Why Doctors Want Skin Whitening Creams Banned

06 May Why Doctors Want Skin Whitening Creams Banned

For the millions across the developing world who use skin whitening creams, it could prove to be a slow road to chronic skin scars and disease. 

Skin whitening has almost become a cultural phenomenon, across Africa and parts of Asia. There exist highly competitive range of skin-whitening products, which has consequently led to a fad for fairer skin in countries such as India, Senegal, Pakistan and Ivory Coast.

But, as demand for such transformative treatments soars, doctors are repeating a warning they’ve harped on for many years. For them, allowing the sale of skin fairness creams is tantamount to poisoning the lives of the common public.

The well known Mr. Hydroquinone

The doctors’ main grouse is against an ingredient included in most skin whitening creams and products called hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is a chemical which suppresses the natural generation of melanin, the coloring pigment which makes certain races of people darker skinned than others.

Telltale signs

Telltale signs

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However, hydroquinone doesn’t take much misuse to start exhibiting toxic side effects. At the very least, people who use skin whitening creams that contain hydroquinone suffer from extremely irritable skin and red rashes.

Red skins and red flags

The trouble is, as many dermatologists attest, is that most lay people fail to recognise the initial rashes as a sign of an adverse reaction. They seem to take it as a sign of effectiveness, going on to further use such creams. This is how prolonged abuse of hydroquinone rich skin whitening creams leads to ochronosis, a condition in which the skin appears grey and leathery.

The bane of beauty

The bane of beauty

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Petitioning doctors seem to have seen even worse, with women in parts of Africa left with facial scars. In some cases, the corrosive skin whitening application almost completely peeled the skin off in places, leaving patients with permanent injuries.

Doctor Vs Evil

It isn't fair

It isn’t fair

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It is understandable then why doctors are campaigning hard to have governments impose a global ban on hydroquinone containing skincare products. Expect the skincare industry to fight it tooth and nail, considering the kind of profits such beauty-enhancing products earn them in newly developed parts of the world.

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