It was recently announced that pubic lice is on the decline due to the popularity of the Brazilian wax, which removes all pubic hair. But now a study shows that the removal of hair down there results in the risk of contracting a nasty skin infection called molluscum contagiosum.
Published in the British Medical Journal, researchers found that removing the hair makes the skin vulnerable to the infection, which is highly contagious and is passed through skin-to-skin contact.
The infection looks like raised, pearl-like bumps on the skin and is common in children and people with compromised immune systems, but it can also spread in healthy adults. Healthy adults usually get the virus from skin-to-skin contact through sex and by touching contaminated objects like towels or clothes.
The bumps spread everywhere on the skin, including genitals and surrounding areas. Those infected can spread it by scratching the affected area and touching another part of their body.
The small study focused on a group of people diagnosed with the infection at a French skin clinic between January 2011 and March 2012.
Of the 30 people with the infection, 93 percent had their pubic hair removed, 70 percent by shaving, 13 percent by cutting and 10 percent by waxing. Six of the patients were women and their average age was 29.5 years old.
Ten patients also had minor skin conditions as well, including ingrown hairs, warts, and a bacterial skin infection called folliculitis.
Though it sounds frightening, doctors say there is no reason to panic as it usually goes away on its own or through surgical removal tactics performed by a doctor. It is not like herpes, as it does not linger in the body once the symptoms disappear.