While Thailand is seeing an increase in men performing penile whitening surgeries, doctors have warned people who pay for the expensive procedure that the treatment runs the risk of infertility and its effects are temporary.
Last month, more than 100 men made a pilgrimage to The Lelux Hospital in Bangkok, which began offering unconventional treatment six months ago.
After an increase in its popularity, experts warned that the procedure could cause scars in infections and, in exceptional cases, infertility.
The director of the Department of Medical Services of Thailand, Dr. Mingkwan Wichaidit, said that a penis will return to its natural color as the human body will continue to produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its distinctive tone.
This means that over time it will reverse the expensive laser treatment.
However, the side effects, he added, could include infection and serious scars.
Dr. Mingkwan noted that there was still no evidence to suggest that the process was 100 percent safe in any type of genital area.
To further increase, the deputy director of the Department of Health Services Support, Dr. Thongchai Teerahattayakorn, added that penis whitening could potentially affect the fertility of men.
In fact, the department had instructed officials to investigate whether The Lelux Hospital had violated the Sanatorium Law, which prevents private medical institutes from using a third party to advertise on their behalf.
The procedure won a broad game on Thai television and social networks on Thursday after the hospital published images of a man undergoing treatment.
“We have to be careful because it is a sensitive part of the body,” Bunthita said, adding that the majority of clients are between the ages of 22 and 55, and many of the LGBTQ community in Thailand.
The whitening service costs around £ 480 for five sessions.