10 November 2017

Cameroon: When a Beauty Technique Is Cancerous!

Photo: Supplied
(file photo).

Some of the products used in bleaching the skin are said to be potential cause to skin cancer.

The National Drug Quality Control and Validation Laboratory, dubbed, LANACOME, in the French Language is currently organising its second forum on the Quality of Medication and Cosmetics in the country. That which seems to catch the attention of many people are cosmetics as a majority, particularly women, who are keen on substances used to enhance or alter the appearance or fragrance of the body. However, there is a general worry about those products individuals are using to bleach their skin, which are a potential cause to skin cancer and other problems to the human body. Nowadays, it is very common to see someone with a dark skin colour today and in less than a week, that person is fair in complexion. Skin whitening is that common practice of using substances, mixtures, or physical treatments to lighten skin colour. Experts say skin whitening treatments work by reducing the content of melanin of the skin. Many agents have been shown to be effective in skin whitening; some have beneficial side effects, while others have a significant risk to health especially those containing mercury as it exposes the skin to cancer related diseases. Medical analysis reveals that the skin lightening chemical hydroquinone, found in popular products like Fair & Lovely, has been known to cause side effects like skin irritation, blistering and severe discoloration. For the treatment of common skin diseases, dermatologists typically recommend the short term use of Hydroquinone which is an over the counter or prescription cream. Usually, it is said serious allergic reaction to the Hydroquinone is rare, though users may sometimes experience mild redness, dryness or itching of the affected area. However, medical experts say there is evidence to suggest that certain skin-whitening medicines, like hydroquinone, contain ingredients which may have carcinogenic properties that can be harmful. In other words, the Hydroquinone may increase risks of cancer especially when used in an overdose. It is common to see skin bleaching jobs gone wrong and what overly bleached skin can look like: unnaturally white with a grayish, very dull tint. However, the corpse-like skin is not even the worse of it. When Hydroquinone is used in doses higher than two per cent or over a period longer than three months, the whole skin lightening business can have some pretty negative, even paradoxical results. The excessive use of Hydroquinone is common amongst those using it to bleach, as such exposing users to different types of cancer diseases especially as medical experts say a higher concentrations of the medicine is said to lead to the darkening of the skin which is permanent and very resistant to any treatment.

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