Can sharing razors spread STDs?
By Miriam @ Planned Parenthood | May 15, 2023, 4:19 p.m.
Category: Ask the Experts, STDs
You’re not likely to spread STDs by sharing razors. But it's best to avoid sharing personal items because you have a low chance of spreading skin germs that way.
In rare cases, sharing razors could put you at low risk for these STDs:
- Hepatitis B can spread through sex and blood.
- If someone with hepatitis B has blood on their razor, using it may put you at risk for hep B.
- Sharing razors can put you at risk for hepatitis C.
- Learn about hepatitis B symptoms and testing.
- HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. It spreads through sex and blood.
- If you use a razor that has HIV-infected blood on it — and that blood gets into open cuts or sores (like if you nick yourself) — you could be at risk for HIV.
- Learn about symptoms and testing for HIV/AIDS.
- Molluscum contagiosum looks like small bumps. It can spread through touching someone’s infection or touching something that rubbed their infection.
- If someone with an outbreak shaves over their bumps, using their razor may put you at risk of getting molluscum contagiosum. Any used personal items— like towels, clothing, bar soap, hair brushes, or jewelry — can be contagious until the person with molluscum contagiosum gets treatment.
- Learn about symptoms and testing for molluscum contagiosum.
Human papilloma virus (HPV)
- Some forms of HPV are spread through sexual contact and can cause genital warts. If someone has genital warts and shaves over them, using their razor on your genitals may put you at risk for genital warts.
- Other forms of HPV spread when you have a small cut that touches something with the virus on it. This can cause warts on other body parts, but isn’t an STD. If someone shaves over their warts, using their razor may increase your chances for getting warts.
- Learn about symptoms for genital warts and other warts.
How to prevent infections of all kinds from razors
- Don’t share your razor.
- Keep your razor clean. Each time you shave, rinse off all hair and shaving cream on your razor, dry it, and store it in a dry place.
- Replace your razor after 7–10 uses.
- If you get a shave at a barber shop, make sure the barber doesn’t reuse razors.
If you think you have an STD, learn about STD symptoms. You can also chat with a health educator or our chatbot.
Tags: shaving, personal hygiene, razor