Cameron Diaz caused a ruckus last spring when she wrote in "The Body Book" that women should avoid irreversible beauty trends like lasering off their pubic hair.
Seems her bikini-wearing Hollywood pals were feeling dissed!
But a new study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reveals that she was right.
Up to 87 percent of women admit to some trimming, and up to half of twenty-somethings occasionally have it all removed. But many are unaware of the health risks that come from waxing, shaving, lasering or electrolysis in the genital area.
Side effects include skin abrasions, ingrown hairs, genital burns from waxing, severe skin irritation and pigmentation changes, vulvar and vaginal irritation and infection.
Also, shaving removes the physical barrier that hair provides and may promote the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, according to another study.
So what's the smart way to get bathing-suit or bedroom ready?
Minimal hair removal is the best bet. If you shave, make sure to use a fresh razor blade; cream skin well before shaving; use a mild alcohol wipe to disinfect the skin afterward; put coconut oil or zinc oxide on any abrasions.
Considering a spa laser or electrolysis treatment? Don't.
You could get burned or have pigmentation changes. Gonna get zapped anyway? See a dermatologist who's a trained, certified practitioner.
Insist on waxing? Make sure fresh wax is always used, and don't do it too often or for too many seasons; some docs report that it can trigger an eczema-like condition on labial skin.
© 2014 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
© King Features Syndicate