Bikini waxing, "vajazzling" or jeweled decoration of the genitals, waxing, shaving and removal of pubic hair are all becoming increasingly popular among young people. But some doctors are opposing the "war against pubic hair" and are trying to highlight the possible dangers of these activities.
Dr. Emily Gibson, director of the student health center at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., shed light on the trend in an article for the medical website KevinMD.com. She writes, "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."
Gibson adds that pubic hair is meant to protect the genitals from infection and removal increases the chances of not only yeast and bacterial infections but also the chances of sexually transmitted diseases.
According to a report in The Independent, the U.S. hair removal market is estimated to be worth $2.1 billion, propelled by the hairless image of celebrities and the increasing popularity of bikinis and thongs.
Gibson also warns that "hair, like crabgrass, always grows back and eventually wins." In her experience as a physician, she finds more and more patients with infections on their genitals resulting from attempts to keep them free of pubic hair.
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She urges people to understand the importance of pubic hair by saying, "(It) 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."
The report was backed by several other doctors and provides a good advice to the youth of today amongst whom the popularity of bikini waxing and decoration of the genitals is increasing.