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5 Steps to Safer Body Hair Grooming

5 Steps to Safer Body Hair Grooming

In War for Planet of the Apes, Andy Serkis (the ape Ceaser) and Woody Harrelson (the Colonel) sport virtually the same coiffure. It seems both Ceaser and the Colonel want closely cropped hair.

That impulse, apparently, isn’t confined to the silver screen. A study published in the journal JAMA Dermatology reveals that more than 76 percent of 5,600 adults surveyed said they’d groomed their pubic hair. The real shocker: More than a quarter of those folks had been injured while doing it to themselves or having it done to them—and around a third of those surveyed said they’d injured themselves five or more times!

Most injuries aren’t serious (minor rashes, cuts or burns), but opening even small nicks and cuts in the nether regions increases your risk for sexually transmitted infections. And more than three percent of those surveyed did say that post-shave they needed to take antibiotics and—no kidding—around two and half percent needed surgery.

So, here’s our advice. If you gotta groom, groom correctly:

  1. Clean the area completely with soap and water before proceeding.
  2. Use shaving cream or lotion to prep the area.
  3. Pay attention—no texting! And steer clear of tender areas (some folks are shaving/grooming areas around the vagina, anus and scrotum).
  4. Shave with the grain; use only safety razors; no scissors or straight blades please! (That might explain the surgeries.)
  5. If you nick yourself, wash with soap and water; apply alcohol or an antibiotic cream to disinfect the area. Avoid sexual contact until it heals.

Medically reviewed in March 2020.

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