Last fall, I wrote a bit about the practice of Brazilian waxing
. At the time, I noted that side effects were minor. At least in comparison to being on death's door.
Tara Smith of Aetiology
recently noted a forthcoming article in Clinical Infectious Diseases called "Severe Complications of a 'Brazilian' Bikini Wax"
which details the terrible condition a 20-year old woman from Australia found herself in after being waxed down there by the doggie door. From the article:There was an erythematous rash over the patient's chest and neck. The external genitalia were grossly swollen—particularly the vulva, the labia majora and minora, and the clitoris—with the urethra displaced inferiorly and cellulitis extending from around the vulva up onto the abdominal wall. The distribution of the cellulitis was consistent with the area onto which the wax had been applied. There was a copious, purulent vaginal discharge and prominent white exudate on the vulva. Examination was difficult because of the extreme swelling, but no vesicular lesions or ulcers were seen. Neither speculum nor bimanual vaginal examination was able to be performed because of severe pain.
Reading about this put me off of masturbation for at least 10 minutes.
I'll let Smith give a more understandable explanation:…the particular individual described in the case report, however, already had untreated type 1 diabetes--a risk factor for a number of infections, including those caused by group A streptococci (Streptococcus pyogenes). This is the bacterium responsible for "strep throat" as well as serious invasive disease, including streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) and necrotizing fasciitis (the "flesh-eating disease.") In the days following her bikini wax, she came down with a fever, and had swelling and pain in the waxed region (along with a "copious vaginal discharge.") Still, she didn't seek medical attention for another week, when she was in really bad shape.
Did this traumatic experience deter the young woman? Not a chance.Six months later, the patient again attempted to remove her pubic hair by shaving herself; however, she had difficulty visualizing the area. She subsequently developed a recurrence of herpes and cellulitis of her vulva. She was readmitted to the hospital and was treated with valaciclovir and penicillin, and her condition improved...Despite her traumatic experiences, the patient was keen to undertake further removal of pubic hair.