An unconventional new trend of penis whitening is reportedly captivating men in Thailand’s beauty industry.
The trend was brought to limelight after a viral video footage emerged online of a clinic – Lelux Hospital, carrying out the unusual procedure.
The video of the laser procedure which also had side-by-side images of a penis before and after the whitening process has garnered millions of views since it was posted. Although the online post seems to have been taken down, the picture of the procedure is still circulating from credible news sources.
According to a spokesman for the clinic, the penis whitening procedure, which breaks down melanin in the skin using lasers, cost around $480 for five sessions.
Popol Tansakul, the clinic’s marketing manager told the BBC that about 100 men visit Lelux Hospital each month for the procedure, three to four clients per day. It was also reported that most clients were aged between 22 and 55-years-old.
He also revealed that the clinic had been offering vagina-whitening services, adding that they began performing the bizarre procedure for men six months ago after a patient complained about dark pigmentation on his groin.
“Patients started to ask about penis whitening, and so we started the treatment a month later.
“They are popular among gay men and transvestites who take good care of their private parts. They want to look good in all areas,” Popol Tansakul said.
Speaking to German news agency DPA, Tansakul said: “We use the same pigmentation laser equipment employed in other skin treatments. All of the equipment received certification [by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health].”
However, health officials have warned that penile bleaching can lead to scarring, inflammation and “nasty looking spots,” urging people to have a rethink before undergoing the procedure.
“Penis laser whitening is not necessary, wastes money and may give more negative effects than positive ones,” Dr. Thongchai Keeratihuttayakorn of Thailand’s Health Ministry said in a statement.
Keeratihuttayakorn also warned that the results could be short-lived as soon as people stop the laser treatments.
Laser treatments break up the skin’s pigmentation, and the process can definitely be dangerous. Reports reveal that if the power of the laser is high, it can cause redness, bloody sores and subsequently, possible infection. If the lasers are less intense, it could cause a freckling effect.
Given that a darker skin is associated with outdoor labour and being poorer, products and laser procedures that whiten the skin have become increasingly popular in Thailand, with a wide range of bleaching products in the market.
According to the BBC Thai Service, the whitening industry in the Asia-Pacific region measures up to about $2 billion a year. Advertisements for skin lightening treatments are shown widely on billboards and in newspapers, while pharmacies stock over-the-counter skin lightening products.
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Medically, a patient who undergoes laser therapy may experience less pain, swelling, and scarring than with traditional surgery. It can also be expensive and require repeated treatments.
However, laser procedures which allow surgeons to work at high levels of precision by focusing on a small area, have some benefits.
Lasers are more precise than traditional surgical instruments, and cuts can be made shorter and shallower, thereby causing less damage to the surrounding tissue. They are usually shorter than traditional surgeries and people also tend to heal faster with laser operations compared to traditional surgeries.
In a society like Thailand where whitening the private area colour has become particularly sought-after, many people are of the opinion that it is better to go about it using natural remedies which give a lasting result with no side effects. Below are some natural home remedies which when regularly used as supposed will help you achieve the desired penis whitening result:
- Lemons contain vitamin C and citric acid which help to remove discolouration and kill bacteria. Dilute some lemon juice in a few drops of rose water, soak up some of the mixtures using a cotton wool and apply it on your private area. Allow it to sit for 5-7 minutes then wash off with water. Do this twice daily for 4 weeks to get the maximum result.
- Aloe Vera – This whitening plant is loaded with aloesin and antioxidants and it controls the production of melanin which in turn leads to the lightening of the skin tone. To use this plant, cut the aloe vera leaf into two, extract the gel into a bowl and add a pinch of turmeric. Mix it thoroughly and apply to your private area. Allow it to sit for 25 minutes before washing it off with warm water. Do this twice daily until you achieve the desired result.
- Lime – Make Lime paste by mixing lime juice with flour. Apply the mixture on the penis and let it soak for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. You can do this four weeks at a stretch to achieve great results. Once the desired penis colour is achieved, you can keep up with this process once a week.
- Vinegar – This contains acetic acid which lightens the skin and keeps it smooth. Use either plain or apple cider vinegar to clean the penis then rinse with clean water and air dry.