A doctor has launched an appeal to reverse one of the fashion trends of the last decade, seen in the explosion of beauty salons offering bikini waxing, laser hair removal and “vajazzling”– jewelled decoration of the genitals.
Emily Gibson, a family physician and head of a student health centre, called for an end to the “war on pubic hair”
claiming it is increasing the risk of infection and of sexually transmitted diseases amongst young people.
As director of the health centre at Western University in Washington State, US, she has seen the consequences. “Pubic hair removal naturally irritates and inflames the hair follicles, leaving microscopic open wounds. Frequent hair removal is necessary to stay smooth, causing regular irritation of the shaved or waxed area. When that is combined with the warm, moist environment of the genitals, it becomes a happy culture media for some of the nastiest bacterial pathogens,” she writes on the respected US medical website Kevin MD.com.Surgeons used to insist on shaving the area of the body where an operation was to be performed in the misguided belief that it reduced surgical site infections. Now official advice is to leave hair alone, unless it interferes with the operation, and where removal is necessary to use electric clippers.
Dr Gibson says that whatever method is used on pubic hair – razor blades, electric shavers, tweezers, waxing, depilatories, electrolysis
- “hair, like crab grass, always grows back and eventually wins.”
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