin-on-skin contact and increases our risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as genital warts, human papillomavirus and syphilis.

Infections and ingrown hairs. We know that the micro-cuts that come as a result of hair removal leave openings for bacteria to enter, making your nether region prone to infections. But besides tearing the skin, shaving causes pubic hair to grow sideways and curl back into the skin, resulting in painful and inflamed ingrown hairs.

If the reasons above aren’t enough to convince you to hold on to your hair, maybe these pubic hair benefits will:

  • Pubic hair provides cushion to protect your skin against abrasions and injury
  • It regulates temperature and moisture. Especially important for women, this can guard against a yeast infection.
  • It prevents foreign particles such as dust, germs and bacteria from entering your body
  • Pubic hair actually traps pheromones, which make you attractive to others. The more you sweat, the more your body gives off.
  • Shaving, waxing and other methods of removal can get expensive. Give your wallet and your pubic hair a break by letting it grow this winter.

Going hairless is a personal choice. If you’re on the fence, just know you don’t have to go all the way! Keeping the area clean is good enough, but if you want to trim the excess hair remember to see someone who specializes in safe hair removal.

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About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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