We thought we’ve seen it all until the trend ” perineum sunning” popped up on our Tiktok feed.
This is a routine involves lifting your legs up while you’re naked from waist down, in order to sun the area between your genitals and the anus.
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How did perineum sunning come about?
You’d be surprised but perineum sunning isn’t exactly new. This practice is derived from an ancient Taoist ritual from the Far East.
According to this practice, the perineum is the “Gate of Life and Death” where energy enters and exits the body. Scientifically, this area hosts plenty blood vessels and nerves that provide relevant nutrition to the genitals and body, mainly the vitamin D.
According to practitioners, exposing the perineum to the sun for 30 seconds is equivalent to being in the sun for the whole day, and it has the additional benefit of “grounding and connecting you to Earth”.
But this practice only came into light – no pun intended – in social media after influencer @metaphysicalmeagan posted about it. She claimed that because sunlight has excellent germicidal qualities, it keeps the anal and genital areas healthy and free of germs, making this an excellent treatment for haemorrhoids.
She also advocated it as a method of self-care and the trend went viral quickly in 2019.
The practice is now trending on Tiktok.
How is perineum sunning done?
According to those who swear by it, it is best done without clothes and while laying down in a “happy baby” pose – you’d know it if you’re familiar with yoga.
Alternatively, you can have your back exposed to the sun, while lifting up the butt.
While most would practise it in a private space, some celebrities and influencers prefer to go out to the open, such as on the mountains or jungle to balance their “qi”.
What are doctors saying about this?
We’re not sure if you’re considering trying it, but if you are, hang on.
Doctors have been putting out studies and even social media posts warning against it, most saying that there’s no scientific study supporting the benefits that advocates claim perineum sunning have.
Dr. David. E. Bank, founder and director of Mount Kisco’s The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery advised against it saying, “It’s actually dangerous. This skin is particularly sensitive.”
On another note, Mary Jane Minkin, a practicing gynaecologist and tutor at Yale School of Medicine, adds that the anal area houses billions of bacteria and that no amount of sunlight will kill them. In fact, there is no reason to do it anyway since we all live in good harmony with our microbiome.
She also mentioned that it is risky since exposing a delicate area could cause a myriad of issues including an infection since the perineum has the most delicate tissue. For starters, since UV rays can suppress the immune system, it increases the chances of contracting a herpes simplex virus (HSV).
The researchers that studied the practice and shared it on JMIR Dermatology also mentioned that skin exposure of the perineum area can increase the risk of cell carcinoma as well as melanoma, both are types of skin cancers.
And if the melanoma occur in a less visible area, you are prone to have a worse prognosis, which is why this practice should be avoided at all cause.
These points are supported by dermatologist Dr Dustin Portela, who is also a Tiktok influencer who provides useful skin advice on the platform.
He added that, naturally, the perineum area does not need sun in the first place since we stand right side up.
Here’s what Dr. Dustin has to say about sunning the rear area.
Alternative ways to get that energy and vitamin D boost
Meditation & Yoga
Instead of facing your private area to the sun, meditation can help stabilise blood pressure, while lowering chances of insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
As meditation and yoga are linked, in addition to the above benefits, yoga helps to work on body-and-mind connection. It is said to help with digestion, assist in better sleep, and increase self-esteem.
Get enough sleep
Being well-rested can enhance your mood and improve your immune system.
An easy way to get an adequate dose of vitamin D is to take supplements. These can be easily found in your nearest pharmacy.
But as with any supplements you take, always consult a medical practitioner if you’re concerned about what you put into your body.