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Waxing could increase your risk of STIs

It seems that waxing could soon become more than simply an aesthetic issue now, with new reports claiming that waxing could increase your risk of catching sexually transmitted diseases. Francois Desruelles, a dermatologist, has looked into the link between pubic hair and a viral disease known as molloscum contagiosum, which can be sexually transmitted and produces round, flesh-coloured bumps on the skin. This pox virus is common in children, often spread via swimming pools, as well as in those who have immune systems which are compromised by illness or drugs.

Researchers tested the link in order to determine whether the rise in localised infections in both women and men over the past decade were increased by the rising popularity in Brazilians, and other waxing techniques. In the case study, which was made up of six women and 24 men, 93 percent of the participants had some form of hair removal – 70 percent used shaving, 13 percent clipping and 10 percent opted for waxing. This led researchers to believe that the microscopic tears caused by hair removal open up the skin to be more susceptible to propagating and transmitting the virus. Sexual health experts say that the micro-trauma to the skin provides a prime environment for infections to get into the body – in the case of genital warts, for example, the skin to skin contact makes it extremely easy for infection to spread. If there are tears to the skin, this makes it far easier for viruses to be contracted.

Researchers recommend that anyone who wants to remove their pubic hair more safely should consider an alternative method, such as laser hair removal. This is less likely to cause micro-trauma to the skin, which will help reduce the risk. There are some benefits to hair removal, though, as the lack of hair means there is a less than hospitable environment for public lice to latch on to.

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This entry was posted on July 12, 2013 by and tagged , , .
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