why do we grow hair on our private parts
I must have missed the declaration of war on pubic hair. It must have happened sometime in the last decade because the amount of time, energy, money and emotion both genders spend on
is astronomical. The genital hair removal industry, including medical professionals who advertise their speciality services to those seeking the "clean and bare" look, is booming. But why pick on the lowly pubic hair? A few sociological theories suggest it has to do with cultural trends spawned by bikinis and thongs, certain hairless actors and actresses or a desire to return to childhood or even a misguided attempt at hygiene. It is a sadly misconceived war. Long ago, surgeons figured out that shaving a body part prior to surgery actually increased, rather than decreased, surgical site infections. No matter what expensive and complex weapons are used в razor blades, electric shavers, tweezers, waxing, depilatories, electrolysis в hair, like crab grass, always grows back and eventually wins. In the meantime, the skin suffers the effects of the scorched battlefield. Pubic hair removal naturally irritates and inflames the hair follicles left behind, leaving microscopic open wounds. Rather than suffering a comparison to a bristle brush, frequent hair removal is necessary to stay smooth, causing regular irritation of the shaved or waxed area. When that irritation is combined with the warm moist environment of the genitals, it becomes a happy culture medium for some of the nastiest of bacterial pathogens, namely Group A Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus and its recently mutated cousin methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
There is an increase in staph boils and abscesses, necessitating incisions to drain the infection, resulting in scarring that can be significant. It is not at all unusual to find pustules and other hair-follicle inflammation papules on shaved genitals. Additionally, I've seen cellulitis (soft-tissue bacterial infection without abscess) of the scrotum, labia and penis as a result of spread of bacteria from shaving or from sexual contact with strep or staph bacteria from a partner's skin. Some clinicians are finding that freshly shaved pubic areas and genitals are also more vulnerable to herpes infections due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to viruses carried by mouth or genitals. It follows that there may be vulnerability to spread of other STIs as well. Pubic hair does have a purpose, providing a cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion and injury, protection from bacteria and other unwanted pathogens, and is the visible result of long-awaited adolescent hormones, certainly nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. It is time to declare an end to the war on pubic hair, and allow it to stay right where it belongs.
We owe it to our patients to encourage them to let it be. This article was first published on The human body is an amazing construction. All the parts work together to do what needs to be done, and everything has a purpose. Or, it seems, almost everything. While it is obvious that, say, eyelashes and nose hairs protect our eyes and noses from stuff getting in them, what about pubic hair? Scientists have theories about the possible purposes of pubic hair, but it still remains somewhat of a mystery. Unless there is an underlying health problem, humans don't start to develop pubic hair until the beginning of puberty. This is the time when young people start to become sexually mature, and many scientists, including Robin Weiss of the University College London, think the hair is a signal of this. It is a visual sign to let someone know when a potential partner is able to procreate, and help propagate the species. The most common reason cited for pubic hair is that it helps spread pheromones. According to Health Sciences at Columbia University, the apocrine glands secrete an odorless substance that mixes with the bacteria from the oil that the sebaceous glands give off, to make a unique substance that may or may not have an odor. These pheromones get trapped in pubic hair and underarm hair, where they can enhance sexual awareness in others, and make people seem sexually desirable.
This can be either through an actual smell, or subliminally. Once again, pubic hair is helping the human race live on. One theory is that pubic hair keeps the genital area warm. This sounds plausible when you consider that early humans ran around in loincloths, but as the website for Columbia University's health promotion program points out, men generally don't have hair on their penises, and don't have very much on their testicles. Since those parts are the important ones when it comes to making new humans, this theory may be the weakest. Another theory holds that pubic hair protects the genital areas, especially the vagina, from dirt, bacteria and viruses. In fact, an article at the "Scientific American" website notes that in recent years, as more people have trimmed or eliminated their pubic hair, incidences of pubic lice--more commonly known as crabs--have decreased. However, reports of chlamydia and gonorrhea have gone up. Planned Parenthood reports Dr. Stephen Juan's theory: Pubic hair is there to ease friction when parts of your body--or your body parts and someone else's body parts--rub together. If you have ever experienced chafing or blisters elsewhere, you can imagine how this would be a benefit.
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