1 out of every 4 people injure themselves while grooming their pubic hair, according to a new survey. About 76 percent of the participants admitted having groomed ‘down there,’ and an important part of them got injuries and infections after doing so.
A lot of people tend to remove their pubic hair – either partially or entirely – using different methods. However, having no hair down there is linked to injuries, and these are more recurrent when pubic hair grooming is more frequent and extensive.
94 percent of people groomed their pubic hair on their own
Pubic hair removing is understood as the removal of some if not all of the pubic hair. It can be done with scissors, wax, a razor, laser hair removal or some other technique. However, grooming pubic hair is not such a smooth process since it can lead to different injuries such as razor and wax burns, hair follicle infection, rashes, lacerations, and irritation. Sometimes these public-hair-grooming related infections require medical attention.
26 percent of women and men who groom their pubic hair have injured themselves at least once, and among them, 32 percent said they’ve done so more than five times.
Researchers stated that between 50 and 87 percent of American adults reported having groomed their pubic hair at least once, so it is a quite widespread practice among people. The researchers started this study to understand how people can be injured while they remove their pubic hair.
The research was done with nearly 7,600 adults from the United States. 4,200 of them were women, and about 3,400 of them were men. Their ages ranged from 18 to 65. 5,600 of them reported having groomed their pubic hair. This practice is more common among women, since about 85 percent of the women in the study said they had done it while 67 percent of men admitted having groomed their pubic hair. 94 percent of all the participants stated that they groomed their pubic hair on their own. The most common tools to do so were razors and electric razors. They were followed by scissors, wax, and electrolysis or laser hair removal.
The most common type of injury are cuts
The rates of injuries were also higher among women, about 870 women said they had injured themselves while grooming their pubic hair, while 560 men have had these kinds of injuries for a total of 1,400 participants who reported injuries. The most common type of injury reported were cuts – about 61 percent of the injuries–, the second one were burns – 23 percent of participant reported burns – and burns were followed by rashes, which counted with 12 percent of the reported injuries.
9 percent of the 1400 participants who reported injuries said they developed an infection over pubic hair grooming. Most of those who reported injuries were the youngest participants, who started this practice early in life.
79 of those injured groomers (1.4 percent) said they needed medical attention to treat their infections. 49 of them needed antibiotics, and 36 individuals had an abscess drained, or a cut stitched up after they got the injury.
Among women, the most common area of injuries was the mons pubis, which is above the vulva, with 51 percent of the injuries they reported. It was followed by the inner thigh (45 percent), the vagina (43 percent), the perineum (13 percent) and the anus (6 percent). Men reported that the most common area of injury was the scrotum (67 percent of injuries among them), then the penis (35 percent of injuries) and the mons pubis (29 percent) which is just above the penis. Some of the participants reported injuries in different parts.
Safe pubic hair grooming recommendations are needed
The researchers concluded that those who remove their pubic hair more often have also more risks of injury, as well as those who prefer to remove all of their pubic hair. Serious injuries from pubic hair grooming are quite unusual; however, it is still a common practice. In fact, the emergency visits related to pubic hair grooming injuries increased between 1991 and 2013. Therefore, researchers suggest the need to have injury-prevention efforts for pubic hair grooming such as clinical guidelines and recommendations for grooming. As well, they say doctors should have the mechanisms to identify those people who have a higher risk of injury so they can provide recommendations.
The researchers noted that the study has certain limitations, because maybe not all the participants answered with complete honesty because pubic hair grooming is still a sensitive subject in society. As well, they said that people who might have suffered minor injured could have forgotten to report them.
This study was published Wednesday in JAMA Dermatology.