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Culture

This penis whitening trend in Thailand has people asking a lot of questions

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Although skin whitening is nothing new in Asia, lightening genitalia may be a step too far

Anna Freeman

05 Enero 2018 12:41

A worrying, if not rather bewildering, cosmetic treatment has gripped Thailand over the past few days.

Penis whitening is apparently the next big trend in the skin whitening industry in Asia. Skin whitening is not out of the ordinary in places like Thailand, because darker skin is associated with outside labour, and therefore poverty.

However, people have been scratching their heads about going as far as to lighten the skin of your genitalia. When a clip of a clinic's latest intriguing procedure was posted online, it quickly went viral.

The original Facebook post from the clinic offering the treatment, Lelux, which uses lasers to break down melanin in the skin, was shared more than 19,000 times within two days. It included pictures and detailed before and after illustrations.

Comments on the video range from criticism to amusement, with some users asking ‘What for?’ What for, indeed. The clinic currently gets an average of 20-30 patients a month coming for vagina and penis whitening, but it remains to be seen how high demand will be from men as women opt for the treatment more often.

Thailand's Public Health Ministry has already reacted to the sudden attention to the treatment. The ministry warned about possible side effects such as pain, inflammation or scars and even effects on the reproductive system and having sex.

'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.

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