Kim Kardashian lasers with her boyfriend; Kate Winslet has waxed for years; and Jennifer Love Hewitt proudly vajazzles so she can shine "like a disco ball." But family physician Emily Gibson wants to do away with all of these practices in her call to end the "war on pubic hair."
Gibson says that pubic hair removal is increasing the risk of infection and sexually transmitted diseases among young people.
"It is a sadly misconceived war," Gibson writes on KevinMD.com, social media's so-called "leading physician voice." "Long ago surgeons figured out that shaving a body part prior to surgery actually increased rather than decreased surgical site infections. No matter what expensive and complex weapons are used—razor blades, electric shavers, tweezers, waxing, depilatories, electrolysis—hair, like crab grass, always grows back and eventually wins. In the mean time, the skin suffers the effects of the scorched battlefield."
Gibson goes on to say that removing the hair irritates and inflames the hair follicle, resulting in open wounds, boils or abscesses. "Some clinicians are finding that freshly shaved pubic areas and genitals are also more vulnerable to herpes infections due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to virus carried by mouth or genitals," she added.
Gibson notes the public needs to realize that pubic hair serves a purpose and should "stay right where it belongs," but try telling that to the hairless masses.
The Independent reports that in 2011, the hair removal market was estimated to be worth $2.1 billion in the United States, with a similar value in the United Kingdom.
As part of a Fourth of July special, Uni K Wax Centers offered 50 percent off on services for girls 15 and younger.
"Most of them are doing a regular bikini wax," Julie Arcey, assistant manager at the South Miami Uni K Wax Center, told MSNBC about the popular picks of her younger clients. "They want to look good in their swimsuits."
Age aside, not all doctors think hair removal is a downright horror.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a board certified OB/GYN, television medical expert and author of "Your Body Beautiful" told xoJane: “On the good side, I have many patients experience an increase in their own sexiness factor with grooming and Brazilians. The women love the way they look and feel as do their partners. There’s an increase in oral sex with Brazilians as well, so, you know, it’s not a BAD thing.”
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