Thailand's genital whitening process dangerous and threatens reproduction, claim surgeons

Skin Whitening clinic in Thailand
Skin Whitening clinic in Thailand (Representational Picture) Reuters

No, whitening the genital is not cool and it is nothing more than a phallic "fashion" with dangerous hazards and after effects, say plastic surgeons.

The recent male genital whitening fad in Thailand has become viral and experts believe that the process has dangerous risks. The procedure uses lasers, acid, or chemicals which can leave burns, scars, taut skin. It might not turn out to be genital beautification after all.

"Most of the substances that are used to whiten are quite aggressive," Milanese plastic surgeon Massimiliano Brambilla, who specializes in genital procedures told AFP.

As per reports, a Bangkok clinic attends 100 men a month who visit the clinic for genital whitening service worth US$650 for five laser sessions. International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) produced a data which shows Thailand in rank 21 in terms of cosmetic procedures performed in 2016. The data also showed a global increase in the genital beautification procedures and that Labiaplasty or trimming of the inner female genital "lips" or labia minoria is by far the fastest growing surgery sector. There has been a 45 percent rise since 2015.

According to plastic surgeon Fabien Boucher from France, genital whitening procedure is nothing but "pornographisation of society" as it involves "intimate" procedures by providing the genitals an unrealistic look.

One of the major reasons why genital whitening is popular in Thailand is because of the Thai culture as the Asia-Pacific region is a big market for skin lighteners. Boucher says that none of the products used in the process has been developed uniquely for genitals and no one knows how the products might react.

The Thai health ministry has warned users of the procedure against skin infection and threat to reproduction. Moreover, no one can guarantee safety.