Dermatologist cautions against skin bleaching

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A Consultant Family Physician and Dermatologist, Dr Wey George, on Thursday advised Nigerians against skin bleaching.

George said that skin bleaching had health hazards.

The medical expert spoke to newsmen in Minna.

“You don’t need to bleach your skin because we live in tropical climate.

“In this part of the world, health hazards associated with bleaching are far more than the advantages. It can lead to death.

“In Nigeria, you find out that almost all the people bleaching do not consult a dermatologist to know what suits their skin.

“This is because they cannot afford the money or they are ignorant; therefore, such persons run into trouble with all sorts of skin infections,” the medical doctor said.

He said that in Western countries with low temperature, the situation might not be the same.

He added that many people using bleaching cream there consulted dermatologists because of the level of exposure.

“These people may not be exposed to the health hazards of bleaching because an expert is involved,” he said.

George described bleaching as using chemicals or creams to lighten the skin to look attractive or beautiful.

According to him, bleaching reduces the skin made up of about five layers, making it tiny and not thick enough to protect a person from infections.

“The melanin, a component pigment of the skin, which protects the body, is destroyed as a result of using bleaching creams.”

The medical doctor decried a situation where some people believed that light complexion would make one more beautiful.

George said that one would require a lot of money to maintain skin bleaching.

He blamed skin bleaching on influence of peer groups, adding that some people copied their friends without knowing the implications of what they were doing.

“Bleaching can make people to age quickly by bringing out wrinkles.

“It can lead to cancer and result in death.

“Chronic users of bleaching cream are bound to develop Onchronosis (patches on the skin) and their skins are difficult to put together during surgery,” he said.

According to Mrs Ezinne Ifeonu, a beautician and skin care specialist, people who tone their skins do it as a matter of choice, thereby reducing their melanin.

“People can tone their skins or change their colour by the help of an injection, pills, cream and chemical, depending on what they want,” she said.

Ifeonu said that whichever way one chose to tone one’s skin must be maintained and that failure to do so would not give the required results.

She noted that some creams were mixed to maintain a particular natural colour and make it look good and not necessarily to change it.

According to the Chief Executive Officer, Zinnyt Skin Care, in cream production, one needs essential oils and organic products that are safe for the skin.

She said the essential oils and organic products included lavender, jasmine, jojoba, lemon oil.

“Many beauty creams in the market are cancerous, that is why many people now go for organic creams,” she said.

Mrs Maureen Didie, a resident of Minna, told newsmen that she was using organic products to tone her skin to look good.

According to her, some of the organic products she uses to make her cream include brown sugar, brown rice, sea salt, olive oil, carrots, cucumber, milk, avocado oil among others.

Didie said that the organic products had no negative effects on the skin.

“They are natural unlike bleaching creams or chemicals that will stop the user from going out in the sun, kitchen and other hot places.

“I can go out in the sun, kitchen and even go to the farm without any issue on my skin, but somebody practising real bleaching cannot do all these without issues,” she said.

Didie said that using organic products to tone the skin was different from bleaching with chemicals.