For many, beauty or good looks are expressed in fair and clear skin. The foundation for this belief is not far-fetched; often, on your screen, you see “watch the next TV advert for a beauty product” what you are likely to see is a “beautiful” model with a light skin tone. Hence, if beauty in adverts and other media platforms is defined by being fair-toned, then, this will likely register in people’s sub-consciousness and with each human’s freedom to choose how they really wish to look like, bleaching sets in.
Some weeks back, a video was circulating around the internet of a woman seen bleaching her skin via a chemical. Her dark were seen peeling off. People were visibly stunned, shocked and disappointed. The question asked by many was why?
The craze for lighter skin tone has propelled many people to resort to procedures of all sorts without giving a thought to how it might affect their health. However, it is important to be knowledgable about the effects of some beauty processes.
Bleaching, the use of products to lighten dark areas of the skin or achieve an overall lighter complexion has been done by so many and is still being considered by a lot of people. People with dark skin have more Melanin hormones, sunlight, and certain chemicals that also affect melanin production. When skin bleaching product is applied to the skin, such as hydroquinone, it decreases the number of melanocytes in the skin. This can result in lighter skin and a more even appearance to the skin.
These processes of skin lightening have a lot of health risks attached to it. Almost all bleaching products are composed of either of the three active ingredients – namely Mercury, Hydroquinone, or various corticosteroids and these components when used without prescription from a physician, dermatologist or doctor can have serious effects on the skin.
Here are few effects this societal craze has on its users:
Most bleaching has been linked to mercury toxicity, according to Healthline. Mercury has been banned as an ingredient in skin lightening products in some countries such as the United States, but products made in other countries still contain mercury. Mercury can cause numbness, high blood pressure, fatigue, sensitivity to light and kidney failure.
There are medical reports that have linked the use of skin bleaching products to dermatitis. This is inflammation of the skin caused by contact with certain substances. The symptoms of this include skin redness, skin ulcers, blisters, swellings, and itching.
This is often caused by damage to the blood vessels in the kidneys responsible for filtering waste and excess water. It causes the body to excrete too much protein in your urine. Skin lightening creams containing mercury have been associated with nephrotic syndrome. Symptoms of this include; foamy urine, loss of appetite, swollen feet and ankles, and fatigue.
It is really sad the level some will go just to be in vogue. I do not speak to only ladies, even guys are not excluded from these craze. Of course, fashion is good; however, priority should be given to your health.