Can You Shave If You Have Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a disease that is caused by the monkeypox virus with symptoms that last for two to four weeks, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The disease does not come from monkeys but originates in rats. The name of the disease is monkeypox because it was originally discovered in monkeys in 1958 (per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

John Hopkins Medicine explains that the symptoms of monkeypox can be a variety of things, including fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash which may be confused for chicken pox or even a sexually transmitted disease. Scientific American notes that at least 92% of monkeypox cases have occurred in self-identified gay men.

Thankfully, the disease will eventually clear up on its own, but the rash is an obvious symptom that can be bothersome in your daily life, especially when it comes to shaving. If you have monkeypox or are worried about getting it, you may be worried about shaving with a rash.

Don't shave until your monkeypox rash is healed

When someone contracts monkeypox, the disease manifests itself as a rash that develops across various stages, including scabs. While monkeypox is most easily transmitted by sexual contact and therefore is most commonly found in the genital area, monkeypox rash can also develop on the hands, feet, face, chest, and mouth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You should not shave on any part of your body that has developed the rash until it has scabbed over and healed with a new layer of skin. Shaving can transfer the virus to other parts of your body and spread the lesions, explains the CDC. While you can shave in areas without the rash, it is best to wait until the rash is entirely gone from your body. To help the rash heal, use gauze or bandages to cover the rash, do not scratch any lesions from the rash, and consistently wash your hands with hot water and soap.