A plastic surgery clinic in Bangkok has made headlines in Thailand after it reportedly shared a video on Facebook of an unconventional new “beauty” treatment: penis bleaching.
“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 and Clinic told the Associated Press.
According to the German news agency dpa, a Facebook entry on Wednesday from one of the clinic’s representatives that advertised the procedure had received over 6,800 reactions and 22,500 comments as of Thursday. We here at The Pattaya News will not share the actual video, however, here is a photo courtesy of the clinic, Lelax Hospital, in Bangkok.
Skin whitening is big business. The BBC Thai Service reports that 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.
The cultural trend is attributed to an old-fashioned perception that darker skin implies being part of the working class, while lighter skin implies never having worked in the fields.
The BBC Thai Service interviewed one patient who claimed that the treatment made him feel more confident and, quote “I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs.”
On Thursday, the viral news of the Lelax treatment prompted Thailand’s public health ministry to issue a warning about penis whitening, saying it was dangerous, not worth the pain, and a waste of money.
Laser treatments break up the skin’s pigmentation, and the process can definitely be dangerous. The BBC Thai Service reports 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 permanent freckling effect. For one of the body’s most sensitive areas, it seems especially not worth the risk.
However, we here at The Pattaya News feel that it is likely to only get more popular as skin whitening in general is so common and accepted in Thailand. What do you think? Leave a comment below and let us know!