If you’ve ever thought of how dangerous it really is to put a sharp object or hot wax near your private parts, one survey confirms your fears.
In a new survey published in JAMA Dermatology, researchers found that 76 percent of adults in the US said they groomed their pubic hair. About a quarter of them said they’ve sustained injuries from their grooming techniques.
The most common injuries reported were cuts, followed by rashes and burns from various grooming practices. Interestingly, 1.5 percent of respondents said their injuries required medical attention.
These findings come after Dr. Benjamin Breyer, vice chair of urology at the University of California San Francisco, learned that about 3 percent of adults who visited the UCSF emergency room were admitted to treat grooming injuries. Breyer and colleagues then designed the survey to ask people to report their grooming habits and any injuries they caused.
Not surprisingly, people who reported injuries from pubic hair grooming were also those who said they groomed more frequently and were more likely to removing most or all of their hair.
Since more attention to grooming lends itself to an increased risk of injury, researchers urge that group to reconsider their hairless habits. “One lesson to take from this is that if you have had significant grooming injuries, or keep getting injured, you should reconsider the areas you groom, how frequently you do it, and the extent to which you do it,” Breyer told TIME.
This raises questions about the great grooming debate and which is better: waxing or shaving. Though the survey wasn’t designed to answer this, it’s worth noting that 60 percent of injuries were related to cuts, which would be caused by shaving.
From here, researchers plan to look at the relationship between reported grooming injuries and sexual transmitted infections to see if those injuries may increase a person’s vulnerability of transmission. If they find a connection between these, the pain from a laceration down there could be the least of your worries.