Anal bleaching is a cosmetic treatment that lightens skin around the anus.

One popular method uses chemical peels or creams to break down melanin, natural pigments in the skin. These products can also reduce the number of melanin-producing cells around your anus.

Laser treatments are another popular technique. Lasers can destroy excess melanin and slow pigment creation.

Neither of these techniques involve actual bleach. You shouldn’t put bleach on your skin. Doing so can result in unnecessary harm and cause long-term complications.

The skin between your butt cheeks and directly surrounding your anus is generally darker than your actual skin color.

This can result from friction, hormonal changes, and excess pigment.

Bleaching is a way of lightening this area temporarily. It can help the color around the anus appear more uniform with the rest of the body.

Some people find that this helps them feel more confident in their appearance.

Just keep in mind that darker skin around the anus is often normal and nothing to be concerned about.

Anal bleaching is safe when done properly.

Improper anal bleaching techniques and use of illegitimate products can lead to infections, skin damage, or permanent skin discoloration.

Anal bleaching may be mildly uncomfortable, but it’s unlikely to be painful.

Topical lightening agents may cause mild stinging or burning. Laser anal bleaching procedures may be more uncomfortable.

A laser can cause a slight pop or sting when it hits the skin. Most technicians will apply a mild numbing cream to reduce discomfort.

You may feel mild burning or discomfort as the skin regains feeling. Taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, like acetaminophen, can help reduce the sensitivity.

If you experience severe burning, itching, or stinging, you should stop the service immediately and see a doctor or other healthcare provider.

Anecdotal reports suggest that both topical and laser bleaching are unlikely to be uncomfortable.

It ultimately depends on the procedure you pick, the skill of the technician, and your overall threshold for discomfort.

Some people who use topical treatments may experience mild stinging or burning when the lightening product is applied. Others may feel nothing.

The same goes for laser anal bleaching. Some people experience brief bolts or “pings” as the laser hits the skin.

If your technician uses a skin-numbing cream, you may feel a slight pressure when the laser hits the skin or nothing at all.

You people may find that the surprisingly short experience is tolerable and more comfortable than expected.

Both at-home and professional anal bleaching treatments have some side effects or risks.

Risks of at-home anal bleaching treatments include:

  • Incorrect application. You may apply too much of the product or in the wrong places. This increases the risk of the product getting too close to your genitals or into the rectum.
  • Permanent damage. Some products can lead to skin damage, scarring, and permanent discoloration, as can improper application.
  • Anal strictures. If anal bleaching products get into the rectum, you may develop anal strictures or scar tissue around the rectum. This can prevent the anus from properly stretching during a bowel movement. Ultimately, that can lead to constipation and pain.

Risks of professional anal bleaching treatments include:

  • Skin damage. The chemicals may be stronger and more likely to cause side effects when applied.
  • Improper technique. If a technician isn’t trained properly, they may apply the product incorrectly. You could develop scarring, burning, or permanent skin damage as a result.
  • Laser damage. A laser can damage your skin if used incorrectly.

Yes, you can do anal bleaching at home. However, you want to make sure you’re using reputable products.

Some skin-lightening products aren’t well-regulated, which means you may not know what the active ingredients are. This is especially true of products manufactured outside of the United States.

Look for peels, creams, or gels that use kojic acid. This exfoliating chemical has largely replaced hydroquinone, another skin bleaching ingredient.

Although it’s possible to DIY, estheticians and other specialists have access to better quality products that can deliver consistent results.

These professionals also know how to properly apply bleaching agents. This helps reduce your risk of side effects.

With professional treatment, you will pay more, but you’ll have the peace of mind that the procedure is done correctly.

Spas, salons, and plastic surgery offices may offer both topical and laser anal bleaching treatments. Dermatologists may, too.

Skin color after anal bleaching depends on your natural skin tone.

Anal bleaching will lighten the skin around your anus by a few shades at most. Pink isn’t always achievable.

At-home treatments often take longer to create a clear difference. That’s because the products aren’t as strong.

Professional treatments may produce more apparent results in as little as one treatment.

You’ll have to continue bleaching the skin for long-term results.

Daily activities, such as walking, running, and sweating, cause friction. Friction increases skin pigmentation.

If you decide to try laser bleaching, you may need touchups every six months.

Topical treatments may not last as long. Professional-grade products are likely to have a longer impact that over-the-counter products.

Before you look for a specialist, talk with a doctor or dermatologist.

They may want to confirm that the dark skin isn’t the result of an underlying health issue. They may also be able to direct you to a practitioner that’s safe and reliable.

Many salons and spas employ estheticians who are trained in anal bleaching techniques. Some dermatologist offices do as well.

Plastic surgery centers may also be a good resource for finding someone who is trained in anal bleaching.

Before your appointment, you’ll want to keep these steps in mind:

  • Abstain from sex. Avoid anal or vaginal intercourse for at least three days prior to your appointment. Friction can cause small tears that increase your risk of discomfort and other side effects.
  • Avoid hair removal. Shaving, waxing, and other hair removal can irritate the skin around your anus. This may make bleaching more uncomfortable.
  • Avoid sweaty activities. Running and hot yoga are two activities that increase sweating and friction around your anus. This can make the treatment less effective.
  • Skip the thong. Wearing tight underwear, such as a thong, can increase friction, too. Cutting down on friction can help you reduce the likelihood of sensitivity.

On the day of your appointment, shower and lightly clean around your anus. Wear loose fitting clothes and underwear. This can help the anus breathe and heal without friction.

When you arrive for your appointment, the technician will ask you to remove your underwear and lie down on your back.

They may ask you to roll your legs to one side so that the technician can reach the skin around your anus easily. They will then clean and dry the skin.

If you’re having a laser anal bleaching treatment, they may also apply a skin-numbing cream.

When your skin is ready, your provider will apply the topical treatment or perform the laser treatment. You may be asked to lie in place for several minutes after the treatment is complete.

You should abstain from sex for at least three days after your session.

If you’re experiencing any sensitivity or discomfort, you may need to abstain for longer. Your provider will be able to offer guidance for your individual situation.

Your provider will likely send you home with a lotion, cream, or gel to apply to the bleached area. This can help ease any inflammation. It may also help you avoid infection.

See a doctor if:

  • the area becomes painful
  • you experience anal discharge
  • you develop a fever

Anal bleaching is safe when performed correctly.

If you’re interested, talk with a doctor or dermatologist. They can check for underlying issues that might cause increased pigmentation.

If there are no underlying concerns, they may be able to recommend a reputable product or technicians to help you with your bleaching goals.