PARIS – A trend in shaving, clipping or waxing pubic hair may be encouraging the spread of a skin virus, French doctors suggested Monday.
In a letter to a specialist journal, dermatologists in Nice said they had noted a rise in cases of a so-called poxvirus called Molluscum contagiosum (MCV) in the past decade.
MCV causes painless, pearl-like nodules on the skin that usually disappear after a few months in healthy people.
The doctors reported on 30 patients who over 14 months were treated at a private dermatology clinic in Nice for sexually transmitted MCV. All but three had engaged in pubic hair removal, with 70 percent using shaving.
All had MCV nodules on the pubis, abdomen or legs, while 10 also had other conditions, such as genital warts, bacterial skin infection or ingrown hairs.
Hair removal may cause “microtraumisms” to the surface of the skin, facilitating infection by MCV and other “minor” sexually transmitted infections, the doctors theorize.