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Crab lice are becoming endangered thanks to bikini waxing

Crabs are disappearing. It's becoming more and more rare for a health clinic to receive a case of pubic lice, and one reason may be the pervalent trend of bikini waxing.

Crabs, or pubic lice, used to be a pretty common thing. They have been an annoying itch for as long as humans have existed, but in recent years, they've started disappearing. In Australia, a sexual health clinic in Sydney reported that it has not had a woman with crabs since 2008, and for males, cases have dropped by 80% in the past decade.

About 2-10% of the human population were infected with crabs as of 2009


“It used to be extremely common; it’s now rarely seen,” said Basil Donovan, a physician at the Sydney sexual health clinic, “Without doubt, it’s better grooming.” Indeed, there is a correlation between the disappearing lice and the growing trend of bikini waxing, which destroys the lice's habitat. A recent study showed that as much as 80% of college students remove some or all of their pubic hair.


The trend of removing pubic hair, such as through Brazilian bikini waxing, has it's roots in 1990's New York. The J sisters salon a block from fifth avenue, operated by seven Brazilian sisters, first introduced the waxing technique in 1994, and it has since grown into a big industry. Thanks to the combative effects it has on lice, waxing and other depilatories has grown beyond a mere fashion trend to become a $4.7 billion industry

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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