ELLE (Canada) - - Body -

You might feel fresh and clean af­ter you’ve been blitzed with a Brazil­ian wax, but is less hair (down there) truly more hy­gienic? A niche study pub­lished in the jour­nal Sex­u­ally Trans­mit­ted In­fec­tions in 2013 found a link be­tween shav­ing or wax­ing and an in­creased risk of Mol­lus­cum con­ta­gio­sum, a pox virus char­ac­ter­ized by raised bumps or growths. In some cases, hair re­moval was also as­so­ci­ated with an in­creased in­ci­dence of warts, cysts, scars, in­grown hairs and fol­li­culi­tis, a bac­te­rial skin in­fec­tion. A 2012 study in Urol­ogy found that be­tween 2002 and 2010, pu­bichair-groom­ing-re­lated in­juries in­creased five­fold, with lac­er­a­tion be­ing the most com­mon type. Keep things ster­ile by mak­ing sure that your waxer never dou­bledips the ap­pli­ca­tor. If shav­ing is your go-to, change ra­zors at the first sign of dull­ness, says Dr. Jody Levine, a der­ma­tol­o­gist with Venus. “For most women, that’s ev­ery eight to 10 shaves.” MARILISA RACCO

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