The STI Clinic News > Pubic Grooming Could Encourage Molluscum Contagiosum
# Friday, March 29, 2013
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013 | Categories: Genital Warts

The topic concerning whether pubic hair should be removed or trimmed has been discussed quite extensively in the past. While those discussions have relied rather heavily on feminist arguments and health concerns that may arise as a result of extensive grooming in such a sensitive area, there have been few studies worth mentioning. Today, a recently published editorial suggesting that water warts can develop as a result of shaving or clipping pubic hair grabbed out attention.

The editorial, which was published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, was based on an observational study comparing patient records among 30 patients that had been treated for so-called “water warts” at a private skin clinic in France. The researchers mostly relied on comparing patient notes and observed that 28 of their cases had in fact had pubic hair removal, with the majority shaving the hairs off. Based on this, the researchers argued that shaving could potentially cause micro-trauma to the skin, which in turn would increase the risk for the so-called Molluscum contagiosum pox virus that causes water waters. This virus can be spread via sexual activity, but also can also be spread by skin on skin contact. They further argued that although the reasons for the increase in removal of pubic hairs were debatable at best (i.e. cultural, religious or trendy), the increased cases of water-warts appeared to be strongly related to the increase of Brazilian waxes and other hair removal methods in that area over the past ten years.

While the editorial was well-written, and the arguments appeared straightforward, it is still worth noting that this was an editorial based on a small scale study that relied on secondary data and did not use statistical analysis to reach their conclusions. Although this indicates that a more thorough study would be warranted, we feel like it is unlikely that this will happen. Nevertheless, the value of the findings is clear from a clinical perspective and from a research perspective.

Further details are available on this website.

 

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