Staying Safe with Skin Whitening

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Staying Safe with Skin Whitening

Do you know the content of your Skin lightening milk, skin toning cream, whitening cream (and whatever its called)? Do you know the ingredients in the common ones sold in the open market are generally not safe? Do you know most of if not all affordable Skin whitening products contains either or both Hydroquinone and Mercury? Because Yes, Although hydroquinone maybe the most potent bleach for skin whitening, it can be extremely harmful to the body. It can cause numerous serious ailments such as liver damage, kidney disorders, thyroid issues and leukaemia.

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Skin Whitening/lightening/bleaching is indeed your Right, your Personal decision & your Business. You really need be safe, get informed!!!

Just like Arthur Perry stated in his article on Dr. OZ blog, physicians get involved in skin lightening because many of the creams used are simply dangerous. My question is, how involved are they in Nigeria and Africa? Criticism and just talking about it is not the involvement needed at this point, public health is the answer. I truly cannot understand nor believe the excuses am reading in this article on how difficult it is for a whole NAFDAC to control these products and secure health and wellbeing of Nigerians. Do you use any of these products? You need to know and understand what you are using and exposing you and loved ones to.

As written by Arthur Perry, MD, FACS

Social issues aside, physicians get involved in skin lightening because many of the creams used are simply dangerous.  Here’s why:

Brown pigment in our skin is produced by special cells that make melanin.  Most of the skin lighteners block the formation of this pigment. So, they really don’t “bleach” the skin, they just stop the pigment from being produced and it eventually wears off.

The safe pigment reducers are vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin B3 (niacin). Other herbs like emblica and licorice, and fruit acids like glycolic acid, also work.

Beware, however, because the most common skin lightener, hydroquinone, is not uniformly safe. It’s been banned in Europe and the FDA has proposed to ban it in the US. Hydroquinone may cause cancer and it causes rashes and can even darken the skin.  And steer clear of any skin lightener that contains steroids. Although illegal without a prescription, some skin lighteners contain steroids so potent that they can suppress your immune system.

The worst of all the skin lighteners? They’re the ones that contain mercury. This is a dangerous metal that can destroy your kidneys and your nervous system.  But you can easily find these rogue products, even in the US.  Why would any company knowingly use dangerous ingredients like mercury? Mercury salts are much cheaper than the good vitamins and herbs that work just as well.

So now that you know all about skin lightening, how do those celebrities dramatically change the color of their skin?  I don’t know this for a fact, but I suspect that they either undergo laser or chemical peels, or use a drug called Benaquin® cream.  This is a drug that kills the pigment producing cells and is intended as a last ditch effort to even out the splotchiness that occurs in that terribly disfiguring disease called vitiligo.

So, to lighten or not is your business.  But if you do it, do it safely. And once you remove the natural protection that melanin provides, don’t forget to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen – every day of the year.

Be Skin whitening/bleaching aware! Be informed!

About Author

Ogo Maduewesi

Ogo Maduewesi is a podcaster, author in making, an optimist, a changemaker, Digital storyteller and innovator, a believer of positivity and active thinking. Founder/CEO of Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation VITSAF, and Outer Shell Africa Communications OUTERSAC. Your Body Confidence, Your Positive Body-image, Your Psychosocial Health and You, Leading the Life you want irrespective of your ‘negative’ physical appearance challenges, My life goal and purpose.

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