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embarassing experience at dermatologist was it appropriate?


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I had an uncomfortable experience at a recent medical visit and Im not sure if it was appropriate or if Im being to sensitive about it. I am a 60 year old active male who stays in good shape who likes to exercise walk (cannot run anymore) bike and swim often. I went to a new dermatologist for a complete check up and have a mole on shoulder examined. I had not been seen for skin exam in over 8 years so i was due. my former dermatologist was a male but he left to go to a practice in another state. the new doctor is a woman in her early 60s who I thought would be good since we were close in age and she's been in her field a long time. She was professional but not very friendly and had little bedside manner (all business approach I guess). When she gave me the body scan and viewed my lower half she saw that I remove most (not all) of my hair there and asked me if there is an issue or reason that I keep myself this way. I was shocked felt totally awkward and uncomfortable. I told her I am active I swim often and feel better with that area as it is. She was blunt and simply said she doesn't recommend that I shave that area anymore because it could cause other hygiene issues. I said ok because I was to embarrassed to say anything else. Ive never heard this before and don't want to ask anyone in person because of the personal and embarrassing nature of it. but more so was she appropriate to ask me such a thing was it within her professional examination or was it an opinion she didn't have to tell me because it made me feel ridiculous. I want to change doctors but is it me over thinking it and being sensitive or was she inappropriate? Any input or advice is appreciate!

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All she did was make a professional comment about your practice of removing your hair - which is actually quite well documented, and relevant to her area of expertise. You are way, way overthinking this! It's no more inappropriate than an osteopath telling me that a particular exercise I did was probably aggravating my lower back problem.

 

She did not 'make' you feel ridiculous; to be honest, I think your concerns are more to do with embarrassment about the intimate parts of your body.

 

If you don't feel comfortable with her, then by all means change doctors. But I know I'd rather have a doctor who took the time to tell me when I was potentially damaging myself.

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Welcome to ENA

 

Most dermatologists don't recommend shaving the genital area because it can lead to ingrown hairs, pimples, and in the worst case... even make it easier to get STDs because of cuts in the skin.

 

If you want to keep it neat, you might want to use something like a hair trimmer. I don't know what they have for men, but women have little bikini hair trimmers that you can use to keep the hair under control without shaving.

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Sounds like her manner is just brusque. Removing hair "down there" is not recommended by medical professionals, as it's nature's way of keeping bacteria out. With the rise and prevalence of "down there" hair removal over the past 20 years, doctors have started to warn patients, as they are seeing increases in "down there" skin issues.

 

Look at any Playboy/Playmate magazine from the 70's: this was just not done.

 

My former OB/GYN chastised me in exactly the same manner. She went so far as to be brusque enough to let me know that I'm only a "few short years" from menopause, where all that hair will go away on its own anyway, so why am I bothering? I changed to another doctor with a better manner, but not for that reason.

 

You are probably, as a male, just not as accustomed to doctors viewing your private areas as we women are. If you are happy with her from a medical standpoint, you could stay with her.

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Her words certainly sound no more invasive than a prostate exam. She's a dermatologist and is doing her job. So long as they're not being a d1ck for the sake of it, lack of bedside manner has never bothered me.

 

Like it or not, at 60, dermas are going to be giving your crotch a gander. If, by sheer preference, you'd rather a dude be on duty for that, that would be fair enough. But nothng this woman said sounds inappropriate.

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All she did was make a professional comment about your practice of removing your hair - which is actually quite well documented, and relevant to her area of expertise. You are way, way overthinking this! It's no more inappropriate than an osteopath telling me that a particular exercise I did was probably aggravating my lower back problem.

 

She did not 'make' you feel ridiculous; to be honest, I think your concerns are more to do with embarrassment about the intimate parts of your body.

 

If you don't feel comfortable with her, then by all means change doctors. But I know I'd rather have a doctor who took the time to tell me when I was potentially damaging myself.

 

Thank you for your sincere honesty I understand what you are saying and agree with you now that I am overthinking it. Your right Ms. it is better to have a thorough doctor in any field of healthcare. I know because of her being a woman (even older then me) and seeing my private area it was a shock to my old stubborn pride. Thank you!

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Welcome to ENA

 

Most dermatologists don't recommend shaving the genital area because it can lead to ingrown hairs, pimples, and in the worst case... even make it easier to get STDs because of cuts in the skin.

 

If you want to keep it neat, you might want to use something like a hair trimmer. I don't know what they have for men, but women have little bikini hair trimmers that you can use to keep the hair under control without shaving.

 

Annie thank you for your information and recommendation. I will look into the product you suggest made for men. Ive never had any related problems in the 15+ years Ive been keeping myself this way but I can understand as you explain why it could cause unwanted issues. Thank you for your help!

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I know because of her being a woman (even older then me) and seeing my private area it was a shock to my old stubborn pride.

 

Awww... I guess the other thing is that women are only too familiar with having healthcare professionals poking about in their ladybits... sounds like it was a bit of a shock to the system for you!

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Sounds like her manner is just brusque. Removing hair "down there" is not recommended by medical professionals, as it's nature's way of keeping bacteria out. With the rise and prevalence of "down there" hair removal over the past 20 years, doctors have started to warn patients, as they are seeing increases in "down there" skin issues.

 

Look at any Playboy/Playmate magazine from the 70's: this was just not done.

 

My former OB/GYN chastised me in exactly the same manner. She went so far as to be brusque enough to let me know that I'm only a "few short years" from menopause, where all that hair will go away on its own anyway, so why am I bothering? I changed to another doctor with a better manner, but not for that reason.

 

You are probably, as a male, just not as accustomed to doctors viewing your private areas as we women are. If you are happy with her from a medical standpoint, you could stay with her.

 

LH you make very good points and along with the others made me realize that she was doing her job and doing it well for my best interests as her new patient. My former dermatologist never said anything and may not have thought it was a concern. Its also been 8 years since ive gone to have a skin exam. Your right about years back and what I remember the school books teaching about that hair. I began this practice about 15 years ago for no other reason then comfort and what I thought was better hygiene as someone who is active and swims a lot. Yes I decided I will stay with her there is no reason to change now.

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Annie thank you for your information and recommendation. I will look into the product you suggest made for men. Ive never had any related problems in the 15+ years Ive been keeping myself this way but I can understand as you explain why it could cause unwanted issues. Thank you for your help!

 

I guess if you have been grooming yourself in this manner for 15 years without razor burn/bumps/irritation/pimples/whatever, then there's not a huge reason to change now.

 

Incidentally, I know a dermatologist who told me that a good number of his clients ask him during the visit if a particular sore or bump or rash on their genitals is an STD and he's like, "Nah, that's razor burn. Stop shaving."

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I guess if you have been grooming yourself in this manner for 15 years without razor burn/bumps/irritation/pimples/whatever, then there's not a huge reason to change now.

 

Incidentally, I know a dermatologist who told me that a good number of his clients ask him during the visit if a particular sore or bump or rash on their genitals is an STD and he's like, "Nah, that's razor burn. Stop shaving."

 

Annie thanks for the added input. To clarify I have had minor bumps or pimples before but that's it and I never thought it was anything more then that. Ive not had rash or burning or anything alarming until she (dermatologist) asked if there was an issue causing a reason why most of my private area is shaved and recommended that I don't continue. At 60 Im not sure I will change as you say but I am seriously considering all of the info and opinions people have posted to my question. I have also read up on this in health websites and have found mixed opinions and recommendations both from medical and everyday people. I appreciate your sincere help thank you!

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Hair follicles are part of the dermis--her area of expertise. In her years of practice she has likely seen her share of adverse reactions to pubic hair removal, so she was speaking from that experience.

 

Ms.Cat thank you and yes your right her area of expertise would include pubic hair which I stupidly and ignorantly did not consider. But since posting I have since realized my embarrassment and question of her practice was all me and she was appropriate and thorough. As I explained in my post that at my age and activity level I never considered any negatives and was never brought to my attention by my previous doctor until now with her. As someone else thought possibly during the exam her seeing that I still do keep some hair (above) caused her to think there was an issue for me to remove the rest (lower portion). No doubt her being female and her age being a little older then me was what took me back but I accept and understand now thanks to people on this forum. I would still be in the dark and unsure if it wasn't for this forum and all the information and I thank you also very much for helping me!

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