Skin bleaching is the use of harsh substances on the skin with the main aim of making your skin appear brighter. Lightening cream works by reducing the melanin pigment concentration found on the top layer of the skin thereby making it appear brighter.
Melanin pigment responsible for the dark nature of the skin which acts as a shield to protect it from the ultraviolet rays of the sun which is harmful to the epidermis (top) layer of the skin. Melanin can be in two forms, the Eumelanin (a brown-black pigment) and Pheomelanin (an orange-to-red pigment). Factors that affects melanin production on the skin.
- Genetic makeup
- Hormonal imbalance
- Environmental factors
There is a great misconception generally that having a very light skin makes you more beautiful and attractive to people, especially the opposite sex.
Being dark skinned has made a lot of people, especially, women have the feeling of insecurity. Women feel they can only get more appreciated when they are light skinned.
Skin bleaching has gone beyond the use of lightening soaps and creams. Most likely, In order to go from their normal shade to two or three shades brighter than normal, people have taken skin bleaching very far as doing things like:
- They use Glutathione pills, drips, and injections passed through their bloodstreams.
- Chemicals baths
- Chemical peels – peels like lactic, Salicylic, glycolic, and citric acid.
- Laser therapy
According to medical experts, there are no health benefits to skin bleaching. Based on the reports gotten from people who uses bleaching creams, they believe that these lightening products helps their skin.
Benefits of skin bleaching
- Minimize dark spots on the skin caused by sun damage, hormonal changes, acne scars, etc
- Reduced the appearance of acne and pimples
- It helps in achieving an even skin tone by reducing the rate of hyperpigmentation
- Clearing the sports caused by sunburns.
Side effects of using bleaching creams is detrimental to humans health, some products have been banned from being sold in some countries. Some harmful chemical compounds are being used in producing these creams. Things like mercury, hydroquinone, and steroids are highly harmful to the health.
Negative side effects of bleaching creams
- Skin cancer – the continuous use of these bleaching creams can result in abnormal skin disorders leading to skin cancer.
- Mercury poisoning – the continuous use of these creams containing mercury causes numbness, high blood pressure, fatigue, kidney failure, sensitivity to light, in some parts of the skin.
- Dermatitis – This causes skin redness, blisters, skin ulcers, scaly skins, itching, burning, and tenderness
- Exogenous ochronosis – causes excess hydroquinone accumulation on the skin which results in blue-black pigmentation on the skin. Increases stretch marks and visibility of blue veins.
- Steroid acne – Symptoms of steroid acne include whiteheads and blackheads, small red bumps, large and painful acne scars.
- Kidney disorders – Symptoms can include swelling (edema) around the eyes, swollen feet, and ankles, foamy urine, loss of appetite, fatigue.