Horrifying Reddit post forces experts to remind us not to use toothpaste as lube

It's the year 2020, yet experts are still having to remind people that toothpaste is for your mouth, not your genitals. 

Last year, doctors issued warnings to women not to use toothpaste in their vaginas in order to tighten them, a myth they warned could cause "serious damage and disrupt the natural flora of the vagina". 

The trend followed a similar warning for men after many began rubbing toothpaste on their penises, with the aim of increasing erections. 

This week, doctors issued minty fresh warnings about taking toothpaste down there, after a man shared his disastrous experience of attempting to use toothpaste as a lubricant when masturbating as a teenager.

In the very NSFW Reddit post, the anonymous man explained he used the toothpaste out of curiosity of what the minty sensation would feel like, but it led, unsurprisingly, to a "feeling of burning and pain". 

"The next day I woke up and the pain was still there, but more so. Now it wasn't just a dull pain but also a stinging type of pain. It hurt when I moved my legs. I sat down on my computer chair next to my PC and I tried to not move my legs

"Later that day when I went to use the toilet, when I took down my trousers I saw some discolouration to my [penis]. I had a look and all the skin was red and raw, with some parts of the skin beginning to scab." 

The man says he learned his lesson, but the post racked up over 400 comments, many of who were people describing their own disastrous toothpaste-as-lube experiences - including a story of school camp that led to one man having the nickname 'Colgate' throughout highschool.

While this may sound ever-so-slightly funny, medical experts are pleading with people to stop using toothpaste on your genitals, for any reason. 

Stuart Gale, chief pharmacist at the Oxford Online Pharmacy told Metro toothpaste has earned itself a reputation as a “secret weapon” when it comes to treating a variety of ailments. 

"These claims, along with this suggestion that it can somehow enhance male performance, are total nonsense," he said. 

"In fact, toothpaste contains bleaching agents, peppermint oil, abrasives – all of which can irritate the skin causing redness and peeling. In extreme cases, it can even cause burns which is not something you want on your genitals! 

"My advice would be to keep the toothpaste for what it was intended – your teeth!"

Dr Mark Lawton, a consultant at the British Association for Sexual Health & HIV also recommends avoiding toothpaste as lube.

"We recommend people only use silicone or water-based lubricant specifically designed for sex," he advised. 

"Other products, especially those not intended for sexual use could damage condoms and/or the skin, increasing risk of pregnancy and STIs."