You may have heard of anal bleaching before, either as a serious procedure or as the topic of a joke somewhere online. It's a very real thing that many me and women do, but it can seem bizarre if you don't actually know what it's supposed to do. So, what is anal bleaching?
What is it?
Anal bleaching is, in the simplest terms, a cosmetic procedure in the same vein as plastic surgery or skin treatments: an artificial way to look nicer or get rid of unwanted melanin in the skin around the anus. Despite being called “bleaching”, it doesn't actually use real bleach, since it's a chemical that can really harm your skin in the long-term. It can be performed in a few different ways, but the end results are more or less the same each time.
Why do people do it?
In most people, the skin around the anus is darker than the rest of your skin. This can be caused by anything from hormone changes to sudden friction, but bleaching can artificially correct this. Some people feel uncomfortable with how their anus area looks, but others simply do it to look more attractive, alongside other techniques such as laser hair removal or plastic surgery on particular areas of their body.
Some people practice anal bleaching it at home, whereas others will go to the professionals (such as a popular laser center in New York City) to have it performed by a professional (like a New York City licensed aesthetician). These places usually have all rights reserved on exclusive techniques or products.
Does it hurt?
Like any cosmetic procedure, anal bleaching has a much lower chance of causing problems if it's done properly. The better and more legitimate the products, the higher chance you'll have of getting optimal results without skin damage or discoloured splotches. It can be uncomfortable, but not outright painful: it depends on the procedure used.
Some people will use topical anal bleaching products that are essentially applied onto the skin, whereas others might go to a plastic surgery and laser center to get their anal skin bleached with lasers. Both can cause mild discomfort depending on how skilled the doctors/professionals are. Since anal bleaching is a cosmetic change, it's often carried out by a licensed aesthetician, so they should know how to prevent topical burns and will be aware that bleaching agents can cause skin irritation if used incorrectly.
What are the side effects?
It would be a lie to say that there are no side effects of anal bleaching, but it depends on how it's performed and how well the professional can apply the products. It might be completely cosmetic, but intimate bleaching is extremely risky if done wrong, especially if you're applying chemicals that start causing (in high doses) damaged skin cells, heat burns and even pain.
- General damage: Even a careful person can cause damage in one session if they aren't careful. Putting the products too close to your genitals, over-using them or placing them inside our rectum can all be very painful, if not dangerous. In extremely bad cases, this damage can last forever, and in much lower doses can still be painful.
- Anal strictures: Nobody wants anal strictures. This can create scar tissue, bleeding and other issues in the skin around your anus that makes it harder to stretch: this is uncomfortable, can cause constipation and is very hard to treat.
- Skin damage: Bad products can cause skin problems, especially if you also apply other chemicals to the same area. Bleaching is the process where the chosen products get applied, so a bad reaction can often go unnoticed until later on.
- Poor techniques: You can often see results after one session of anal bleaching. Unfortunately, if the technique was bad, you might not actually notice a problem straight away. Even if you avoid the burns and scars, you might end up suddenly suffering skin issues six months later without any way to treat it yourself.
- Laser burns: If you're using a laser treatments for anal bleaching, there's always a chance of laser treatment damage. Sometimes it might last three days (or even under 72 hours), but if it's really bad, it might stick around for at least six months if not corrected immediately. Read more on our dedicated side effects of anal bleaching page.
Should I do it at home?
Anal bleaching is like hair removal: both men and women can learn to do it at home, but it's hard to do to your own body. A professional can be the better option for a lot of people, but you'll want to make sure that you pick one with plenty of experience and a good reputation. It's easier to avoid side effects if you aren't trying to awkwardly bleach your own body.
Bleaching at home needs something like hydroquinone or kojic acid, which aren't always that easy to get hold of straight away. It can take some planning, especially since new techniques are always coming out: kojic acid to lighten skin used to be the preferred option, but it's being replaced by hydroquinone more often these days.
What results will I get?
Different attempts will give different results, but you should always expect the skin near your anus to get a few shades lighter. It depend on your original skin tone, of course. Remember that it only gets lighter: you can't get a deeper pigmentation: a completely different technique is needed for that.
The results won't be permanent, but they can last for a long time. Men and women who move around frequently and sweat a lot (or otherwise cause a lot of friction in that area from things like exercises) will have to bleach more often, with laser anal bleaching lasting longer than topical treatments will.
You also need to prepare properly. Even if the results are totally fine, there bottom line can be adjusted by how you get ready for the treatment. Most professionals recommend abstaining from sex (both anal and vaginal for woman, and anal for men) to avoid having any tears, and avoid removing hair in the area soon before the bleaching to get rid of irritation.
Anal bleaching has its risks, such as skin irritation (topical treatments are especially bad for this), but bleaching is also extremely popular. If it's done by a professional like a licensed aesthetician, there are far fewer risks to your safety, and it's not just a technique used by porn stars: although some sex experts recommend it fir the attraction value. Proper treatments can be gentle, yet effective, and there shouldn't be any downsides if it's handled properly. We usually suggest using recommended anal bleaching creams that are backed by actual users.