A 20-year-old Australian woman has almost died after having a 'Brazilian' bikini wax. The woman suffered from a life-threatening infection and was rushed to A&E with high fever, genital swelling, and a rash extending to her chest, arms and neck.
The woman, who has type 1 diabetes, was taken to hospital two weeks after the procedure, which was done by a trainee beautician.
The infection was so severe that doctors initially thought the woman had a flesh-eating disease. She was successfully treated and discharged from the hospital after 10 days.
But doctors were stunned when just six months later the same woman came to the A&E with a similar condition – this time caused by shaving. The Melbourne hospital's director of infectious diseases, Prof Lindsay Grayson, said because of the woman's poorly managed diabetes and low immune system the results of the waxing infection were almost catastrophic.
"This case represents one of the more extreme examples and this patient would have died without appropriate medical care," he said. "Many of these new beauty treatments may be fine for healthy people, but patients who have weakened immune systems should think twice about having these."
The case was reported in the journal, Infectious Diseases. The authors wrote: "Our case is notable, because it illustrates the infectious risks of pubic hair removal in a patient with diabetes.
"The beauty industry is growing at an unprecedented rate and more invasive and potentially harmful procedures are increasingly available.
"There is a current widespread trend for the extensive removal of pubic hair, and physicians need to be familiar with these beauty practices to advise their patients appropriately, particularly those patients with immunosuppression," he added.