LIFESTYLE

Bikini Waxing Increases STI Risk For Women, Study Finds

22/07/2014 11:51 BST | Updated 22/07/2014 11:59 BST

In 2014, having a bikini wax is a common beauty treatment for women who wish to fight the fuzz - but after reading this you may be more inclined to embrace your natural hair.

A recent review of studies, which appeared in the journal of JAMA Dermatology, found having a bikini wax could increase your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

According to the summary, by removing pubic hair, viruses or bacteria are more likely to enter the body due to "deficits in the mucocutaneous barrier"- waxing can cause micro-trauma to the skin and its underlying structures.

woman bikini bottoms

Dr. Robert Brodell, chief of the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Division of Dermatology previously told HuffPost Women that damage to the skin makes women vulnerable to STIs.

"The body has a number of defense mechanisms to prevent infection. One of those mechanisms is normal, healthy skin."

Dr.Robert said aberrations in the skin "open the door for catching the infection."

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However, the recent study acknowledges it may not be the removing of the hair itself but the behaviour of the women having a bikini wax that leads to a higher STI risk.

The research states: "Pubic hair grooming is becoming an increasingly common practice among women of all societies and demographic groups.

"In the United States, women are more likely to groom for reasons that are sexually driven and are more likely to stop grooming when lacking a current sexual partner.

"Further, pubic hair removal is significantly associated with a greater interest in sex and having a casual sex partner."