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6 Times You Should Avoid Shaving That You Never Realized


Jan. 30, 2019

While you certainly don't have to overthink the whole hair removal process, there are situations where you might want to avoid shaving for the sake of your comfort, as well as your health. This goes for shaving your legs, armpits, bikini area, or any other place you may feel like shaving — if that's something you like to do.
And here's why. "When we shave we create tiny micro-nicks in the skin that disrupt the skin barrier and leave the skin more vulnerable to irritation and infection," dermatologist Dr. Hadley King says
With that in mind, read on for the times you may not want to shave, according to experts.
Before A Pedicure
While you might be tempted to shave before placing your feet in the hands of a stranger, shaving before a pedicure isn't always a good idea. Sometimes the pool and the tools used in a pedicure aren't properly cleaned and there have been plenty of cases of bacterial and fungal infections following pedicures.
Before Going To The Beach
If you are planning to go into salt water (ocean, salt water pool, etc.), you wouldn’t want to shave right before, because the salt will sting any tiny cut you might have sustained," board-certified dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, tells Bustle. The salt can also cause itchiness and irritation, which all have the potential to ruin your good time.
Before Sex
Shaving before sex can contribute to potential irritation and even increased risk for contact dermatitis (possibly to saliva, lube, or latex) because shaving removes the hair and exfoliates the top layers of skin cells, both of which form a protective barrier against friction and irritants.
This is especially true if you're shaving in a hurry before a date, for example, which "can make you a little less careful and at risk for cutting yourself," Dr. Shainhouse says. "These cuts increase your risk for contracting infections from your partner." It's OK to shave down there, but give your skin time to heal.
Before Going In A Hot Tub
You might also want to avoid shaving if you plan to soak in a hot tub any time soon. "The hot water and chlorine can be irritating to freshly shaved skin and if there is bacteria in the hot tub then will be more susceptible.
Prior To Swimming
Freshly shaved skin can sting when submerged in chlorinated water, so give it 24 hours to heal before jumping in.
Before Surgical Procedures
If you have an upcoming surgical procedure, go ahead and let your hair grow. The nicks and cuts introduced by shaving or potential ingrown hairs can increase your risk for infection afterwards. Leave the hair removal to your surgeon!
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