Spas offer a lot of
below-the-belt treatments: bikini waxes, laser hair removal, vaginal
rejuvenation … and now, anal bleaching. Yes, anal bleaching, or as Graceanne
Svendsen, the practice manager at Shafer Plastic Surgery and Laser Center in
New York City, calls it: unisex intimate bleaching.
is extremely popular right now,” says Svendsen, crediting porn for the trend.
Svendsen says she receives up to four inquiries a day from both men and women
and sees at least one intimate bleaching patient a week.
What is anal bleaching?
Anal 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. A completely
cosmetic procedure, anal bleaching products traditionally use
hydroquinone or kojic acid to lighten the anus over time.
Read more: 10 things you need to know before trying anal for the first time
Is anal bleaching safe?
“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. To be fair, the bleaching you’d have done at a spa will involve much
lower doses, she says, but there haven’t been any formal studies evaluating the
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.
What’s the process like?
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.
Read more: Is anal sex actually safe?
Does anal bleaching work?
It depends on the
person. De Latour explains that since darker pigmentation in these areas is
natural, and because skin cells constantly refresh, that bleach job won’t last
forever. She also recommends immediately stopping treatment if you feel burning
or tingling. Ouch.
How will it affect your sex life?
De Latour and
Svendsen recommend abstaining from sex immediately
after the procedure. Svendsen also encourages patients to avoid saunas, baths,
and hot tubs for the next 72 hours. If you’re showing no signs of irritation
after three days, then having sex should be totally fine.
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.
This article was
originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com
Image credit: iStock