The dangers of skin lightening
Skin lightening products, also known as bleaching creams, work by reducing a pigment called melanin in the skin. Some are medically used to treat skin problems such as age spots, acne scars, or discolouration related to hormones, and should be prescribed by a healthcare provider.
However, it’s also a common method used to artificially lighten skin. This is a result of society’s misconception that lighter skin complexion is more beautiful. Not only are the chemicals used in these products dangerous, but the treatments also have harmful long-term effects. Here’s more.
Harmful effects of skin lightening
Skin lightening products are marketed as cosmetic products, to improve the skin tone, but some can cause permanent skin damage, scarring, and can even affect some of your internal organs.
Lightening products work by stripping the skin of melanin, making your skin more sensitive to the sun, which also increases your risk of skin cancer.
The possible risks of skin-lightening creams, containing ingredients such as, hydroquinone, corticosteroids or mercury can include skin turning dark or too light, thinning of the skin, visible veins in the skin, scarring, kidney, liver, or nerve damage, and abnormalities in a new-born baby (if used during pregnancy).
Better skin care alternatives
There are more natural products that are medically approved, which can be used to treat skin conditions such as acne scarring, blemishes, and hyperpigmentation. You can find these at your local pharmacy. You can also consider going to a healthcare provider or dermatologist.
If you find yourself having self-esteem problems because of your skin tone, you should ask your healthcare provider to refer you to a dermatologist, who can prescribe safer, more natural treatments that is not harmful to your skin.
Our skin is the largest organ that protects our internal organs from the environment, so we should take care of it. No skin tone is more beautiful than the other. It’s important for us to feel confident, embrace and nurture our natural skin tone.
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