Should you be waxing? The link between bikini wax and STI's

By: Health Local Staff Jun 24, 2013
Is a bikini wax safe?

Can your bikini wax appointment lead to a sexually transmitted infection?

Sexually transmitted diseases and bikini wax appointments should not be used in the same sentence. But according to a recently released case study published in the health journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, the two may be linked.

French dermatologist, Francois Desruelles, M.D. collected data on a caseload of thirty patients infected with a sexually transmitted disease known as molluscum contagiosum. This infection presents painless, wart-type sores that develop around the pubic region. The thirty patients were asked about their bikini waxing habits and the results were telling.

  • 70% shaved their pubic region
  • 13% clipped the area with scissors
  • 10% waxed the pubic area to rid unwanted hair

The 10% of afflicted patients reported going into a biking waxing facility and having the pubic hair removed. They did not report the condition to the hair removal specialist and put others at risk for contracting the condition. Alarming?

Pubic hair is present on the body to act as a layer of defense against infection, including sexually transmitted infections (STI). Healthy skin in the pubic area is also another line of defense. When the skin becomes irritated, inflamed and microscopically wounded, it becomes highly susceptible to infection.

Dermatologists report that you shouldn’t be canceling your bikini wax appointment just yet. There are many people who have their bikini line waxed without problems everyday. In fact, you may be safer to have your pubic area waxed by a professional. The key is to make sure that your salon, waxing facility or clinic is sterile and practices safe techniques.

Safety Techniques to Watch For at Hair Removal Salons:

  • New or sterilized equipment
  • No double-dipping of applicators in the wax
  • Anti-bacterial cream applied post-wax

These are just some of the hair removal techniques that increase safety and decrease a risk of infection. It is also important to check your facility’s health code compliance. Investigate the salon of your choosing and see if they have violated any health codes in the past. Make sure that the salon is in good standing with the health department before visiting.

In the event that you do end up with an irritation of any kind, whether it be redness, inflammation, cuts, abrasions or irritation and itchiness post bikini wax, use an over-the-counter cortisone cream or anti-bacterial ointment to get rid of the problem right away. If the condition worsens and is unpleasant, it may be a good idea to see your doctor for an examination. Avoid sexual contact until the area clears up and the skin fully heals.

Infection is unlikely, but possible. Stick to a sanitary waxing salon and practice safe sex and you will reduce the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection or disease. 

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at