A Hairless Vag May Be Hazardous For Your Health

Illustration for article titled A Hairless Vag May Be Hazardous For Your Health

The concept of pubic landscaping is ubiquitous at this point — even men are getting (gag) "boyzillians" — but there are also signs that au naturel pubes are coming back in fashion. Maybe that's because the fear that others won't be sexually attracted to you if your vagina doesn't look like a twelve-year-old's kind of dissipated after the Sex and the City finale.

Still, if some douche/Real Housewife gives you shit for choosing not to wax or shave, drop some gross quotes from Dr. Emily Gibson's recent piece about why going hairless is bad for your health. Some excerpts:

Pubic hair removal naturally irritates and inflames the hair follicles left behind, leaving microscopic open wounds. Rather than suffering a comparison to a bristle brush, frequent hair removal is necessary to stay smooth, causing regular irritation of the shaved or waxed area. When that irritation is combined with the warm moist environment of the genitals, it becomes a happy culture media for some of the nastiest of bacterial pathogens, namely group A streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus and its recently mutated cousin methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA). There is an increase in staph boils and abscesses, necessitating incisions to drain the infection, resulting in scarring that can be significant. It is not at all unusual to find pustules and other hair follicle inflammation papules on shaved genitals.


Not traumatizing enough for you? Gibson also notes that she's "seen cellulitis (soft tissue bacterial infection without abscess) of the scrotum, labia and penis from spread of bacteria from shaving or from sexual contact with strep or staph bacteria from a partner's skin." Lovely. Also, "Some clinicians are finding that freshly shaved pubic areas and genitals are also more vulnerable to herpes infections due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to virus carried by mouth or genitals." Hear that, Samantha Jones?

Of course, some women enjoy the feel of being waxed/shaved/whatever. Is that so bad? Nah — but Caitlin Moran brought up some good points on that subject in a recent Hairpin interview. "I feel that anything that's normal that involves pain and costs a lot of money that boys aren't doing is something that I would really urgently want to have some kind of massive fucking inquest into," she said. When the site asked her about women who use public hair "as a sort of chasity belt," Moran shared some more waxing wisdom:

But would you really not, though?? Any rule I've ever made in my life, if I had two drinks and was quite turned on, I would just - if I had written the word "tit" on my tits in a black mark pen, and by taking my top off that word would be revealed, I would still have sex, because the thing is that men just don't care. You know, as I put in the book, there are men having sex with bicycles. There's American Pie, the highly grossing film about the eternal truth that men would fuck a pie. I don't think we need to worry about doing it for the men. There used to be the idea that women have to be persuaded. The idea that we've kind of flipped this whole thing the other way around so that women feel like they've got to persuade men to have sex with them by enduring incredibly costly cosmetic things is just nuts.

So let's not worry about doing it for the men, or cultural expectations, or thongs, or anything/anyone else. Let's worry about doing it because of abscesses and staph bacteria! Wooo, Friday night!

Doctor: Pubic Hair Exists for a Reason — Our Obsession With Hairless Genitals Must End! [Alternet]


Image via mast3rShutterstock.

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The one time in my life I got a brazilian wax, I was not given good aftercare advice and ended up with a raging skin yeast infection. Then it turned out I was allergic to the anti-fungal cream, so my doctor didn't see me again, but just prescribed diflucan, based on my description of the symptoms. I ended up with hives from my neck to my knees, and in the ER on my birthday after going into anaphylaxis. Thank god I was already on heavy duty anti-histamines at that point, after speaking to the doctor on call who said (and this is a direct quote) "Oh dear god, quit taking the diflucan right now. I'm calling in a heavy duty antihistamine and I want you to take two immediately, and two in another 4 hours." I had taken my first dose, and I was on the CTA platform at Belmont, when I started getting tunnel vision, had trouble breathing, and could hear the blood rushing in my head and my heart pounding wildly. I was able to make my way down the stairs and there was a police officer there who called an ambulance. In 5 minutes, I had oxygen, a saline IV and and epi shot standing by. I spent a few hours in the ER under observation, and yes, I managed to rally and make it out for my birthday that night.

Moral of the story: NO MORE FUCKING BRAZILIANS, EVER! Now I just trim it down with a beard trimmer with a nice 1/4 inch guard. It's more comfortable for me, but I also really careful when I do it.