Genital Hair Removal Associated with Increased Risk of Viral Infection

Published Online: Friday, May 17, 2013
The removal of pubic hair was found to be linked with an increased risk of contracting a pox virus known as Molluscum contagiosum, according to new research published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections. Although Molluscum usually tends to occur in children or immunocompromised individuals, it can also be transmitted through intimate sexual contact or direct contact with contaminated items.

Researchers hypothesized that a recent increase in the number of these viral infections might be associated with the increasing popularity of genital hair removal.

The data were collected through review of patient records at a skin care clinic in Nice, France, between January 2011 and March 2012. During the study period, 30 people were found to be infected with Molluscum. Of these cases, 93% had undergone hair removal in the genital region either by shaving (70%), waxing (10%), or with clippers (13%). The presence of ancillary skin conditions, such as warts, cysts, folliculitis, scars, and ingrown hairs was identified in 10 of the Molluscum cases.

The investigators concluded that microscopic tears in the top layer of the skin encourage the spread of infection, and these tiny breaks in the epidermal layer can occur as a result of hair removal. Hair removal also promotes scratching, which the researchers theorized could have caused subjects to infect themselves.


Latest Articles
This weekly video program provides our readers with an in-depth review of the latest news, product approvals, FDA rulings and more.
Chronic kidney disease incidence has grown faster than many of its common comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension, and medications may be an underappreciated driver of this growth.
President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal calls for an additional $1.1 billion to combat the nation’s spiraling opioid epidemic.
Baxter International is voluntarily recalling intravenous solution due to leaking containers and the potential for particulate matter.
Latest Issues
$auto_registration$