Whether you know’em as crabs, pubic lice or just “eww,” it sounds like the little pests are on their way out after thousands of years afflicting the human race. So what do we have to thank for this cessation? A scientific breakthrough, or perhaps a medical miracle? Far from it — instead, the practice of applying hot wax to our bodies and getting it ripped off is possibly what’s helping us rid the world of crabs. Yep, we’re talking about bikini waxing.
Doctors say crab infestations have been on the wane and are linking that phenomenon with pubic depilation, reports Bloomberg News. In other words, if the little buggers have no hair to burrow into and hide, they can’t hitch a ride on our bodies without being detected.
It all started back in the 1990s when seven Brazilian sisters with a penchant for inflicting pain started using the technique in their Manhattan salon. Cut to today, when more than 80% of college students in the U.S. remove all or some of their hair down there.
It isn’t just America that has the crabs on the run — apparently Sydney’s main sexual health clinic hasn’t even seen a woman with pubic lice since 2008. The changing grooming habits of men are also eliminating the suckers, as cases have fallen 80% there in the last decade.
The experts agree — no hair, no crabs.
“It used to be extremely common; it’s now rarely seen,” said Basil Donovan, head of sexual health at the University of New South Wales’s Kirby Institute and a physician at the Sydney Sexual Health Centre. “Without doubt, it’s better grooming.”
“Pubic grooming has led to a severe depletion of crab louse populations,” said Ian F. Burgess, a medical entomologist with Insect Research & Development Ltd. in Cambridge, England. “Add to that other aspects of body hair depilation, and you can see an environmental disaster in the making for this species.”
It’s doubtful that there will be any kind of effort staged to save this particular endangered species as it sees its habitat destroyed. Bring on the marketing tactics, depilatory and grooming product manufacturers! Here’s one you can have for free: “Don’t give crabs a home.”
Brazilian Bikini Waxes Make Crab Lice Endangered Species [Bloomberg News]