Bikini line waxing and shaving poses infection risk

Women in bikinis 'Brazilians' and other types of pubic hair removal may pose an infection risk

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Men and women seeking a well-groomed bikini line are at greater risk of infections, say researchers.

Waxing and shaving causes micro trauma to the skin, leaving it vulnerable to pathogens like poxvirus, they told a British Medical Journal publication.

The team studied 30 new patients with a poxvirus called molluscum contagiosum who had been treated in a private clinic in France.

They say pubic hair removal is becoming increasingly popular among men too.

Twenty-four of the 30 patients they examined were men.

In all 30 cases, the lesions had appeared in the bikini line area that had been either shaved, waxed or trimmed.

Molluscum contagiousum is highly contagious and easily spread through skin-to-skin contact with someone who is infected or by touching contaminated objects such as a flannel or towel.

It usually clears up on its own and does not cause any symptoms other than raised red spots.

Squeezing the spots that develop is not recommended because it can cause pain and bleeding and it is likely to leave scarring. It also increases the risk of spreading the infection

The researchers say pubic hair removal could also be a risk factor for other 'minor' infections such as genital warts.

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