To shave or not to shave, that is the question? It's been said that the fad for people shaving their pubic hair was inspired by porn, but now some doctors are saying that it could be bad for one's health.
Dr. Emily Gibson, director of the student health center at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., is against women and men shaving their pubic hair just to appear aesthetically pleasing.
"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," she wrote on KevinMD.com, a respected U.S. medical website.
"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."
The Independent noted that the hair removal market was estimated to be worth $2.1 billion in the U.S. in 2011.
According to Gibson there is no "best way" to remove hair. Whether one plucks, waxes, shaves or gets electrolysis it "always grows back and eventually wins," she said.
She stated that she's found people with boils and abscesses on their genitals from shaving or from having sex with someone who had an infection.
There's also an increased risk of herpes "due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to virus carried by mouth or genitals."
"It follows that there may be vulnerability to spread of other sexually transmitted diseases as well," she says.
"Pubic hair does have a purpose, providing a cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion and injury, and protection from bacteria. It is the visible result of adolescent hormones and certainly nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about."
"It is time to declare a truce in the war on pubic hair and allow it to stay right where it belongs."
It's clear where Gibson stands, but what about the public? After news of her statement, some Twitter users weighed in:
@arranidgaf doesn't care whether Dr. Gibson says it's healthier or not writing, "i'm sorry put pubic hair is actually the most annoying thing ever"
@Petaaa tweeted, "Just read an article about 'the war on pubic hair' ..put some frightful images in my head."
@Geraldine_Skov might be putting the razor down for good after posting, "It's official: Pubic hair is back in style"
Should people stop shaving their pubic hair?