Pubic Hair Grooming-Related Injuries Are On The Rise

Photographed by Nicole Maroon.
Unkempt bushes were peak sexy in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but a lot has changed since the Summer of Love and the decade that followed — including the way people tend to their pubic hair. We’ve since become a society obsessed with the act of “grooming,” opting to shave, wax, laser, sugar, and depilate our way to our individual desired levels of hairiness, or Brazilian it all away if we so choose. But this cultural shift hasn’t been without its disadvantages, namely the fact that injuries sustained during pubic hair grooming are on the rise.
In an actual study conducted by an actual team of researchers that was published in JAMA Dermatology today, 66% of American men and 85% of American women between the ages of 18 and 65 copped to grooming their pubes in some fashion. Of them, 27% of women and 24% of men reported having been injured while doing so. Over half of those injuries were cuts or lacerations, followed by burns, then rashes. Men most frequently reported cuts to their scrotums; women, the pubis, followed closely by the inner thigh.
Alarmingly, 1.4% of the injuries were severe enough that they required medical attention, but the vast majority were minor, as in the case of wax and razor burns, ingrown hairs, and irritation. But a previous study observed an estimated 11,704 emergency department visits for these types of injuries between 2002 and 2010, with 83% of them caused by a razor. (This is according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which collects data from patients with “consumer product-related” complaints).
The results of the study, while illuminating, should not come as a shock to anybody who’s ever trimmed their own hedges. There are so very many things that could go wrong — a slip of the hand, a dull razor, wax that’s just a few degrees too hot. May we all be more mindful of what we’re doing down there, lest we become part of the unfortunate 1.4% who have found themselves in the ER for their mistakes. We can't even imagine the discharge forms in those scenarios.
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