What will they think of next: Ever heard of anal bleaching?
According to Graceanne Svendsen, the practice manager at Shafer Plastic Surgery and Laser Center in New York City, anal bleaching which he also calls “unisex intimate bleaching”, is the process of applying chemicals to the skin around the anus (or vulva, or underarm, or areola) in order to lighten the naturally deeper pigmentation.
Anal bleaching, according to experts, has no health benefit. It is a full cosmetic procedure which involves the use of hydroquinone or kojic acid to lighten the anus over time.
Just how safe is anal bleaching? Experts say the procedure could be as hazardous as the normal skin bleaching and could even be more dangerous considering the type of products used and the long time it takes to lighten the traditional dark spots
“Mice studies have shown that kojic acid and hydroquinone can be carcinogenic – cancer causing – in high doses,” says Dr Rabia de Latour, a clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone.
De Latour also warns that these bleaching agents can cause skin irritation, topical burns, and even anal strictures (scars that cause constipation). Because of these possible side effects, de Latour recommends seeking out a professional, like a licensed aesthetician, instead of attempting to do it on your own
At Svendsen’s practice, “anal bleaching is a five step process using gentle, yet effective, chemical peel ingredients, followed by a finishing mask”. Svendsen says clients often see results after one session, but she recommends three or four sessions for optimal results, lasting up to six months. You’ll also apply an at-home cream in between sessions.
Does anal bleaching work?
It depends on the person, says De Latour. He explains that since darker pigmentation in these areas is natural, and because skin cells constantly refresh, that bleach job won’t last forever.
The bottom line: Anal bleaching is a cosmetic procedure – not a necessary one. If you’re going to try it, make sure you visit a licensed professional, and watch out for negative side effects, the South African Health E-News reports