Nov 10, 2010

Department of WTF, foreskin bureau

Deep breath.  *shiver*  Ok, I'm ready.  I find this unspeakably horrifying:
There is a market in baby foreskins: Because of this, they’re not tossed out with the rest of the medical waste after a birth. Instead, hospitals sell them to companies and institutions for a wide variety of uses. Companies will pay thousands of dollars for a single foreskin.

Some of the strangest purposes they’re put to:
  • Cosmetics: Foreskins are used to make high-end skin creams. The skin products contain fibroblasts grown on the foreskin and harvested from it. One foreskin can be used for decades to produce fancy face cream like the SkinMedica products hawked on Oprah.
Emphasis mine. Sweet mother Mary. I guess they're also used for skin grafts, but still.


  1. I tried to post this on that original site, but i was not successful. If the body parts are just going to be disposed of, why shouldn't they be used? Recycling, reducing, reusing. Like in fight club, where soap is made from fat taken from lipo clinics. It is different from stealing kidneys without the person's permission. At least i think so.

    I volunteer in South Africa, where HIV and AIDS are epidemics. Part of each volunteer's job is to educate and raise awareness and bust myths surrounding transmission and care. A man is 40% more likely to carry and transmit HIV, and other STDs if he is uncircumcised. The foreskin traps cells; bacteria, etc. So no, it isn't a necessary procedure, but if performed by a trained health care provider, safely in a clinic, it does a lot in terms of combating HIV and AIDS. In many tribal cultures, circumcision is done by a local shaman in bush schools. This practice is neither safe nor sanitary. The government has done a lot to campaign for males to get circumcised, in a clinic. I can't speak to what is done, or not done, with the foreskin afterward but i support the procedure.

  2. That's not really what I was getting at. Sure, you might as well use a foreskin for something, and I'm led to understand that they make for great skin grafts. Better than throwing them away like frozen embryos. But using them for expensive cosmetic creams?!

    A chopped off bit of a baby's penis might eventually end up on his mom's face in some form. I'm not saying it's rational, just that it's gross.