William Bishop, 26, was preparing for his first date and decided to apply Veet hair removal cream – meant for the body and legs – to his intimate area.
He left the substance for double the amount of recommended time and noticed it felt sore afterwards, but did not think much of it.
William, a property developer, was admitted to the hospital’s burns unit where doctors treated him for severe chemical burns.
He said: “I was getting ready for a date that night, so I decided to get prepared – just in case anything good happened.
“This wasn’t the first time I was going to use Veet, though. I’d used the product around six months earlier, and that went absolutely fine.
“So I applied the hair removal cream to my lower half. I left it on for around 10 minutes, and it felt rather sore when I took it off.
“Potentially I left it on for longer than I should have, as I was applying it to a larger area.
“I didn’t think much of the stinging to start, but it got increasingly worse – and it wasn’t until two days later that I saw it had burned a hole in my crotch.
“Hospital staff have been treating the wound, and done everything they can to minimise infection – though it’s still pretty bad.
“They have been daily cleaning and dressing it, and have applied a cooling cream.
“Cleaning is the worst part, though, as they like the blisters to burst.
“I can’t really do anything here. I’m really hoping to be released soon.”
William used Veet’s Body and Legs Hair Removal Cream – not Veet Men Hair Removal Cream or the sensitive variety for ‘bikini lines’ – on July 27.
He said he coated the area with a spatula and left it for around than 10 minutes – more than the recommended three to six minutes.
He ought to have removed a small test area of cream after three minutes and removed the rest of the hair if it had come away easily.
Instead, William left the product on his groin for 10 minutes, then removed the cream and rinsed with lukewarm water.
Two days later, he was shocked to find that he was in blistering pain – and that the cream had burned an open wound into his left testicle.
William was admitted to the burns unit in Southmead Hospital, Bristol, that day, where his infected wound has to be treated for five weeks.
He can barely walk, sit, or sleep because of it and has had to postpone his date until he is better.
William confessed: “I didn’t know there was a men’s bottle.
“It was a little stupid of me, I know, and laughable I guess. Initially I found the whole thing funny, until I realised how bad it is.
“The pain and discomfort it has caused is far from funny.
“I guess I’ve formed a kind of anger towards Veet.
“But I’m also shocked that such bad injury can occur from a product readily available.
“If you deviated slightly from the instructions, you can cause serious damage.”
A spokesperson for Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Veet, said: “We are sorry to hear of the reaction a customer has had to a Veet hair removal cream product and we wish the gentleman a speedy recovery as soon as possible.
“As the health and safety of our consumers is a top priority for us, we ensure all Veet products meet stringent safety standards.
“We strongly recommend that customers read and follow all the instructions on the packaging and product labels for safe use.
“Although it’s rare, if customers experience a reaction to the product we advise they seek advice from a healthcare professional.”