Injuries from pubic hair grooming are no laughing matter, as described by researchers from UC San Francisco in a 2017 paper in JAMA Dermatology, which surveyed close to 7,600 men and women ages 18 to 65 in the U.S.
About three-quarters—more women than men—reported having done some pubic grooming in their lifetime, with about 25 percent experiencing at least one mishap and 32 percent having five or more injuries, most commonly lacerations, followed by burns and rashes.
A small percent of injuries were severe enough to require medical attention, including antibiotics for skin infections, stitches for lacerations, and incisions to drain abscesses. In men, most injuries were to the scrotum; in women, the pubis (the skin area over the pubic bones).
Regardless of how it’s done, removing all pubic hair was associated with a greater risk of injury than partial removal. In women, waxing was associated with less risk of injury than shaving or using scissors, perhaps because waxing decreases the frequency of grooming since its results last longer (though waxing has the potential for burn injuries).
According to an earlier study, pubic hair grooming resulted in nearly 12,000 visits to emergency departments between 2002 and 2010, with the number trending upward as the practice became more widespread.
In addition, other research has linked pubic grooming, especially “extreme grooming” (that is, removing all hair) to increased risk of some sexually transmitted infections, including HPV, syphilis, and herpes.
Also see 9 Dangerous Beauty Trends.