Last year, men indulged themselves in scrotox, a procedure where Botox was injected into their scrotum to smooth out the wrinkles and make their testicles hang lower.
A few days ago, as the new year rolled in, another bizarre trend in male cosmetic procedures shook social media—penis whitening.
Apparently, getting white “down there” is now the latest fad among men in Bangkok and other places.
Procedures to tighten the skin of the genitals and lighten the skin of the anus or groin area have become increasingly popular in the past year. Lelux Hospital, a medical center based in Bangkok known for its plastic surgery and body-whitening expertise, began offering the unconventional treatment six months ago, when a male client complained about a “dark part” on his groin.
Lat year, the hospital offered a similar treatment to women, 3D Vagina, in which women had their own fat injected into their genitals for a fuller aesthetic. It also offered vagina whitening a few months back, but the procedure did not quite take off the way penis whitening did.
Since the hospital offered penis whitening, however, more than 100 men each month inquire about the procedure. That translates to three to four clients per day forking out $650 for the entire five-session treatment. The procedure has been attracting male clients aged between 22 and 55.
According to the British Broadcasting Corp., one patient who had undergone the treatment reportedly wanted to feel more confident in his swimming briefs. The unidentified 30-year-old man had his treatment two months ago, and reported that, already, a noticeable difference in the shade can be detected.
Penis whitening uses lasers to break down the melanin in the skin. Laser bleaching of the private areas uses a type of laser designed specifically to damage the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives the skin its color.
Penis whitening requires men to undergo a few sessions, each lasting between 10 and 15 minutes, to achieve the desired result. There are risks involved, such as infection and scarring, so men are encouraged to carry out the procedure in a professional clinic setting.
“Patients started to ask about penis whitening, and so we started the treatment a month later,” Popol Tansakul, marketing manager of Lelux Hospital, told the BBC. Lelux Hospital gets patients from Myanmar and Hong Kong for vagina and penis whitening.
Thailand’s Public Health Ministry is concerned about this rising trend, and has warned about possible side effects such as pain, inflammation or scars, and effects on the reproductive system and sexual function. The BBC reported that the ministry went on to say that stopping treatment would cause the skin color to return, and may result in “nasty-looking spots.”
“Penis laser whitening is not necessary, wastes money and may give more negative effects than positive ones,” Dr. Thongchai Keeratihuttayakorn of the ministry said in the statement.
Bleaching of private parts became popular when several high-profile celebs, including Kourtney Kardashian, publicly admitted to having it done.
In London, HB Health of Knightsbridge, a leading medical aesthetic clinic, reported a 23 percent increase in the number of people—both men and women—asking for anal bleaching last year.
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