Dangers of using skin lightening creams

Dermatologists have warned against skin lightening agents popularly known as bleaching cream or substances, saying they cause diabetics, hypertension, renal failure and kidney disorder.

Prof. Adebola Ogunbiyi, President, Nigerian Association of Dermatologists, gave this warning at a press briefing heralding the association’s 10th Annual General Meeting on Thursday.

She explained that a lot of things people used as skin lightening agents geared toward beautifying themselves absorbed into the body and resulted into systemic side effect.

“In the event to beautify yourself you end up endangering your life or exposing your body to endemic health challenges which ordinarily you are not suppose to have encountered in your life time.

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She further attributed the reasons most people yearn for skin lightening agents on advertising industries.
Ogunbiyi noted that a lot of adverts are done using light complexion people, adding such ideas tend to intimate the public that there is beauty in been light complexion.

She, however, cautioned advertising industries against such practices, adding that they should imbibe the culture or portraying beauty as been associated with normal skin colour be it light or dark.

“Apart from cancer among others as side effect of toning skin agents we always tell people what they are using for skin lightening or bleaching are absolved into the body; so you have systemic side effect depending on what agent is been used for bleaching.

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“The causative effect of skin lightening agent is quite extensive. We have made series of efforts in publication laying emphasis on the wrong use of skin lightening agent because there is some uses of skin lightening agents that are regulated,’’ she said.

Similarly, Dr Kamuri Evans, President, African Society of Dermatology of Kenya, noted that use of skin lightening agents is peculiar with African countries undermining the danger associated with such practices.

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Evans, who described the media as key in shaping the opinions of the public, however urged them to intensify efforts to change the perceptions that beauty is not only in light complexion people but also the dark.

According to him, advertisers should desist from using light complexioned people in their products, among others, because of the dangers involved.

He said one of the challenges confronting Africa is that African women and even men are found of toning their skins in the name of beauty and it has increased cases of skin cancer, among others.

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