Health & Spirit

Rules for safely trimming your hair (wherever it grows)

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In this year's "War for Planet of the Apes," Andy Serkis (the ape Caesar) and Woody Harrelson (The Colonel) sport virtually the same coiffure. It seems both primate and tightly wound white guy want closely cropped hair.

That impulse, apparently, isn't confined to the head or the silver screen. A study published in the journal JAMA Dermatology reveals that more than 76 percent of 5,600 adults surveyed said they'd groomed their pubic hair. The real shocker: More than a quarter of those folks had been injured while doing it to themselves or having it done to them -- and around a third of those surveyed said they'd injured themselves five or more times!

Most injuries aren't serious (minor rashes, cuts or burns), but opening even small nicks and cuts in the nether regions increases your risk for sexually transmitted infections. And more than 3 percent of those surveyed did say that post-shave, they needed to take antibiotics and (no kidding, ouch!) around 2.5 percent needed surgery. So here's our advice. If you've gotta do it:

--Clean the area completely with soap and water before proceeding.

--Use shaving cream or lotion to prep the area.

--Pay attention! No texting, and steer clear of tender areas (some folks are shaving/grooming areas in close proximity to the vagina, anus, scrotum).

--Shave with the grain; use only safety razors; no scissors or straight blades, please! (That might explain the surgeries.)

--If you nick yourself, wash with soap and water; apply alcohol or an antibiotic cream to disinfect the area. Avoid sexual contact until it heals.


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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