Skin bleaching is the practice of employing particular materials to lighten dark regions of the skin to achieve a lighter overall complexion. It is a very widespread practice among many Africans, and individuals who engage in it typically use skin-bleaching items such as lotions, soaps, and pills to obtain their desired lighter skin tone. Chemical peels and laser therapy are two examples of professional treatments that may be used in some cases.
As previously stated, those with dark skin are more inclined to indulge in the practice of skin bleaching. This is because these people have a higher concentration of the pigment melanin under their skin, and skin bleaching methods can reduce either the concentration or synthesis of melanin in their skin. As a result, using a skin-bleaching product on the skin reduces the number of melanocytes, resulting in lighter skin and a more even appearance of the skin.
However, bleaching the skin has no positive impact on one’s health, and there is evidence that bleaching the skin might result in major harmful effects and difficulties. This most certainly explains why some countries have banned the use of skin-bleaching products, particularly because some of the negative health effects associated with skin bleaching can endanger a person’s life.
So, what are some of the potentially harmful impacts of bleaching on one’s health? Some of the subjects that will be explored include:
1. Kidney damage
The kidneys, which are bean-shaped and located behind the abdomen, are one of the most important organs in the body. You would, however, endanger them if you utilize products that lighten or bleach the skin.
The presence of hydroquinone, which is supposed to be the biological counterpart of a paint stripper, is assumed to be the cause of this. This skin-lightening material can take away the top layer of your skin, raising your risk of skin cancer and severely injuring your liver and kidneys.
2. Mercury-related poisoning
Certain skin-bleaching lotions manufactured outside of the United States are suspected of containing mercury.
Because the presence of this chemical element in such bleaching creams causes mercury toxicity, it is critical to avoid purchasing skin bleaching creams manufactured outside of the United States. Some of the indications and symptoms of mercury poisoning include numbness, high blood pressure, weariness, sensitivity to light, and kidney failure. Other symptoms include light sensitivity.
3. Atopic dermatitis
According to the findings of a few studies, the use of skin-bleaching solutions might induce dermatitis, also known as skin inflammation caused by contact with particular substances.
Some of the symptoms connected with dermatitis include skin redness, blisters, skin ulcers, hives, dry/scaly skin, swelling, itching, burning, and discomfort. The intensity of dermatitis can range from minor to severe.
4. Exogenous ochronosis
People who often use bleaching chemicals are more likely to develop exogenous ochronosis, a skin disorder that creates blue-black pigmentation on the body. This risk increases when bleaching products are used for an extended period.
Complications have been linked to the long-term use of bleaching creams containing hydroquinone. People who use it all over their bodies are more prone to develop this skin problem. It is a condition that causes the skin to thicken and become leathery.
5. Acne caused by steroids
There are numerous bleaching creams available, some of which contain corticosteroids.
Corticosteroids are a type of steroid that has been related to steroid acne. Although it most commonly appears on the chests, it can also appear on the back, arms, and other parts of the body. Acne scars, huge and painful red lumps, whiteheads and blackheads, and small red bumps are all symptoms of this condition.
6. The nephrotic syndrome
This is a straightforward form of kidney disease in which the blood vessels in the kidneys that filter waste and excess water become damaged.
As a result, an abnormally high amount of protein is excreted in the urine. Nephrotic syndrome is distinguished by several symptoms, including swelling (edema) around the eyes, swelling of the feet and ankles, foamy urine, loss of appetite, and weariness.
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