Wellness trends have reached a new low. How low? Well, right around your butthole, to be exact.
Perhaps you’ve seen “perineum sunning” popping up in the news or wherever you get your social media fix. We’ve had a few laughs about it around the office, but the trend doesn’t seem to be going away, and we've been fielding questions about this.
So, it’s come to the point where we have to address those folks advocating for prolonged sun exposure on your butthole.
What is perineum sunning?
Wait, let’s back up a second. Does anyone even know what “perineum” is?
No? I didn’t think so.
The perineum is the skin between your anus and your genitals. At its simplest definition, perineum sunning is getting a bit of sun on that part of your body.
According to advocates, perineum sunning is an ancient Taoist practice but we have Instagrammers to blame for its popularized resurgence. First, there was @ra_of_earth. The mustachioed Instagrammer fancies himself as a “Human Teacher / Student” who “aligning humans to their fullest spectrum self.”
“Aligning humans” apparently requires throwing your legs up in the air and exposing your naked bum to the sun for 30 seconds at a time.
Perineum sunning in action
In his October 7th video, showing him partaking in perineum sunning with a couple of fellow “bum sunners,” he says, “In a mere 30 seconds of sunlight on your butthole, you will receive more energy from this electric node [camera points to the sun] than you would in an entire day being outside with your clothes on.”
Metaphysical Meagan wasn't far behind, posting a photo of herself perineum sunning on November 12th.
In her post, she explains the origins of this Taoist practice and the benefits, including that "it brings in prana or solar energy from the sun into the organs within the body which strengthens the organs."
She goes on to list other “benefits,” but none of it is backed up with a shred of scientific evidence. In fact, there’s more skin between your butthole and genitals than there is support from the scientific community.
Nonetheless, people have and will continue to jump onto the bandwagon of wellness trends like perineum sunning. Even actor Josh Brolin, who by all assumptions is an intelligent fellow, gave it a go––and immediately regretted it.
What do doctors say?
If for some mind-boggling reason you’re still considering it, here’s what actual doctors have to say on the topic.
“As a dermatologist, I cannot recommend any sun exposure without sun protection,” Nazanin Saedi, MD, Director, Jefferson Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology Center, told Health.com. “These areas just like other areas of the body do need sun protection and clothing tends to provide that.”
David E. Bank, MD, founder of Mount Kisco's The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, furthered the warning in an interview with Health.com: “It’s actually dangerous,” he explained. “This skin is particularly sensitive” and could result in an increased risk of skin cancer.
Last but not least, Dr. Diana Gall of Doctor-4-U told Insider, "There is no evidence that sunbathing in this way has any effect on physical wellbeing.” She continued, "Yes, practicing mindfulness and meditation, and getting your dose of Vitamin D, is beneficial for mental and physical health, but you don't need to damage your skin in the process from sun exposure."