If you are one of millions of Americans who prefer little or no hair “down there,” we have a public service announcement for you: Grooming your pubic hair can be surprisingly dangerous.
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According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a whopping one-quarter of Americans who groom their nethers have suffered an injury, with some even ending up in the hospital.
“We were, quite frankly, quite surprised how frequently people were presenting with injuries relating to grooming,” co-author of the study Benjamin Breyer, a urologist at the University of California, San Francisco, explained to The Guardian about what prompted the research. “Three percent of the time [adults] are coming in [to the emergency department with a genitourinary injury, it’s] with a grooming injury.”
Researchers surveyed 7,456 adults via an online survey, and of those, 5,674 — more than 70 percent (66.5 percent of men and 85.3 percent of women) — admitted to grooming their pubic hair in some “nonelectric blade, electric razor, wax, scissors, laser hair removal and/or electrolysis or other” way.
Of all the groomers, 25.6 percent had been injured during the grooming of their nether regions, with two-thirds of those reporting they had been injured more than once and a third on five or more occasions over their lifetime. Most people groom their own pubic areas, while around 4 percent rely on a professional, 9 percent get help from a partner and 0.5 percent use a (take a deep breath) friend.
Unsurprisingly, the most common type of injury reported was a laceration, followed by burns and rashes. Of the injured bunch, 79 (1.4 percent) sustained such serious injuries that they required medical attention — some even needed antibiotics, stitches, surgical incisions or drainage of an abscess. Ouch. While most injuries were the result of a razor, Beyer maintains that it’s difficult to pinpoint the most hazardous method because of the simple fact that they are “by far used the most.”
And yes, most of the injuries were in “that” area — the pubis for the ladies and scrotum for men. Again: Ouch.
While it might be easy to assume that having someone else do the deed for you is a whole lot safer, it isn’t. Most of the severe injuries occurred when someone was lying on their back and having someone else groom them. Others with an increased risk of getting seriously injured are hairier men and individuals who remove all of their pubic hair. “You are getting at all the nooks and crannies of your body — you are going to get places you can’t see very well and that probably in turn leads to a greater likelihood of getting injured,” said Beyer.
Though researchers don’t expect you to stop grooming your pubic hair altogether, they hope their findings will encourage you to take precautions. “If you have had an injury, think about altering your practices,” he said. “The things that we know can be protective is doing it just a little less frequently and also taking off less hair in total — treating fewer areas.”
So, basically, easy on the Brazilians and easy on the manscaping, guys.
What Do YOU Think?
Are you surprised that so many people injure themselves while grooming their pubic regions? Have you ever suffered a injury? What do you think the safest method of hair removal is?