New research suggests waxing, shaving and using other methods to remove pubic hair may increase one's susceptibility to certain sexually transmitted diseases.
French researchers studied 30 clients from a private health clinic in Nice, France, who had a skin infection known as Molluscum contagiosum. The infection, which causes raised, pearl-like sores, can be transmitted during sex and has been increasing in certain parts of the world in recent years.
They stated that of the 30 individuals with MC studied, 93 percent had removed their pubic hair. Shaving was the preferred hair removal method for 70 percent, while 13 percent used clippers and 10 percent waxed it off.
Ten of the infected individuals also had other skin infections including warts and bacterial infections.
While researchers admitted that they couldn't prove that hair removal increases the risk for STDs, they stated that their findings confirm an association between the two.
Some experts who were not involved with the study support the belief that pubic hair removal may increase one's risk of contracting a STD, as small cuts can occur on the skin.
These small aberrations in the skin "open the door for catching the infection," Robert Brodell, M.D., told My Health News Daily.
MC, the infection that was studied, can also be spread through other types of contact and sharing towels or razor blades.
Other STDs, including genital warts and genital herpes are spread through skin-to-skin sexual contact. Individuals who have small cuts caused by hair removal may have an increased risk for contracting these infections as well.
According to NBC News, dermatologists recommend people who have any type of skin infection avoid further hair removal until they are cured, as the risk of the infection spreading is increased if the skin is cut. Experts also say that many skin infections are still contagious when they are covered with hair.