WellnessTok is a great place to find inspiration for your morning routine, meditation tips and positive affirmations. It can also be a minefield of misinformation that can lead to potentially dangerous consequences. Dear reader, this is the latter. Perineum sun exposure, which involves exposing the area just above your anus to sunlight for a short period each day, is what we are referring to.
This trend, to which content creators attribute a host of vague benefits including increased energy, faster healing, and improved cell function, has already been viewed 23.9 million times on the app. There is a post on social media showing people exposing their skin to the sun. This prompts dermatologist Fatima Fahs MD (a.k.a. Dermy Doctor) to encourage viewers to spread their legs and cheeks under the sun. Dermy Doctor advised viewers to not taint their skin, citing real medical concerns. This phenomenon first surfaced three years ago. However, to our collective delight, 2022 has seen people point their backs at the sky once more.
This Instagram post set the internet ablaze and made it clear that celebrities were also taking it seriously. Metaphysical Meagan was the original poster. She wrote that she had been practicing the “ancient Taoist practices” lately. Or, as she put it, “sunning her bum and yoni” — she claims it strengthens organs and improves libido. It regulates circadian rhythms, boosts mental focus and increases energy. We know that sun damage, especially in 2022, is a serious problem. It can cause severe skin problems and even death. Our experts discuss perineum tanning, its benefits and the risks.
Is there any benefit to perineum-sunning?
It is highly unlikely. Doctors are skeptical about the claimed benefits of perineum sunbathing, and warn against potential harm. Dr. Prather said that the claims have no medical or scientific merit. She says that the reported increase in energy due to daily bum tanning may be more likely due to waking up earlier each day and exercising to find that private, Instagram-worthy sunning rock.
Dr. Frieling also doubts: “All these things involve an approach towards healthy living that goes far beyond lying spread-eagle under the sun,” she states. “Any benefit’ would only be out of sheer vanity. You can apply hypoallergenic mineral makeup to your vulva and anus if you are determined to get a tan. (Who knew?)
Is it safe to use perineum for sunning?
It’s short and simple: no. Gretchen Frieling MD a board-certified dermatologist who practices in Wellesley Massachusetts, says that the skin of the anus and vulva is thin. This is a neglected part of the body and is often unprotected from the sun.
This type of sun exposure can cause serious health problems. Heidi Prather MD is a Texas-certified dermatologist. She says that skin cancers can also affect other areas of the body such as basal cell carcinomas, squamous cells, and melanoma. Studies have shown that people who were exposed to HPV and sun exposure have a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Sun exposure can also exacerbate the herpesvirus.
Dr. Prather claims that essential oils used in the genital region, such as verbena and bergamot, may increase photosensitivity and sunburn.
Perineum sun exposure can cause discomfort and even death for some people. Josh Brolin, actor shared Meagan’s photo on his Instagram grid and shared his story of woe. “I tried the perineum-sunny method I have been hearing so I am not as sure about it. My pucker is sore, and I was planning to go shopping with my family, but instead I am icing and using burn creams and aloe vera because of the severe pain.”
Although it is unclear whether Brolin is just joking or actually tried perineum tanning, he does at least describe the best ways to treat this type of taint trauma. Daval Bhanusali MD is a New York City-based dermatologist who recommends using cool compresses, aloe vera gel, and short-term cortisone creams to reduce any perineum-sunned-related inflammation. Dr. Frieling recommends seeking out a dermatologist if you have blisters.
Dr. Bhanusali believes that perineum-sunning is a safer and more scientifically supported way to get the health benefits people seek. According to Dr. Bhanusali, “Sleeping well and exercising will always help” and that taking time for oneself will be beneficial. These fads will eventually fade, and social media will make them more popular. While I’m pro-wellness and self care, it can be dangerous to try out some of these trends.
Dr. Frieling couldn’t agree more. Dr. Frieling agrees that there is no single solution to harness the’mystic powers” this viral trend promotes. She expresses her amazement at what people will do. Good health can only be achieved by working hard and being consistent. There is no magic bullet.