Research Round-Up — Pubic Hair Grooming and Hair Removal Injuries


For this week’s research round-up, we’re going to be focusing on hair. Most of our body surface area is covered in hair. And as people, we love to mess with our hair. Whether it’s styling the hair on our heads, removing unwanted hair, or trying to grow back the hair we’ve lost, Americans are pretty hair obsessed. This week’s dermatology research comes from JAMA Dermatology and the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

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Most Women Report Some Pubic Hair Grooming

A national survey of 3,316 found that 84% of women report grooming their pubic hair in some way. (1) The researchers found that respondents with certain characteristics were more likely to groom their pubic hair.

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White women are the most likely to groom as compared to black and Hispanic women. Not surprisingly, young women aged 18-24 were the most likely to report grooming their pubic hair. Higher education levels also correlated with higher rates of pubic hair grooming.

They did not find a relationship between pubic hair grooming and income level, relationship status, or location in the United States. The researchers theorized that cultural variations might account for the differences in grooming practices. Speaking of pubic hair grooming, pubic hair removal is a common practice that can lead to serious injuries…

Hair Removal Injuries On The Rise

Every woman knows that hair removal can be a tedious and time-consuming activity. However, it can also be very dangerous. I’ve been burned by wax on several occasions, suffered from folliculitis after shaving, and experienced the pain of laser hair removal.

In the next study, researchers analyzed the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) from the years of 1991 to 2014 for data on hair removal injuries. (2) The NEISS is a database of injuries involving consumer products in all participating hospitals.

They estimated that 292,053 hair removal associated injuries occurred during this time period. That’s a lot of emergency department visits for home waxing gone wrong.

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Other interesting findings from the study included that from 1991-2010 persons aged greater than 65 were most likely to injure themselves. But after the year 2011 persons aged 19-34 had the highest rates of injury. For the younger age group, the most common locations of injury were the pubic area and trunk. Ouch!

We don’t know why younger people are getting hurt more often, but we do know that these injuries can be avoided. Burns from waxing and laser procedures are common. Make sure to always test the wax’s temperature before slathering it on.

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Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure that promises to leave consumers’ skin silky smooth and hair free for extended periods of time. But buyer beware! Obtaining laser hair removal from the wrong provider can have consequences such as serious burns.

Have you seen any interesting Dermatology research articles lately? Send me a message so I can feature it in the future!

References:

  1. Rowen TS, Gaither TW, Awad MA, Osterberg EC, Shindel AW, Breyer BN. Pubic Hair Grooming Prevalence and Motivation Among Women in the United States. JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(10):1106-1113.
  2. Swain TA, Tully AS, Redford T, Mcgwin G. Hair removal-related injuries in the United States, 1991-2014. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2016;

 

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