To paraphrase 2010 Bruno Mars, “Your butthole’s amazing, just the way it is.” In a bare-everything world where our bits are often exposed, it’s understandable to get curious about bleaching your booty. Rest assured, it’s totally normal for that area to be darker than other parts.

Dr. Jessica Shepherd, a Chicago-based OBG/YN, put it bluntly: “It’s your assh*le. It’s supposed to be that color for a reason.” Plastic surgeon Dr. David Shafer explained further: “Anus skin comes in all colors. That’s because the skin of private areas experiences friction when walking and moving and is typically in a warmer environment, exposed to sweat, moisture, and anything else that could be irritating in one’s stool.”

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