Prince Harry’s memoir Spare is already topping bestseller lists, but there is one horrifying detail that has gotten special attention on Twitter: Harry’s penile frostbite during Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.
The prince revealed that after a trip to the North Pole he contracted Olaf-and-Sven dick.
“My penis was oscillating between extremely sensitive and borderline traumatized,” Prince Harry reads aloud in the audiobook. “I had been trying some home remedies, including one recommended by a friend. She’d urged me to apply Elizabeth Arden cream. My mom used that on her lips. You want me to put that on my todger?”
While the passage continues on to discuss the obstacles Harry faced to get treatment for his genitals without causing a media frenzy, many have responded in shock at the Duke of Sussex’s candor. Several guessed that the cream in question was the beloved ’90s face cream, the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream.
“i genuinely think if the queen was still alive, reading about prince harry thinking of his dead mum whilst he used elizabeth arden on his frostbitten cock would’ve killed her,” one user tweeted.
But since she is already dead, we decided to instead ask experts if applying the high-end cream to an injured penis was actually a good idea.
Jason Gardner, a pharmacist at City Chemist pharmacy in New York, told BuzzFeed News that the main concern for frostbite is frozen and dead skin.
“Once after exposure, if the skin is dead, there is no treating it,” he told BuzzFeed News. “The dead skin just comes off and has to replace itself. If it gets into muscle tissue, that gets into surgery.”
Dr. Marie Leger, a board-certified dermatologist at Entière Dermatology in New York City, told BuzzFeed News in an email that she would not recommend the cream for treating frostbite.
On the bright side, she said the ingredients in Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream don’t appear to be specifically harmful for penis skin.
“While I have not personally tried the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (on my face), the ingredients look lovely and hydrating,” Leger said. “If one were trying to prevent sunburn, acne, or dryness on a penis, I think this cream could be fabulous.”
The only active ingredient in the cream is salicylic acid — often found in cult beauty products thanks to its effectiveness at shedding dead skin cells — which Gardner said would be his only concern in the ingredients list when putting near your genitals.
“When you use it in topical things, it’s a very slow process,” Gardner told BuzzFeed News. “It would totally depend on the strength. It’s not like it’ll burn right away.”
Most salicylic acids in topical moisturizers aren’t strong enough that a user would feel any sensation or see side effects upon application, but Gardner still wouldn’t recommend it for frostbite. “Salicylic acid basically eats the skin,” he said. “That would be weird to treat that.”
Leger said another thing to think about before putting creams near your genitals is allergens, which would need to be patch tested before use. “There are a lot of potential allergens in this cream,” she said. “If you are using this in the genital area and within a few days it gets red, scaly, swollen, and itchy, by all means please stop.”
However, for the other ingredients, Gardner said he didn’t think they would cause immediate pain. “There’s tons of things you shouldn’t put near your genitals,” he said. “Salicylic acid is questionable. I wouldn’t do it unless you had specific directions from your doctors.”
So how do you treat frostbite? Leger said no one had ever asked her about frostbitten penis before, but shared some tips from her research on clinical resource Up to Date.
“If you suspect that you have a frostbitten penis: remove wet clothing, rewarm slowly (though not if there is a possibility of refreezing before being able to get medical care), don't rub the area, minimize use until the appendage is no longer frostbitten, and don't use stoves or fires to rewarm frost-bitten tissue,” she said. “That all seems very sound to me. I hope it's helpful to someone out there.”
Elizabeth Arden did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News, but it did tweet an ad for a different hydrating product on Monday. “You’ve heard all the buzz about plumping Hyaluronic Acid, but did you know it’s extremely helpful during the colder months❄️?” the brand posted on Twitter.
“Here you go lads, don’t forget to get yer todger cream when you’re out shopping,” one person responded.