Bizarre tattoos and piercings is one thing, but now “bagel-heading” body modifications are the new trend.
Bizarre foreheads might be coming your way in the form of body modifications, known as “bagel-heading,” that is becoming the new trend. A segment from the National Geographic Channel show “Taboo” revealed this new type of art at a Tokyo clinic. The procedure involves pumping saline into the forehead until a large welt forms.
The practitioner then presses a finger in the lump, giving it a bagel-like hole.
“It almost feels like something’s dripping down my head. Is there something dripping down my head?” one man asks, as a thin tube pumps nearly 400 cc’s of saline into his face. Some two hours later, after the gloved artist has pressed a gloved thumb into the swollen saline bubble, the man grabs a mirror.
The bizarre procedure isn’t permanent, and the bagel bump usually deflates in about a day as the body absorbs the saline.
These bizarre modifications are potentially dangerous, says Omar Ibrahimi, a dermatologist at the Connecticut Skin Institute and visiting assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, the risks of bagel-heading are threefold, Ibrahimi said.
The body can safely absorb normal saline solution injected under the skin, and doctors sometimes use it as a form of local anesthesia; however, “saline solution that is too concentrated can overload the body’s capacity to process salt,” Ibrahimi told Life’s Little Mysteries. If a naive bagel head were to accidentally use highly-concentrated hypertonic saline solution instead of the normal kind, for example, he or she could experience extreme dehydration of the kind that happens when you drink salt water.
If the saline solution isn’t sterile, there’s “a lot of risk of bacterial or fungal infection,” Ibrahimi said. Most of the pathogens commonly found in unsterilized water can be killed off by the immune system when ingested into the digestive tract; however, the pathogens have a higher chance of gaining a foothold when escorted directly beneath the skin, such as during bagel-head surgery.
The bizarre fab might be dangerous, but some people still think it’s cool to deform their own souls.