Ever wonder why you have hair on your genitals?
No matter your personal opinions and preferences about hair down there, pubes are surprisingly useful.
BuzzFeed Health spoke with three experts — Dr. Filamer Kabigting, assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Rachel Miest, a Minnesota-based dermatologist with the Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Evan Rieder, assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center — to learn more about pubic hair and best practices for grooming, whether you like your pubes au naturel, nonexistent, or somewhere in between.
Here are all the interesting things they had to say.
BBC Two / Via buzzfeed.com
Pubic hair acts as a cushion for your genitals and reduces friction when you’re having sex.
“Pubic hair acts like a defensive barrier between you and the things you come into contact with,” Rieder says. “It also protects against friction, preventing abrasions and injury of the surrounding skin.”
And it can potentially help protect you from bacterial infections and viruses during skin-to-skin contact.
“Its presence does prevent foreign particles, such as bacteria, from not only infecting the skin, but also from entering the body,” Miest says. “So pubic hair does potentially serve as a protective mechanism for STIs, and hair removal does put us at a higher risk for those infections, like herpes, HPV, and gonorrhea.” That's not to say that going bare is going to cause an STI, but if your grooming method leaves you with abrasions or tears in the skin, it's possible an infection can enter the body this way.
She adds that skin, in general, harbors bacteria and viruses, and pubic hair can help prevent them from spreading to others during sexual contact.
FOX / Via giphy.com
It’s called pubic hair because of where it grows: in the lower part of the abdomen just above the genitals, aka the pubis region.
“Anatomically that region is called the pubis, which is why it’s called pubic hair,” Kabigting says.
HOLYCHILD / Via giphy.com