More than 100 men a month have been making a pilgrimage to a clinic in Thailand which offers a penis whitening procedure.
The Lelux Hospital in Bangkok began offering the unconventional treatment six months ago, and now has three to four clients per day.
The much-hyped procedure, a laser treatment of the groin, has left the public both baffled and alarmed, but the clinic says they have more inquiries than ever.
‘These days a lot of people are asking about it. We get around 100 clients a month, three to four clients a day,’ Bunthita Wattanasiri, a manager for the Skin and Laser department at Lelax Hospital told AFP.
The procedure got wide play on Thai television and social media on Thursday after the hospital released images of a man undergoing the treatment.
‘We have to be careful because it’s a sensitive part of the body,’ Bunthita said, adding most clients are aged between 22 and 55, with many from Thailand’s LGBTQ community.
The whitening service costs around £480 for five sessions.
‘I think it’s a good market to enter so we offer the ultimate body treatment to our clients, either men and women,’ Bunthita said.
Whitening and bleaching treatments are particularly sought after in Thailand, where skin-whitening ads have caused outrage and accusations of racism.
‘The obsession… people nowadays can’t embrace their own skin color,’ said one Facebook user in response to the Lelax Hospital’s images.
Another user Parin Ruansati posted: ‘Oh god… what ever happened to the world?’
Another simply questioned; ‘Why not?’.
THE NEXT BEAUTY TREND? INTIMATE BLEACHING AND PENIS WHITENING
Undergoing procedures to lighten the skin of the genitals, anus or groin area has become increasingly popular in the past year.
Laser bleaching of private areas is carried out by using a type of laser which damages or kills the cells that produce melanin – the pigment that gives skin its colour.
Most clients have to undergo a few laser sessions before achieving a desired result, and each session usually takes 10-15 minutes.
Laser bleaching comes with small risks of infection and scarring, and should always be carried out in a professional clinic setting.
Skin lightening can also be carried out at home using a bleaching cream.
However, professionals recommend to visit a clinic before embarking on any at-home treatments as bleaching creams can cause damage if not applied correctly.
This is particularly important when bleaching the sensitive skin on the genitals or anus.
Popularity of bleaching private parts has been linked to several high-profile celebrities, such as Kourtney Kardashian, publicly admitting to having these procedures done.
HB Health of Knightsbridge, a leading medical aesthetic clinic based in London, reported a 23 per cent in the number of people – men and women – asking for anal bleaching in 2017.