When it comes to “embarrassing things to be admitted into the hospital for,” I think pubic hair grooming accidents are at the top of my list. Actually, until about five minutes ago, they weren’t on my list at all, but considering I just read how many people are being sent to emergency rooms for accidents regarding their shaving, waxing and other hair removal habits, I am now officially anxious.
A recent analysis of ER visits between 2002 and 2010 showed that a striking amount of people have been admitted for painful accidents regarding their grooming choices. The report, done by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that the number is actually increasing: in 2010 alone, there were 2,500 visits to the emergency room as a result of pubic hair removal, including burns, cuts, gashes, rashes and other horribly unpleasant-sounding consequences.
“We actually found that 3 percent of all genitourinary injuries were related to grooming practices,” said UCSF clinical researcher Dr. Allison Glass. “I think the message is this is something that general practitioners and urologists should be aware of.”
Unfortunately, not everybody is aware that an array of pubic hair grooming methods can cause injury. Razors were involved in 83 percent of incidents, scissors were used in almost 22 percent and hot wax was a component in 1.4, all of which sound absolutely terrible. These incidents aren’t just restricted to women, either, who tend to be the ones most often generalized as desiring the removal of pubic hair: men made up 43 percent of the cases seen.
A lot of these painful admittances seem to be related to competency and experience: nearly half of the female cases were between 19 and 28 years old, and another 29 percent occurred with girls under 18. For men, the numbers were more evenly distributed throughout different ages.
In any case, no matter what type of grooming you do or how experienced you are with it, it’s extremely important to keep safety in mine. And when it comes to things like waxing or attempting to make designs (I know entirely too many people who do Valentine’s Day hearts), it’s best left up to professional who will know what to do and how to best prevent accidents. Happy grooming!