Consequences Of Skin Lightening

Posted on 2013-08-05 05:42:05

Skin lightening works by reducing the amount of melanin to where it is applied. The products contain an active ingredient or a combination of ingredients that can include mercury, hydroquinone, sodium hydroxide and steroids. Skin bleaching comes with hazardous health consequences. The associated dangers mainly result from reduced melanin in the skin. Melanin plays the function of reducing absorption of ultraviolet (UV) rays by the skin. Loss of this protection results in skin damage by UV rays. This effect, and the associated toxic compounds contained in the skin lighteners result in cancers such as leukemia and cancers of the liver and kidneys, skin cancer as well as severe skin conditions. According to practicing Dermatologist in Nairobi; skin lightening creams cause permanent skin bleaching, thinning of the skin, uneven loss of color which creates a blotchy appearance, redness and also intense irritation or allergic reactions. Hardcore bleaching agents contain toxins like mercury which blocks the production of natural melanin. Dangers of mercury include, damaging of the kidneys and danger to the nervous system. Signs of toxicity of mercury include headaches, forgetfulness, insomnia, depression, weight loss and difficulty concentrating in addition to others. Mercury can also be dangerous to those around us. For example, a baby in the mother’s arms with the mother using mercury in beauty products can be subjected to exposure. Mercury can be ingested, inhaled and absorbed through urine, sweat and breast milk. In addition it can also lead to severe birth defects. Mercury is also known to cause psychiatric problems. Steroids side effects include swelling, slowed healing of wounds, increased appetite and weight gain, muscle weakness, increased risk for skin infections and thinning of the skin. One of the most serious effects of steroids is Cushing disease which causes the malfunction of the adrenal glands causing an over production of cortisol. This results in a complex disease syndrome with resultant malfunction of the body’s hormonal system on a large scale. Hydroquinone has been linked to pre-disposing one to cancer. It also inhibits melanin production and thoroughly disrupts its synthesis and production. It has also been known to cause leukemia in mice and other animals in research labs.