Health

Wait, Are Guys Really Getting Botox for Their Balls?

Published On 10/14/2016 Published On 10/14/2016
avocado scrotox botox syringe
Oren Aks/Thrillist/Distrikt 3/Sarah2/Shutterstock

Oh, the things people will do to drink from the fountain of youth: trapping themselves in a human freezer, taking super-supplements, injecting their foreheads with botulinum toxin to temporarily paralyze facial muscles and erase wrinkles. But there's always room for improvement when it comes to anti-aging -- what about parts of your body that most people don't regularly see?

Specifically: balls.

Like the forehead and neck, the scrotum is also subject to the wrinkly perils of getting older, and like the forehead and neck, the problem can be fixed with a little Botox. That's right, men of a certain age are apparently seeking plumper, younger-looking balls. Because nothing screams "youth" like a pair of smooth and tight testicles.  

So... ball Botox. Are people actually getting it?

Guess what this is called. Go ahead, guess. Oh, you guessed Scrotox too? Yeah, it's pretty low-hanging fruit, so to speak.

But could this be a legit phenomenon? Of all the cosmetic procedures to make them look like strapping young men, guys are so concerned with their family jewels, they're seeking cosmetic injectables to make them look shiny and new again? If the idea seems far-fetched, that's because it basically is. Although there were reports of men seeking this procedure on Metro.co.uk, it seems like something more out of legend than fact. 

"To be honest, it has been something plastic surgeons have joked about. It was not until recently that I have seen reports of it actually being done," says Dr. Matthew Schulman, NYC board-certified plastic surgeon. "These reports have come out of Europe and I have not heard of any demand from my own patients or patients of my colleagues."

Maybe Europeans are ahead of Americans in the ball game? WHEN is America going to start winning again?! Still, there are men who are at least curious, according to the Metro report. The plastic surgery center mentioned, Transform, doesn't do the procedure, but it claims that requests for Scrotox have doubled within the last year. So even if two guys have asked for it, compared to one in 2015, that's still more requests than New York City plastic surgeons have seen. 

Why would anyone entertain this idea?

Aesthetics, mostly. Some men must feel like wrinkly nuts make them appear older, and would prefer a smoothness that doesn't exist in nature. But Botox isn't just cosmetic; it's also injected into the armpits to treat profuse sweating. Effectively, the same would be true for the genital area, Dr. Schulman says. Treating sweaty balls sounds like a convenient excuse for a cosmetic procedure, though, just like people who totally get nose jobs to fix a deviated septum.  

What are the consequences of Scrotox?

If injecting Botox into your forehead is uncomfortable, then getting your scrotum assaulted by a needle must be downright excruciating. Pain aside, it's not generally recommended by any sane board-certified plastic surgeon; Dr. Schulman says he "highly discourages" people from getting the procedure because of potential complications.

In addition to the obvious -- a needle unnecessarily in your ballsack -- one of the side effects of Scrotox could actually add years, aesthetically. As the muscles relax from the Botox, it could make the scrotum longer, which not only makes it look older, but can also get in the way of exercise and other daily activities. Maybe this is what happened to Larry David? Plus, there are tons of veins in that area, and if Botox were to get in any of them, that could lead to some issues. Most importantly, your balls are naturally wrinkly for a reason.

"The muscles of the scrotum contract in order to regulate the temperature of the testicles," Dr. Schulman says, and sperm needs to stay at a certain temperature to stay functional. "Botox will paralyze the muscles, inhibiting this complex thermoregulation."

Bottom line: no one is really injecting their balls with Botox, despite totally legit UK media reports, but it's a pretty funny idea to entertain. And some men may even be desperate enough to ask about it. But Saturday Night Live already predicted this trend, way back in 2010. Maybe it's not so crazy after all?

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Christina Stiehl is a Health and fitness staff writer for Thrillist who believes beauty is pain. Follow her on Twitter @ChristinaStiehl.

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