Over the past few decades, the trend in pubic hair length has gone from bushy to barely there, but very few people think of there being actual medical consequences to shaving their privates. Before you pick up that razor, here’s a rundown of some of the benefits and dangers.
- Pubic hair increases the temperature in the crotch area and traps germs and dirt, so removing it can reduce the risk of foul odor and hygiene issues developing.
- Pubic hair is also a habitat for pubic lice (AKA “crabs”), tiny insects that, while not spreading disease, feed on human blood and cause itching in the nether regions. The reduction in pubic hair has been so prevalent worldwide, in fact, that the pubic louse may soon be in danger of becoming an endangered species.
- If a shaved crotch is more appealing to your sexual partner, you’ll likely have more sex, meaning more exercise, less stress and better sleep.
- Because pubic hair traps germs and dirt, eliminating the hair allows all that that icky stuff to reach your privates, which can lead to infections, particularly in women.
- The soft, cushy nature of “the hair down there” provides cushioning during sex and other activities that might cause crotch friction; without it, all that motion can cause skin irritation.
- The process of shaving itself comes with health hazards: cuts, even if not visible, can become infected by anything from common bacteria to herpes, especially since there’s no hair to impede the germs or virus. Case in point: a recent study conducted at a French skin clinic found that 93% of the adult patients suffering from a wart-like viral infection called molluscum contagiosum had removed their public hair — most by shaving.
- Shaving can also cause itchy, inflamed razor bumps and ingrown hairs, the latter of which is particularly prevalent in pubic hair because of its curly shape. Using wax or depilatories to remove hair can help reduce (but not eliminate) the risks involved with using a razor.
(Sources: Bloomberg.com, SearchWarp, The Guardian, DoctorOz.com, Science Codex)