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From Lemington, Ontario, Canada:

Can I wax my pubic hair? The instructions say diabetics like myself are not to use the particular product I purchased. What do you feel is the best way for a young person with a dysfunctional pancreas like myself to remove unwanted and unsightly hair? Shaving is just too time consuming, sometimes I'm in the steamy bathroom so long that I think it makes my blood glucose low. Is pubic hair as tres disgusting as I think it is or am I just way out in left field on this one?

I would ask my diabetes team, however, their answers typically involve abstaining from anything sexual altogether. I mean, who are they to advise me on sexual matters? Isn't that just a personal decision? Boy oh boy, diabetes sure makes my life complicated. I want a more liberal diabetes team. Any recommendations?


I am sorry you feel uncomfortable discussing these issues with your diabetes team. It is important to be able to discuss any issue you want with someone on your team. Diabetes affects every part of your life and every part of your life affects your diabetes, so it is important to be able to ask questions about any topic you want either concerning issues that affect your life now or in the future. If you are uncomfortable talking to your doctor, perhaps you could discuss these questions with someone else on the team such as a nurse. If you aren't comfortable asking any one on the team these questions, perhaps you could ask your pediatrician or internist these questions and they could consult with your diabetes team if necessary. Perhaps you could make an appointment to meet with someone on the team or your general doctor privately just to discuss these questions and not worry about adjusting insulin and other issues for one visit. If you can't find anyone to discuss these issues with, I suggest you either try to find another doctor or perhaps meet with a social worker or psychologist who could help you deal with some of these issues.

Now to address your question more directly:

First of all, attitudes towards pubic hair and hair under the arms varies tremendously from culture to culture and from individual to individual. Many men feel sexually attracted to female pubic hair and in some cultures hair under the arms is considered "sexy." Some woman have an aversion to this hair and chose to remove it and others don't care at all. Some men and women tell me they shave their pubic hair to make them faster on swim teams.

Keep in mind that if you remove your pubic hair, you might find the remaining stubble irritating as it starts to grow back and you might have to remove it very frequently to avoid this irritation.

I am not aware of any specific problem in people with diabetes with hair removal. Some of the chemicals can cause skin irritation and some people with diabetes are more sensitive to anything that irritates the skin - including some jewelry made from silver, nickel, or less than 14 karat gold. Anyone who removes hair by any method has a slight risk of skin irritation and infection and if your blood sugars are out of control, this risk might be slightly increased. If you have severe acne, especially the kind that develops cysts or infection, you might be more prone to developing an infection if you remove the hair and might want to clear up the acne before attempting chemical hair removal.

Most chemicals for hair removal suggest that first you try it on a small area of skin to make sure you don't develop an allergy or skin sensitity. I would recommend first trying an area that is easier to keep clean and easier to watch such as hair on your arm. I would try using the chemical on a small area there first. If you have no problem, first try it on a small area of pubic hair, as far up as possible to avoid contamination from germs from below. If you have no problem, I am not aware of any contraindiction to trying to remove all the pubic hair (assuming that the chemical you are using is approved for use in this area of the body). Make sure to keep your skin clean - take showers at least once a day and consider twice a day for a while and check the area frequently. If you develop any signs of infection (redness, warmth, cysts, pain, unexplained high blood sugars) - then you must see one of your doctors as soon as possible.


Original posting 30 Jan 2004
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:54
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