By Dr. Dave Hnida

DENVER (CBS4)One in four American adults who “trim up, down below” hurt themselves in the process. Ouch.

The numbers come from a new survey of more than 7,500 people in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology.

razor e1503087665628 Doing A Little Trimming? Lets Be Careful Down There

(credit: CBS)

The survey says that about 67 percent of men, and 85 percent of women do some trimming on a regular basis, and at some point in time, about one in four hurt themselves to some degree.

Most of the injuries are minor, but more than a few require a trip to Urgent Care or the Emergency Department for treatment. (I’ve had a couple of folks come in over the years, and often there’s an unfortunate combination of fear and embarrassment as you ask what happened.)

suit Doing A Little Trimming? Lets Be Careful Down There

(credit: Thinkstock)

Most injuries are cuts, burns, or painful rashes/skin reactions, including ingrown hairs.

Men usually injure the scrotum; women the creases and folds of the pubic area.

A wound to this area can be a problem. There’s the obvious risk of infection after a break in the skin, and experts say that even a superficial wound might make you more susceptible to certain STDs.

Although the authors of the study say perhaps you should have someone else who is a “specialist” trim your private parts, there’s little reason most can’t take care of business safely at home. You can even Google pubic hair removal specialist.

So, a few pointers on safe body landscaping of delicate areas:

Take your time. It’s an area that you don’t want to rush through.

Be gentle. The skin in that area is pretty thin compared to other areas of the body.

Use sharp, well-maintained equipment. Razors, scissors, and trimmers can’t be dull or poorly lubricated.

Perhaps don’t do the whole job at once—meaning, trim a little, then a little more at another time, so you’re doing it in stages.

And finally, please pay attention to what you’re doing. These are sensitive areas where you’re working –so no texting and trimming, for example. (I never thought I would write that—but we all know people who text when they shouldn’t.)

As we say in medicine, let’s be careful down there.

Dr. Dave Hnida is CBS4’s Medical Editor. He blogs about the latest studies and trends in the health world. Read his latest blog entries, check out his bio or follow him on Twitter @drdavehnida





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