Depilation and epilation of the intimate zone: a cosmetic trend and a medical risk

Dikke G.B., Bebneva T.N., Bogdashevskaya O.V.

1) F.I. Inozemtsev Academy of Medical Education, Saint Petersburg, Russia; 2) Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Ministry of Science and Education of the Russian Federation (RUDN University), Moscow, Russia; 3) “Fomin Clinic” Multidisciplinary Network, Moscow, Russia
Objective: To define preferences in terms of personal hygiene, the spread of agents and methods for depilation/epilation of the intimate zone among women, as well as motivation for their use and the frequency of undesirable consequences and complications.
Materials and methods: This was a population descriptive study that involved 1007 women aged 18–69 years (mean age 31.5 (5.8) years) who practiced depilation/epilation of the intimate zone. The investigators used a questionnaire consisting 28 response questions and variants.
Results: Most (83.8%) of the respondents were aged 26–45 years, had a higher education (95.9%), were employed (83.6%), had a high income level (68.7%), and were married (66.3%). More than half of them did not have children (51.3%). The bulk of the respondents (90.2%) had one sexual partner in the last 6 months, lived a regular sexual life (62.1%), and used condoms (29.1%). Depilation/epilation was practiced for an average of 9.6 (6.1) years. Among the reasons that motivated the women to remove hair in the intimate area; comfort in everyday life held the lead (91.2%), benefits of having a sexual intercourse ranked next (77.0% in total), and hygienic practice occupied the third place (36.9%). More than half of women (52.2%) preferred to shave with a razor on their own; the latter was used, by alternating with some other method (26.3%), epilation was done using wax and/or thick sugar paste for hair removal (3.8%). Full depilation/epilation was carried out by 81.7% of women. Washing with water after a hair removal procedure was practiced by half (49.6%) of the respondents; one quarter (23.8%) applied nothing; the rest used disinfectants and emollients. After using a razor, 74.5% of respondents noted injuries (cuts). The spectrum and frequency of adverse events after the procedure were presented by dermatitis (53.8%), vulvar pruritus (22.9%), and folliculitis (10.4%), which often combined with each other.
Conclusion: The practice of depilation/epilation in the intimate zone is widespread among Russian women who use more frequently self-shaving than other procedures, which causes a number of undesirable consequences. At the same time, only one quarter of women uses special means for their prevention. After depilation/epilation, it is reasonable to use a specialized agent for daily intimate care with activated glycyrrhizic and lactic acids (Epigen Intim gel), and in case of adverse events, anti-inflammatory, regenerating, and antipruritic agents (Epigen Intim spray).


intimate zone
activated glycyrrhizic acid
lactic acid


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Received 06.07.2022

Accepted 12.07.2022

About the Authors

Galina B. Dikke, Dr. Med. Sci., Associate Professor, Professor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology with a Course in Reproductive Medicine,
F.I. Inozemtsev Academy of Medical Education, +7(812)334-76-50,,, 190013, Russia, St. Petersburg,
Moskovsky pr., 22, letter M.
Tamara N. Bebneva, PhD, Associate Professor at the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, Faculty of Advanced Training of Medical Workers of the Medical Institute, RUDN University; Physician, National Medical Research Center for Endocrinology, Ministry of Health of Russia, +7(916)518-19-64,,, 117198, Russia, Moscow, Miklukho-Maklaya str., 21, bldg. 3.
Oksana V. Bogdashevskaya, chief obstetrician-gynecologist, «Fomin Clinic» Multidisciplinary Network, +7(499)444-69-50,,, 127006, Russia, Moscow, st. Dolgorukovskaya str., 17, bldg. 1.
Corresponding author: Galina B. Dikke,

Authors' contributions: Dikke G.B., Bebneva T.N. – the concept and design of the investigation; Bebneva T.N., Bogdashevskaya O.V. – material collection and processing; Dikke G.B. – statistical analysis of the findings; writing and editing the text.
Conflicts of interest: The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest and guarantee that the article is their original work.
Funding: The article publication has been supported by the pharmaceutical company “INVAR” LLC.
Patient Consent for Publication: All the patients have signed an informed voluntary consent form to their participation in the investigation and to publication of their data.
Authors' Data Sharing Statement: The data supporting the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author after approval from the principal investigator.
For citation: Dikke G.B., Bebneva T.N., Bogdashevskaya O.V. Depilation and epilation
of the intimate zone: a cosmetic trend and a medical risk.
Akusherstvo i Ginekologiya/Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2022; 7: 121-130 (in Russian)

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