Health

Here’s why perineum sunning isn’t a good idea

The wellness trend of “perineum sunning” is all about letting in a little light where the sun doesn’t shine.

Certain wellness enthusiasts, including Metaphysical Meagan, are touting the benefits (from increased energy to better sleep) of going au naturel and spending 30 seconds to a maximum of five minutes sunning your nether regions — specifically, the perineum, which is “the area of the body located between the anus and the scrotum in males or vulva in females,” Jeremy Fenton, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Sunning the spot is something that “Avengers: Endgame” actor Josh Brolin recently tried, according to his Instagram post — and he reported that it came with devastating results.

“Tried this perineum sunning that I’ve been hearing about and my suggestion is DO NOT do it as long as I did,” Brolin wrote. “My pucker hole is crazy burned and I was going to spend the day shopping with my family and instead I’m icing and using aloe and burn creams because of the severity of the pain. I don’t know who the f**k thought of this stupid s**t but f**k you nonetheless. Seriously.”

Actor Josh Brolin had a painful experience with perineum sunning. (Photo: joshbrolin via Instagram)

Though it’s unfortunate (and likely downright uncomfortable), it’s no surprise that Brolin got burned, since the perineum is “very vulnerable” to sunburn, explains Fenton. “This area is vulnerable for two reasons,” he says. “Number one, it is an area that has not received much sun exposure in most people, thus it would be lacking in the body’s normal response to sun exposure that protects it from future sunburn, such as producing pigment. Number two, it is sensitive skin to begin with, so any burn in that area may be more significant and more uncomfortable.”

The main risk of perineum sunning is sunburn, which can increase the risk of developing skin cancer — something no one wants to get, but particularly in that region. “There is some evidence to suggest that the genitals may be more susceptible to skin cancer than other areas of the body,” Fenton tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “For example, when we do full body light therapy to treat certain skin conditions, we recommend covering the genitals for this reason. A skin cancer developing in this area may be more difficult to detect because people don’t regularly view this area on themselves.”

In her social media post, Metaphysical Meagan also claimed that “30 seconds of sunlight on the perineum is equivalent to being in the sun all day with your clothes on.” But Fenton says there isn’t much to backup that claim. “There are no benefits that I’m aware of from the medical literature related to specifically sunning this area of the body,” he says. “There is some value to getting vitamin D, which you can produce via sun exposure, but there is no evidence that this area is more efficient at producing it than other areas.”

That said, Fenton adds, “People may find the experience relaxing, which could have some other benefits, but there are plenty of other relaxation techniques to choose from.”

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