Most adults in the US groom their pubic hair, and a significant percentage of them end up with cuts and infections as a result, researchers say.
In a national survey of adults aged 18 to 65, more than three-quarters said they groomed their pubic hair.
Of those, about one in four ended up with an injury and a small portion needed medical attention.
“What we’re finding here makes intuitive sense,” said lead author Benjamin Breyer of the University of California in San Francisco.
“These are, in general, going to be minor injuries.”
In a previous study, Breyer and colleagues found that genital injuries sent nearly 16 000 people over the age of 18 to US emergency rooms between 2002 and 2010.
In that study, about 7% of the emergency visits were tied to shaving items and about 5% were linked to other bathroom products.
For the new study, the researchers had responses from 7 570 people.
About 76% reported grooming their pubic hair. About 85% of women groomed, compared with about 67% of men.
About 26% sustained an injury from grooming, with women more likely to be harmed than men.
Cuts were the most common injury, followed by burns and rashes.
About 9% reported infections stemming from their injury.
People who reported grooming injuries were likely to report more than one.
About a third of people reported five or more injuries, for example.
“Of the people who groom, 1.4% sought medical attention for a laceration or infection from their injury,” Breyer told Reuters Health.
He said rushing, using a dull razor and using hot or chemical products can lead to injuries.
“Anecdotally, I think some of the cheaper little shavers don’t do as good a job as those with a little higher quality,” he said.
More research is needed to know whether some grooming methods are safer than others, the researchers wrote in Jama Dermatology. – Reuters