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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Dangers of Skin Lightening and the Risk of Internal Organ Failure, Cancer

Dermatologists have continued to warn Nigerians on the health risks posed by the use of dangerous and poisonous soaps and creams all in the name of skin lightening. According to Dr. Bola Ogunbiyi who is the President of Nigerian Association of Dermatology - Nigerians especially the ladies run the risk of permanent skin damage as well as internal organ destruction if they continue on this dangerous trend of bleaching themselves through the use of skin lightening creams and soaps.

Skin bleaching (photo - courtesy of

She noted that many Nigerians in the bid to look fair embark on the use of these dangerous products to achieve this in the name of ‘toning’. She said every product that is marked or labelled as ‘toning cream’ or soap is harmful to your health.

Evidences abound from studies proving that the application of such products on the body can lead to serious health hazards such as damage to the internal organs. Experts  stress that "Steroid, which is the commonest thing people use to bleach today gets absorbed into the body and affect major organs like the pancreas, adrenal glands, and many others; at the end, such people begin to have hypertension, diabetes, among others.’’

And so it does not matter whatever term you use to dissemble this unfortunate act, skin health experts say that it runs contrary to the normal functions your skin was created to perform. It is true that by the process of skin lightening (bleaching), your body is denied the protection it normally would get from the outer covering of your skin called the epidermis, as well as the melanin which gives it the natural dark pigmentation. Expert studies reveal that it is these skin properties that naturally protect it when exposed to the (harmful) ultra-violet rays of the sun for instance, and other vagaries of weather.

But when these protective parts of your skin are no longer present you run a big risk of serious bodily damages such as skin cancer and organ failure. You may want to know that the damages inflicted to the body sometimes may not be immediately felt; skin bleaching takes its destructive toll on the system over a long period of time. It may therefore take a number of years to manifest - during which it must have also become a bit too late for anyone to reverse the effects.

It is also clear that apart from these problems mentioned, other medical problems indirectly linked to this so-called fashion or behaviour can also arise. Some of such health dangers include - hypertension and diabetes, among others. And so you are hereby advised to discontinue from the destructive habit of skin bleaching, toning or lightening – they all mean the same thing. The long term consequences are enormous and there is nothing that is beautifying in it; it is rather at a great cost to your health and life. Unfortunately so many (Nigerians) are in the habit of expending huge amounts of money on procuring the so-called toning agents while neglecting their health and the need to feed well.

Mole - symptom indicating an onset of skin cancer

It is a pity too that so many people are simply ignorant of the harmful effects of the active ingredients of these products which they apply to their skin and the damaging effect they have on their system. You need to understand that a lot of skin-lightening agents contain extremely dangerous (chemical) properties but many Nigerians have the wrong notion that once you apply anything on your skin it ends there (on the skin). That is not true; in short you must be guided by the fact that ‘if it is dangerous to put in your mouth, it is dangerous to put on your skin.’

Another fact you must also bear in mind is that most at times when the damages caused by these products begin to manifest after some years, the victims will hardly be able to relate their suffering to these harmful practices which they had done in the past.

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