The devices we cover in our reports are interesting enough, but there are less…traditional…treatments out there that are equal parts fascinating and horrifying.

In contrast to just about every other country, fashionistas in Japan are seeking out dental treatments to purposely make their teeth crooked or to give a fang-like look to the upper canines (the procedure is called “yaeba”, meaning “double tooth”). The procedure is considered cute (“kawaii”) and young women are dropping hundreds of dollars to have the procedure done, to the dismay of brace-wearers everywhere.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, patients are having small metal jewelry implanted onto the surface of their eyeballs. Should you feel the inclination, you can pay the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery to implant a small metal shape, such as a heart, star, or clover, onto your eye. No longer must you settle for being “starry eyed” in metaphor alone.

We’ve previously talked about slug slime as a medical adhesive as well as maggot debridement therapy, but creepy-crawlies are supposedly being used as an aesthetic treatment in some countries, such as Austria. Clients—including Demi Moore—have been using leeches as an extreme type of cleanse. One clinic in Arizona even offers leech therapy as a means of detoxifying the body from drugs and alcohol.

Even further along the gross-o-meter is the long-standing and heavily mythologized “tapeworm as weight loss method” treatment. The idea behind this is that an aspiring weight-loss candidate would intentionally ingest a tape worm in hopes that said candidate would continue to enjoy high volumes of food, but the worm buddy would take the calorie hit. However, even if you could stomach this strategy—as a woman in Iowa purportedly did—it doesn’t appear that the tapeworm would make a significant difference in terms of weight loss, but would instead primarily mow down on the vitamins your body needs. And that’s in addition to the other horrifying potential side effects associated with the parasite.

Six healthcare policy questions hanging in the balance as the United States votes

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