If you have pubic hair, it’s pretty likely that you groom it in some way. Maybe you’re into waxing or just use a good old-fashioned razor – whatever it is, you’ve probably been doing it for ages with no problem. But new research has found pubic hair grooming is probably riskier than you thought.
For women, the most commonly injured areas were within the pubis (i.e the area between your pubic bones, inner thigh, vagina, and perineum (the spot between your vagina and anus). For men, the scrotum was the most common spot that was injured, followed by the penis and pubis.
No shocker here: The people who said they’d been injured by their pubic hair habits also groomed that area more frequently and were more likely to groom extensively, removing most or all of their pubic hair.
Of course, pubic hair is normal and natural, and you shouldn’t feel pressure to groom it at all if it’s not your thing. But if you prefer a certain look down there, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re being safe. If you wax, ask your aesthetician to use a fresh stick in new wax for each application to lower your risk of infection. If you shave, make sure you’re paying attention when you do it (it’s easy to do it mindlessly, but we’re talking about a razor near your vagina here) and use a shaving gel to help reduce friction. And don’t forget to soothe your skin with coconut oil, vitamin A and D ointment, or zinc oxide, which help curtail the growth of bacteria.
If you groom down there, be safe about it – you really don't want to have to explain that kind of injury to your doctor.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health.