Dr Arikawe Adeolu, an Abuja-based medical expert, advised that it is safer to trim the hair rather than shaving it off completely as complete shaving can cause infection.
Adeolu told NAN on Tuesday that shaving or waxing of the hair around the pubic could cause cracks and expose the skin to bacterial infection. He added that the pubic hair served a major purpose of providing some level of cushioning for the individual, especially during sexual activity, preventing the skin from rubbing against another and causing abrasion.
He explained that if the skin around the pubic region was completely shaved and the individual’s skin came into contact with another person’s skin, friction would be increased due to the skin to skin contact. He advised that individuals who were worried about the lack of hygiene due to untended pubic hair should consider trimming rather than complete shaving or waxing of the hair.
“When you completely shave the pubic hair, it re-grows in a slanted fashion with the tip sometimes growing into the pubic skin, which can crack open the skin.
“It is usually a small crack which cannot be seen with the naked eyes but due to this crack and loss of integrity of the skin at that level, there is increased risk of getting infection.
“Complete shaving can also cause boil to develop in that region. This is because when you shave, you cause some level of abrasion in the area which opens up the skin.
“These small openings cannot be seen with the eye but they are big enough for the micro organisms to get into the body.
“Also, because the pubic area is always moist, this serves as breeding ground for organisms like bacteria.”
Adeolu said that trimming the pubic hair would also help to reduce the risk of contacting Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), which could also be contacted when fluid from an infected partner’s genitalia came into contact with the pubic area.
According to him, if the partner is already infected, the virus in the semen or body fluid can easily penetrate the skin of the other to infect the individual. He said that this infection was mostly caused by a virus known as ‘Molluscum contagiosum’, adding that there had been significant increase in incidences of such infection in hospitals.
“It is a viral infection that is also categorised as an STI. It affects the skin and does not need treatment; usually after a couple of weeks or months, the symptoms go away by themselves. “You also have an increased risk of contacting other STIs such as HIV, Hepatitis, genital warts by complete shaving of the pubic hair,’’ Adeolu said.