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Warts from Shaving

Many people ask the question whether they can get or spread warts from shaving. The simple answer is that both can happen. Let’s have a look at what potential risks there are to either get or spread warts when you shave.

There’s a few things to distinguish first. We’ll be looking at shaving facial hair as well as pubic hair when looking at the risks. As warts are contagious you need to consider a few things with regards to shaving.

Woman Shaving

Facial Hair Shaving

When shaving you might irritate the skin or even end up with a small cut. This does in theory open the door for a virus to be able to get into your body and spread.

Warts come from contracting such a virus, the Human Papillomavirus. Realistically though, your risks are very low that you’d get warts simply from shaving your facial hair. Yet, there are a few considerations you have to think about.

If you have a wart in your face in the area where you shave, you most likely will shave around it. At that moment there should usually be no chance that the virus attaches to your razor blade and then spread from there across other areas of your face.

However, if you accidentally cut your wart during a shave then it might be best to switch the razor blade. The virus is in the blood and the cut will provide the virus the ability to get onto your shaver. Continuing to shave with the same blade increases the risk that the wart virus spreads to other areas of your face.

The same is true if you share the razor with your partner. If your partner has warts and cuts one by accident then the virus sticking to the blade can at least in theory spread to you. For many, if not most, people it’s a generic question of hygiene not to share devices like a razor but that’s not true for all.

Pubic Hair Shaving

Removing your pubic hair in your genital area through the use of a razor has overall the same risks as shaving your facial hair. Yet, there are a few differences you should be aware of.

Genital warts often are much smaller than common or flat warts. This makes it easier to cut them while you shave your private areas and through that you can potentially spread the virus easier.

Similarly, your skin in your genital area is softer than your skin where your facial hair grows. This can lead much faster to irritation or minor cuts when you shave.

If your partner has genital warts then you might want to consider not having sex shortly after you shaved in your genital area. You could have some minor cuts from the shaving and that could allow the virus to spread from your partner’s genital warts into your genital area!

Shaving your Legs or other Body Parts

When you shave your legs or hair on any other body parts then you run the same risks. Cutting a wart increases your chances that you spread HPV which causes new warts.

The skin more likely reacts by being irritated in areas that are not regularly shaved. This also can increase the risk that any virus can enter. You always want to make sure to moisturize after a shave in order to keep your skin smooth and reduce irritation.

Precautions to take

Taking a few precautions for your shaving routine should keep you save.

  • Never shave over a wart
  • Replace your blade immediately when you accidentally cut a wart with it
  • Never share a razor with your partner or another person
  • Keep your skin moisturized to reduce the risk of cuts
  • Always use shaving cream or gel
  • Never use the same razor blade to shave your face and your genital area or other body parts

Following these rules and precautions dramatically reduces your risks or contracting or spreading warts from shaving.

Lower risk by using a Depilatory Cream instead of shaving?

You might be wondering whether using a depilatory cream for hair removal in your genital area might reduce the risk of genital warts. It would be logical to assume that if you don’t shave but remove your hair with a cream then the risk of contracting or spreading HPV might be lower.

Studies have shown that there’s no reduced risk for genital warts whether you shave or use a cream to remove your pubic hair. You can check out results of such a study here.

What else besides warts can spread?

Chances are actually higher that you’d spread other virus or bacteria based illnesses through shaving. One common one is that you find bumps in your genital areas after your shave. These could be indicating that you got Molluscum Contagiosum which is harmless and easily treatable.

Compared to genital warts molluscum contagiosum is not considered a STD. You can easily treat it at home. If you’re unsure whether you might have this or genital warts then check out our overview to compare both and make it easy for you to identify what your bumps are.

Conclusion

The risk of spreading or getting warts through shaving is very small. If you follow our list of precautions, which are pretty much common sense, then there should be nothing to worry about for you.

Warts can show up at any time at pretty much any location on your body. Chances to be infected by HPV are typically not higher or lower based on your shaving.

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