Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years

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Important Information About Shaving

As a young woman, you make more of your own decisions and many of these effect your health. One good way to take care of yourself is to learn to find reliable information so that you are well informed to make the best decision for you. Healthy choices will lead to your being healthy, happy, the best that you can be and they will lead to your dreams coming true.

Many young women shave and there is important health information that you need to know.

To shave or not to shave? First of all, do you want to shave? If you're not sure, perhaps you want to think about it for a time. Collect adequate information to make an informed decision. If you've started shaving, perhaps you want to consider stopping. (That's ok. It's always ok to change your mind when it comes to making a choice for your health.) But if you choose to shave, read the following information that you need to know.

When you shave you want to remember two key health points:

  1. Shave in a manner that your skin stays intact.
  2. Always use your own razor and never allow anyone else to use your razor

Your Skin: First Line of Defense
Young women today have numerous and serious threats to their health and actually to their life. The Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls (1997), reported:
"The survey found disturbingly high rate of behaviors that can put health at risk and have potential life-long consequences."

Developing healthy habits and learning to take care of yourself are the actions that you can take to prevent health problems. Infections are a leading cause of health problems and death in young women, and the first line of defense against these infections, is intact skin.

The first line of defense to infection is the skin. When your skin is healthy and intact, you have your first defense, and a strong defense, against harmful organisms that are bacterial or viral. Any break in your skin makes you more vulnerable to infection, two serious examples are organisms that cause hepatitis and HIV.

Shave in a manner that skin stays intact
There are some techniques that help your skin stay intact. Products for shaving can be ordered from Programs and Products.

  1. Plan a time to shave when you can take the time to shave slowly and carefully.
  2. Prepare your skin with ample soap and warm water to soften it, during a bath or shower is ideal.
  3. Use a shaving cream on warmed skin. There are various brands for women.
  4. Use a well-designed razor with an adequately sharp blade.
  5. Prepare a position that is well lighted and where you can shave smoothly, avoiding pressing over bone or folds of skin.
  6. Apply a moisturizer after rinsing and drying.

Always use your own razor and hygiene products
The only way that you can be sure not to transfer blood borne organisms while shaving or practicing hygiene is to always use your own razor and hygiene products and never allow anyone else to use yours. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health states ( How is Hepatitis B Spread, Oct 1999), "Sharing a toothbrush, razor, or anything else that might have blood on it can also spread the virus." You can not always tell by looking at someone, who has an infectious disease and who doesn't. As demonstrated by recent educational posters, "Which of these people are HIV positive?", you never know who is. Therefore, this health habit around shaving is very important.

Written 9/00
Revised 6/10/01

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