Dr Olayinka Adeyemi, a Lagos-based dermatologist, on Wednesday warned people against applying body creams capable of causing skin bleaching. Adeyemi told newsmen in Lagos that bleached skin under the pretext of beautifying it was prone to skin cancer, hypertension, and diabetics among other diseases.
Newsmen report that several people were in the habit of applying various body creams on their skins to make them look more beautiful without considering their negative effects. He said that skin-lightning creams used in bleaching process contained steroid and hydroquinone which could adversely affect human skins.
“The steroid they use cause accumulation of fluid in the body which can cause cushioned syndrome. In this case, they can become hypertensive and end up having renal problem. “A lot of things ranging from the skin effect to systemic effect, affect people who are using hydroquinone. “When they tone, what happens is that some of these products especially the hydroquinone that is inside the product basically suppresses the melanin production. “It makes sure that the skin thickness is thinned out. The strength of the skin is what actually thins out which is the dermis because the skin has three layers.
“The dermis has the strength of about 95 per cent on its own. “When hydroquinone is used, the dermis is what thins out, meaning that the structural support of the skin will gradually be lost,’’ he said. The dermatologist said that those who engaged in bleaching risked their nails turning brown and were prone to suffering from body odour. They were liable to profuse sweat, hot feelings and discomfort during the dry season, he said.
Adeyemi explained to newsmen that the original skin of every human being was for body protection, adding that such skin would lose its immunity to protect the body once bleached. “We are naturally protected by the original skin; a bleached skin is prone to cancer and other diseases because the chemical used would have removed the immunity from the skin. “People need to be educated on how to take care of their original skin colour from birth.
“God has a reason for creating us the way it pleases him; we must cherish our skin, be it black, caramel, or light complexion. “It is lack of contentment and understanding that makes some people use various means to change their skin complexion,” he said He advised those who used skin toner or bleaching creams to see a professional aesthetic medicine physician, dermatologist on how to manage their skins. He urged people to always use ordinary soap and cream on their skin.
Another dermatologist, Mrs Oluwatobi Adeyemo, also said that bleaching could be very dangerous to the human skins. She said that bleachers were prone to infection due to the compositions of the bleaching cream. Adeyemo said that for any injury on the skin of a bleaching person would almost become impossible to heal because the skin had become weak.
“Even when they have an open wound and it is taken to the hospital, it might be difficult for the wound to close up. “Bleaching creams make the vein so obvious that you can almost see them through the skin, compared to the people who have thick dermis, it makes the knuckles darker.’’ She advised the public to see a dermatologist anytime they noticed any change in their skins. She said that she used to wonder why some of her clients would occasionally want to become fair in complexion because they had a social to attend. She explained that she tried to educate them on the long term effect of bleached skins.
“When you see the appearances of those who had bleached their skins, they look dirty. “ If you want to bleach you skin, you have to change your diet for it to look natural. “You need to make sure you have the money to enable you maintain that glowing look,’’ she advised.
Ms Ifeoma Obina, a cosmetologist in Ogba near Lagos, also confirmed that people who used bleaching products were prone to developing skin cancer. She advised them to desist from it forthwith. “
Use medically-prescribed products, even if you have some sunny patch or sun burned areas over your face and body. “Eat a lot of fruits and drink a lot of water every day. I advised my clients always that if you want to enhance your beauty, you have to stick to natural products. “They have to detoxify their system, eat more fruits like cucumber, water melon, carrot and apple, among others to build and flush the system of waste and impurities.’’
However, Temitayo Alabi, a bleaching-cream user, told newsmen that she started using the bleaching cream when she was 18. Alabi said this was because of the chicken pox dark spots all over her body. She said her friends were mocking her and at a stage they started calling her a leopard just because of the spots.
“The only option then was to start applying bleaching cream on my skin to clear all the dark spots and I am still using it. Similarly, Kemi Tunde, a cosmetics seller, told newsmen that she was applying the toning cream on her skin to look attractive to her customers. Tunde said that she used to derive some emotional pleasures whenever she observed the physical look of her skin and when people complimented her beauty.
“My customer sees and admires my complexion. Some end up asking me to give them the same cream l use. So it is a market strategy for me However, Chioma Okoro, a civil servant said, “I do not bleach, what l do is tone my skin a little so as to make me look good and attractive. “Acne and pimples have spoilt my face and l am tired of using makeup to conceal them, so I decided to tone my face and body.’’ Mrs Jane James, a full house wife told newsmen that bleaching her skin was the best for her because that was what her husband wanted. James said that her husband did not like people with dark complexion saying that the fairly-complexioned people look more attractive than the dark ones.
My husband will say, “Darling, I don’t like your dark skin, it looks dirty. That is why I am buying you this bleaching cream to look attractive.’’ James said that anytime her husband travelled outside the country, he would buy more of the imported creams for her use.