Pubic hair grooming injuries might not seem like a common reason to see the doctor, but a new study suggests otherwise, while underscoring the need to be careful when grooming “down there.”
In a report on the new study, CBS News wrote that over a quarter of men and women who groom their pubic hair report various injuries, including cuts, burns, and infections. According to lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Breyer, an associate professor of urology and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California in San Francisco, most of the injuries are minor, but a small percentage of them were serious enough to send patients to the emergency room.
“In another study, we found that three percent of all adults who were seen in the emergency room for urinary injuries had injuries related to pubic hair grooming,” said Breyer.
The data was taken from a survey of over 7,500 U.S. adults, both male and female, and based on this data, close to 67 percent of men and 85 percent of women practice pubic hair grooming. Injuries were reported by close to 26 percent of those who cut or trim their pubic hair, with women (27 percent) slightly more likely than men (24 percent) to get injured in the process. Breyer’s team added that slightly over one percent of the groomers had injuries serious enough to require medical attention.
The study, which was published earlier this week in the journal JAMA Dermatology, also took a look at the types of pubic grooming hair injuries, and which ones were more common. Over 61 percent of the injured respondents reported laceration, with burns (23 percent) and rashes (12.2 percent) also commonplace. Slightly more than nine percent of groomers claimed to have a history of infection due to their injuries. Additionally, 3.4 percent of injured groomers required antibiotics, and another 2.5 percent required incision, drainage, or other surgical interventions.
The study did not take note of why pubic hair grooming is so popular with men and women alike, but Breyer told CBS News that it may likely be related to sexual performance, and how it is oftentimes seen in adult films. He also warned that people with such injuries run a higher risk of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease via an open wound.
Given the risks revealed by Breyer’s study, what alternatives do people have if they want to avoid pubic hair grooming injuries? In an interview with CBS News, Dr. Michele Greene of Lenox Hill Hospital said that laser treatments or other professional methods are strongly recommended, and while men, in particular, may be reluctant to use these methods, it’s imperative that people see a specialist if they “really don’t like (their pubic) hair.”
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