Pubic hair removal may increase viral infection risk

March 24, 2013

Genital hair removal methods may help the spread of the virus molluscum contagiosum, according to results of a review of cases in a skincare clinic in France.

 

Genital hair removal methods may help the spread of the virus molluscum contagiosum, according to results of a review of cases in a skincare clinic in France.

Researchers in Nice noted that the number of sexually transmitted cases of molluscum contagiosum has risen in the past decade. They examined records of patients who visited the clinic from January 2011 to March 2012, according to a report.

Of the 30 molluscum contagiosum cases, six patients were women; the average age of patients in the group was 29.5.

In four cases, signs of the infection had spread to patients’ abdomens. In one case, the papules had spread to the thighs. In 10 cases, there were associated skin conditions such as ingrown hairs, warts, cysts, scars and folliculitis.

Among the 30 cases, 93 percent had had their pubic hair removed, with 70 percent using shaving to do so. The remaining patients who had undergone hair removal used clippers (13 percent) or waxing (10 percent).

In addition to scratching, hair removal may be facilitating the spread of the virus, authors suggested.

The research was published in a letter online March 19 in Sexually Transmitted Infections.