Women who wax or shave their bikini lines are more likely to get skin infections, warn doctors
'Micro trauma' caused by shaving, waxing or scratching may aid the spread of pox virus Molluscum contagiumThe virus can be passed on through sex and the number of sexually transmitted cases is rising
WHAT IS MOLLUSCUM CONTAGIOSUM
Molluscum contagiosum is a human disease caused by an infection with a poxvirus.
The virus is transmitted from person-to-person and causes small flat circular skin lesions, which may be flesh coloured, white, translucent or yellow.
The infection is spread by someone coming into direct contact with a lesion (in adults this is often sexual contact) but it may also be spread by contact with contaminated objects such as towels, clothing or toys.
Of the 30 people infected with Molluscum contagiosum during this time, six were women, and the average age of the group was 29.5.
Signs of the infection – pearly papules – had spread up to the abdomen in four cases and to the thighs in one.
In ten cases, there were other associated skin conditions, including ingrown hairs, warts and folliculitis – a bacterial skin infection, cysts and scars.
Among the 30 patients, 93 per cent had had their pubic hair removed, with 70 per cent opting for shaving.
Among the rest, it had either been clipped – 13 per cent – or waxed – 10 per cent.
As the Molluscum contagiousum can spread relatively easily by self-infection, such as scratching, hair removal might also facilitate transmission as a result of the ‘micro trauma’ it causes to the skin, suggest the researchers.
Professional: Beautician Amy Childs applies a vajazzle to Sam Faiers on ITV2's The Only Way Is Essex. More women have been getting injured through DIY grooming
Last year, researchers at the University of California San Fransisco warned that the growing trend for brazilians and vajazzles has led to an five-fold increase in the number of women admitted to hospital with injuries to their genitals.
Their survey showed that between 2002 and 2010
around 16,000 people a year in the U.S. (142,144 adults in total) ended
up in emergency rooms with genital injuries.
In the UK, brazilians and vajazzles have risen in popularity after being made famous on TV show The Only Way Is Essex.
But it's not all bad news. Last year Australian researchers announced that the bikini wax may have made pubic lice an endangered species.
Figures from Sydney's main sexual health clinic revealed that doctors there had not treated a woman with pubic lice since 2008, while male cases have fallen 80 per cent from a decade ago.