The STI Clinic News > Genital Warts
# Friday, 29 March 2013
Posted: Friday, 29 March 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.

# Monday, 09 January 2012
Posted: Monday, 09 January 2012 | Categories: Genital Warts

There has been a swathe of news reports highlighting the misunderstanding surrounding the HPV vaccine among the girls who have received it. In a recent survey carried out in the US it was found that almost 1 in 4 of those questioned thought that the vaccination would lower their risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections in addition to HPV and a number of these girls had not used a condom the last time they had engaged in sexual activity. The results of the survey are published in the Archives of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

The HPV vaccine is offered to young girls at a stage in their lives when there is possibly much confusion surrounding the topic of sexual health and so the message needs to be clearer and education must start earlier, at least at the point of administration. The average age of the girls questioned were 17, having completed the three doses of the vaccine.

There is really no excuse for this level of ignorance amongst this population group. Girls of that age should not be vaccinated against anything without the healthcare provider explaining exactly what the vaccine will protect against.

# Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Posted: Tuesday, 13 December 2011 | Categories: Genital Warts

The latest in a long line of reasons why not to get vaccinated against the HPV virus has been proved wrong. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has carried out a survey which showed that females who have been vaccinated against the virus are not more likely to have unprotected sex than those who are not vaccinated, contrary to popular opinion. 1,200 young women between the ages of 15 and 24 were surveyed.

In fact, the sexually active women in the group who had been vaccinated against HPV were more likely to use a condom during sex consistently than women who were not vaccinated.

The CDC also say that this is the case for now however the survey does not suggest that the HPV vaccination would not have such an effect over time.

Gardasil has now been announced as the new first line vaccine against the virus in the UK from next September, protecting young women against both cancer causing strains of the HPV virus and those causing genital warts. If campaigners get their way, Gardasil might be made available to males on the NHS as well but we think that this is unlikely to happen soon.

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