A new trend on Instagram has recently been debunked by obstetrician-gynecologist and New York Times contributor Jennifer Gunter on Twitter, saying that “perineum sunning” can actually put people in danger of getting melanoma on the vulva and other genital areas.
So, what exactly is this trend? And why did it gain prominence in the first place?
According to technology website CNet, perineum sunning is a craze sweeping through Instagram which requires people to lie in an open area, open your legs to the sun, and let the sun shine where it doesn’t.
The most popular post of it on Instagram is from @metaphysicalmegan, a self-described “healer” and “tantrika” on her Instagram bio. Basically, what Megan is endorsing is a wellness-related suggestion because, based on her post, this practice helps people have “better sleep,” “better connection” to their “sexual energy” as well as their “life force.”
She further says that it is an “ancient Taoist practice that’s been around for a while.” Obviously, people who actually practice traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) even said there is no such practice. Regardless, Megan only doubled down on that initial post in a follow-up where she listed the supposed benefits of the practice.
In her second post, it appears that she tried to save face by saying that she “never claimed that [perineum sunning] is backed by scientific studies” then goes to clarify, “at least not yet.” Despite that being said, as most ludicrous trends such as this on social media, it has taken a life of its own.
|Photo Credit via @metaphysicalmegan on Instagram|
Other people are also starting to follow in Megan’s footsteps, sunbathing in the nude and pointing their private parts in the sun.
Usually, in these cases, there is at least a kernel of truth. Vitamin D from the sun is known to improve calcium regulation and maintain bone health, but too much exposure from the sun can also give you skin cancer, melanoma, and other health risks, since the ultraviolet (UV) radiation can seep through the skin.