Are Bikini Waxes Safe

We at Bustle love giving you tips for how to tap  into your sexual potential and troubleshoot when things arent going your way in the bedroom. But what about finding solutions to those stressful sexual health situations that inevitably crop up when youre getting down? Emma Kaywin, a Brooklyn-based sexual health writer and activist, is here to calm your nerves and answer your questions. This weeks topic: the health risks of getting a bikini wax — plus, how to make sure a salon is safe.

If youre wholesale bikinis considering getting rid of any or all of your pubic hair, youre by no means alone. In fact, one recent study finds that almost 60 percent of American pussies aged 18 to 24 were nude . But youre right to ask .

Should you decide to get rid of your hair down there, there are some important risks to consider — and ways to mitigate them. Let’s get to it.

Risk 1: InfectionIt’s useful to know why we have pubic hair in the first place: Vaginas are made of mucus membrane, which is a type of skin that is more delicate than your regular skin. Pubic hair is like a moat that works actively to protect your, ehm, special castle. This hair acts as a cushion, making sure your many folds dont stick together, which can cause rash and infection, and also protecting your parts during sex. The hair also traps bacteria trying to get in, which could otherwise cause infections like bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections. Removing that barrier is simply going to put you at additional risk for infections.

Additionally, there are tiny tears left behind in the hair follicles when you rip out the hair with wax, and waxing can also remove the top layer of your pussy skin. These tears and bumps can become homes for bacteria you dont want in your skin — such as the bacterial infection cellulitis and staph infection, as well as folliculitis, which is where your hair follicles get infected.

Something else thats important to know: you can spread some of these infections to your sexual partners. So if you have one of these infections, see your doctor to get it cleared up — it wont just be you youre helping!

Risk 2: Sexually Transmitted InfectionsCertain sexually transmitted infections are spread through skin-to-skin contact. Skin damage only helps these in getting into your body — and you dont have to be able to see the damage for it to be there. Microscopic tears such as those left behind when you rip out hair by the roots  unfortunately count.

What STIs are helped out by skin trauma? The list includes genital herpes, human papillomavirus , HIV , and Molluscum Contagiosum, a skin infection spread by skin-to-skin contact that’s actually thought to be on the rise because of the increase in bikini waxing.

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