Doctors warn you have to be nuts to try penis whitening: Laser treatment fad won't
provide permanent results and could leave scars
Experts warn the procedure could cause infection, scarring and infertility
Dr Mingkwan said there was no evidence to show the process was safe
Patient's bodies will produce the melanin pigment and reverse the results
Doctors have warned people paying for an expensive penis whitening procedure in Thailand that the treatment risks infertility and its effects are temporary.
More than 100 men a month have been making a pilgrimage to The Lelux Hospital in Bangkok which began offering the unconventional treatment six months ago.
After a surge in the its popularity experts have warned the procedure could cause infection scarring and, in rare case, infertility.
Director of Thailand's Department of Medical Services Dr. Mingkwan Wichaidit said that a penis is bound to return to its natural color. Our bodies will continue to produce melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its distinct tone.
Over time, this natural process will reverse the expensive laser treatment. Side effects, she added, could include infection and serious scarring.
Dr. Mingkwan noted there was still no evidence to suggest the process was 100 per cent safe on any kind of genital area.
Deputy director of the Health Service Support Department Dr. Thongchai Teerahattayakorn added that penis whitening could potentially affect men's fertility.
He added that the department had instructed officials to investigate whether The Lelux Hospital had violated the Sanatorium Act which prevents private medical institutes from using a third party to advertise on their behalf.
Hospitals that do so are liable to be fined at least $620, reported Coconuts Bangkok.
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 increase in the number of people - men and women - asking for anal bleaching in 2017.