Shaving and waxing of bikini lines could be behind an explosion in the number of cases of a type of sexually transmitted infection that causes unsightly warts, doctors are warning.
Shaving the pubic region causes ‘micro-trauma’ of the skin, boosting the chance of a pox virus called Molluscum contagiosum, say the French experts.
The virus causes water warts, small pink bubbles which can break out over the body. These warts are relatively common in children as the virus can be spread by normal skin-on-skin contact.
However, it is also passed on during sexual activity, and over the last decade the incidence of this type of infection has been on the rise.
French doctors wanted to know if this rise was linked to the growing fashion for ‘Brazilians’ and other forms of pubic hair removal.
They looked through records of visits to a private skin clinic in Nice from January 2011 to March 2012, and identified 30 cases of water warts infection. All but two of the 30 patients had undergone pubic hair removal. Twenty of the 28 had been shaved, five clipped and three waxed.
In four cases the warts had spread to the abdomen and in one they had spread to the thighs.
Writing in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, they warned: “Hair removal (especially shaving) could favour its acquisition, propagation and transmission by micro-traumatisms.”
They said the reason for opting for pubic hair removal remained “unclear”, “but may be linked with internet-based pornography”.
“Another reason cited is an increased sexual sensation. There may also be psychological reasons, as an unconscious desire to simulate an infantile look or a desire to distance ourselves from our animal nature.”
The trend, they noted, was “also growing among men”. In fact, 24 of the 30 cases were in men.
Stephen Adams Telegraph.co.uk