"I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs"
Thailand is apparently experiencing a trend of penis whitening.
According to the BBC, penis whitening is a troubling trend for the country, which is wondering whether the beauty industry has gone too far.
Although skin whitening is hardly a new trend in Asian countries, whitening genitalia is a rather new phenomenon.
A video clip of the procedure confirming the new trend was posted online, amassing 19,000 shares in two days.
The Lelux Hospital uses lasers to break down the skin’s melanin to a whiter shade.
One 30-year-old patient who underwent the treatment told the BBC Thai service, “I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs”. The patient had his first session two months ago and has already seen a change in shade. He has several sessions to go.
Thailand’s health ministry has issued a warning over the treatment, alerting potential patients of the possible side effects including pain, inflammation or scars. The procedure could even effects on the reproductive system and on 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.
Online commenters also criticised the procedure. “What for?” asked one commenter, whilst another said, “It can be used as a torch light. Let it shine!”
One user said she was “not that serious about the colour” but was “more concerned about the size and the moves”.
Lelux Hospital had initially offered vagina whitening services four months ago and began penis whitening after popular demand.
“Patients started to ask about penis whitening, and so we started the treatment a month later,” said Popol Tansakul, marketing manager of Lelux Hospital. The cost of the laser procedure is $650for five sessions.
However, despite the procedure is being carried out in Thailand, it appears that customers wanting the procedure are not all locals. The clinic sees an average of 20-30 patients a month for genital whitening, with clients coming from Myanmar, Cambodia and Hong Kong.
“They are popular among gay men and transvestites who take good care of their private parts. They want to look good in all areas,” Mr Popol added.