Botox, breast implants, tummy tucks, and rhinoplasty are all common forms of cosmetic surgery and procedures. They’re widely popular around the United States and thousands of people undergo one of the procedures every year.
In 2015, $13.3 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures in the United States. With that being said, the United States isn’t the only place where plastic surgery is popular. People in Thailand also like to indulge now and again, but also practice some unusual procedures.
The latest cosmetic trend to hit Thailand is penis-whitening. According to Allure, fair skin is idolized in Asia. It is seen as something you need to have instead of something you want to have. While whitening has been more of a facial and skin-related task, it has clearly gone a lot deeper in recent months.
This whitening technique recently went viral after a video of a man having the procedure done was posted on Facebook. The video has racked up over one million views. It is said to cost around $650 and covers about five sessions of the treatment. Lasers are used to break down the melanin in the skin.
Many doctors and medical experts actually warn against this procedure as it is not risk-free. Since it is such a sensitive part of the body, there is a lot that can go wrong. Darren Smith, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, spoke with Allure about the risks.
“The main problem is that these are fragile and sensitive areas of the body that can be prone to injury (e.g. burn),” he said. “This is especially problematic as non-invasive procedures such as this are often adopted by under-qualified providers, as there is less regulation in place to protect the patient.”
Even though there are risks, Lelux Hospital, where the services are offered, made the procedure available four months ago. BBC says the clinic sees 20-30 patients a month looking for the whitening treatment. People are constantly coming from all over Thailand, Hong Kong and even Cambodia to get their hands on this procedure.