Post #14 Anal Bleaching. Yes, it's a thing.
Podcast Episode #10 covers this one!
"Anal bleaching is the process of lightening the color of the skin around the anus. It is done for cosmetic purposes, to make the color of the anus more uniform with the surrounding area." Okay.
Turns out it's not as new as you'd think. As early as 2004, a UK tv show called Cosmetic Surgery Live featured anal bleaching. Spas in California and Australia started offering the service in 2005, and in NYC in 2007.
The backstory goes that adult-Industry actresses and actors noticed that the skin around the anus is often naturally darker…from friction, hormonal reasons, or excess pigment …and therefore must be lightened! Then somewhere between the popularity of the Brazilian Wax and easy-to-access porn, other people wanted lighter anuses, too.
You can actually do the lightening at home or at a facility.
Home treatments are done by a special lotion or gel that will lighten the area over time. It's similar to lightening a blemish on your face in that the change in color will take a while and the products will have to be used regularly.
You should know that many of the products contain hydroquinone which has been banned in some countries, such as the member states of the EU. In 2006, the FDA removed previous advice that stated hydroquinone was considered generally safe, as it has now been linked to ochronosis, where the skin becomes permanently discolored and disfigured. Also, hydroquinone may be a carcinogen. However, its use is not banned in the United States (???).
Spa treatments will include a chemical peel or a laser procedure. Both breakdown the excess pigment and can even prevent more color from forming. The process will need to be repeated every 6 months or so, depending on activity because friction is one of the causes of the discoloration.
Some people who use the chemical peel treatments may experience mild stinging or burning when the lightening product is applied. Others may feel nothing. The same goes for laser anal bleaching. Some people experience brief bolts or “pings” as the laser hits the skin. (Not the area I think I'd like to be pinged!) If your technician uses a skin-numbing cream, you may feel a slight pressure when the laser hits the skin or nothing at all.
Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN Women's Health & Dermatology in her article for Healthline discusses some of the things that can wrong with :
Risks of at-home anal bleaching treatments:
Incorrect application. You may apply too much of the product or in the wrong places. This increases the risk of the product getting too close to your genitals or into the rectum.
Permanent damage. Some products can lead to skin damage, scarring, and permanent discoloration.
Anal strictures. If anal bleaching products get into the rectum, you may develop anal strictures or scar tissue around the rectum. This can prevent the anus from properly stretching during a bowel movement. Which can lead to constipation, hemorrhoids and pain.
Risks of professional anal bleaching treatments:
Skin damage. The chemicals may be stronger and more likely to cause side effects.
Improper technique. If a technician isn’t trained properly, they may apply the product incorrectly. You could develop scarring, burning, or permanent skin damage. You may also experience more discomfort during the procedure.
Laser damage. A laser can damage your skin permanently if used incorrectly.
Still want to go for it? At least be prepared!
Abstain from sex. Avoid anal or vaginal intercourse for at least three days prior to any treatment. Friction can cause small tears that increase your risk of discomfort and other side effects.
Avoid hair removal. Shaving, waxing, and other hair removal can irritate the skin around your anus. This may make bleaching more uncomfortable.
Avoid sweaty activities. Running and hot yoga are two activities that increase sweating and friction around your anus. This can make the treatment less effective.
Skip the thong. Wearing tight underwear, such as a thong, can increase friction, too. Cutting down on friction can help you reduce the likelihood of sensitivity.
Personally, this is an "ass is" situation for me. (Oh, could not resist a bad pun!) I've got enough stuff to worry about without burning my butt.