According to recent surveys, body grooming is on the rise—and with it, more and more nicks and cuts to our most tender areas. These injuries are unsightly—and painful—so we asked primary care physician Dr. Marc Leavey how to treat the all those manscaping-related wounds to our bumps, nipples and dangly bits.
The Injury: A Scrotal Nick
The Treatment: “Because the genitals have such a high concentration of blood vessels, they’re going to bleed more than other body parts would if you nicked them with a razor,” Leavey explains. “The best way to stop that bleeding is to apply direct pressure to the area by gently squeezing the skin of the scrotum for three to five minutes—that doesn’t mean squeezing for 30 seconds then taking a peak, because when you remove the pressure, the clock starts over again.” Once you’ve stopped the bleeding, Leavey adds that cleaning the area with soap and water is vital to preventing infection; he warns against using alcohol or peroxide to clean the wound, as they irritate the edges of the cut, lengthening the healing process.
If the nick is especially tender and you’re experiencing chafing because of it, Leavey recommends folding a piece of tissue paper and placing it in your briefs—a band-aid won’t adhere to the constantly stretching skin, but a well placed tissue will help keep anything from rubbing against the wound and further irritating it. Finally, Leavey firmly notes, “If there’s any lasting sign of redness, pus or inflammation, go see a doctor.”
The Injury: Slicing Off a Skin Tag, Mole or Hemangioma
The Treatment: “As far as skin tags go, they’re really just little flaps of skin with blood vessels in them—which means they will bleed a little more than usual,” Leavey explains. Because of that, the scrotum routine works just as well here: Apply three to five minutes of pressure, and clean the wound with soap and water—the only difference is that, in this case, applying a band-aid might not be a bad idea.
Slicing a mole, on the other hand, may prove to be more troublesome. “If you cut a pre-malignant mole, you’re more likely to find yourself with an infection or precancerous complications,” Leavey explains. “So it’s always a good idea to have a physician take a look.”
The last strange skin bump you may find yourself nicking is what’s called a hemangioma. “These are small cherry-red conglomerations of blood vessels, which means—if you slice them—they’re going to bleed a lot,” Leavey says. So much so, that he recommends visiting a doctor to have the wound cauterized if they proceed to ooze after applying pressure for anywhere between five to ten minutes.
The Injury: Gashing the Penis
The Treatment: Penises are made up of vascular tissue, which means your schlong is likely to bleed more if nicked than other parts of the body. Because of that, applying pressure for three to five minutes is once again key, but if you’re on blood thinners of any kind, Leavey suggests adding a few precautionary minutes on top of that. He also notes that if you can get your hands on a styptic pencil, which helps to clot the blood, feel free to use that on the wound.
The Injury: Cutting Off the Tip of a Nipple
The Treatment: Similar to the injuries mentioned above, this requires applying pressure for three to five minutes and a good cleaning with soap and water. “Nipples are made up of vascular tissue—similar to the tissue on your penis—which means it’s going to bleed a lot,” Leavey explains. That also means there’s a good chance it will scar, but don’t fret: Your nipple will grow back if you slice off a chunk of it.
Now that you no longer have to be afraid of dying from a cut to your naughty zones, get out there and manscape with confidence—just make sure to avoid the dreaded post-manscape prickle.