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SKIN BLEACHING/TONING: IS IT WORTH IT?

SKIN BLEACHING/TONING: IS IT WORTH IT?

The use of skin lightening creams has become a socially acceptable phenomenon widely practised by both men and women in Lagos, Nigeria. Most especially video vixens. Globally, the practice of skin bleaching has reached pandemic proportions, and in Ghana, about thirty percent (30%) of the entire female population currently bleaches. Health professionals and public commentators all agree that the desire to be seen as beautiful motivates the practice.

As concerned stakeholders, we should be professionally concerned about this dangerous practice that is eroding not just our societal values bequeathed on us by our skin colour but also, the health and dangerous implication to the end users and even to their unborn child.

Skin bleaching is the use of creams, gels, or soaps to lighten the skin and is known to cause a number of injuries, many of which are potentially life-threatening. While we are battling drug abuse in our society, another seemingly harmless monster is brooding. Despite the growing body of
research identifying the harmful effects of skin bleaching, this topic has received little attention in the field of public health.

WHY BLEACH?

People bleach their skin for various reasons, for instance

  1. MEDIA INFLUENCE: Social media is filled with all sorts of adverts for skin lightening, with carefully orchestrated plan to conceal the negative consequences while concentrating on perceived positive effects.
  2. women engage in skin lightening because light skin is associated with higher status, privilege, and beauty, women feel the need to bleach their skin to look beautiful and attract high-status mates”
  3. Many also bleach due to inferiority complex,which they wrongly thought would be handled by skin bleaching.

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT/STOP BLEACHING.

The negative consequences of skin alteration are very numerous and far outweighs whatever gain you might make from it. Let’s take a look at some.

  1. Bleaching could cause renal(kidney) dysfunction and cataracts in new-borns .
  2. skin bleaching pregnant women may have smaller placenta and their children born at low birth weights, low cortisol levels, and higher rates of birth defects associated with bleaching products containing mercury.
  3. Research shows that Kenya who used European-made skin bleaching soaps had high mercury levels “accompanied by various symptoms, such as tremor, lassitude, vertigo, neurasthenia, and black and white blots, suggesting inorganic-mercury poisoning.
  4. Bleaching thins the skin layers,thus exposing black women in sub Saharan Africa to cancer possibilities

note; No matter how beautiful or socially acceptable you think bleaching has made or will make you, remember that at the end of the day, all bleachers regret.

REferences:

  1. African Safety Promotion Journal, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2014

Why Do Women Bleach? Understanding the Rationale behind Skin Bleaching and the Influence of Media in Promoting Skin Bleaching: A Narrative Review

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