Cheap Whitening Products Can Cause Serious Health Problems For Youngsters: Experts Warned

Cheap Whitening products can cause serious health problems for Youngsters: Experts warned

Medical experts on Wednesday warned that the misuse of skin-lightening creams, many with prescription-strength ingredients, which are sold in beauty shops and bodegas and online may cause cancer, diabetes, severe skin conditions and other diseases.

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Sep, 2018 ) :Medical experts on Wednesday warned that the misuse of skin-lightening creams, many with prescription-strength ingredients, which are sold in beauty shops and bodegas and online may cause cancer, diabetes, severe skin conditions and other diseases.

A Senior consultant dermatologist Uzair Sayed said , the misuse of topical steroids was common across the country and there was a need for a regulatory mechanism to check sale of harmful creams.

He noted that these creams can cause a variety of health issues, such as "acne, thinning of the skin, glaucoma or cataracts if applied near the eye or if applied liberally to the whole body, (they can) cause high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, weight gain, mood disturbance due to absorption of large amounts of steroids." However, these creams can leave users with unrecoverable damage to their skin. Many people are suffering with severe skin disorders that are linked to bleaching creams, expert revealed.

He further explained one of the most dangerous ingredients contained in these creams is the lightening chemical hydroquinone.

'Hydroquinone is prescribed to patients with hyperpigmentation,' he said, referring to a condition where patients have patches of skin that are darker than their normal colour.

'It is used topically and for a short period of time, perhaps a few months, to lighten the hyperpigmentation.

When used correctly, under a dermatologist's supervision, it is relatively harmless, he said.

Expert said some people apply skin lightener to their entire body to change their complexion, but this can be very risky. The active ingredient in some skin lighteners is mercury, so bleaching can lead to mercury poisoning, he mentioned.

He believes that steroid-based fairness/whitening/bleaching creams may also contain harmful metals. "There needs to be a scientific analysis of all fairness creams currently available in the market and those found containing steroids or any harmful ingredient should be completely banned.

As a doctor, I feel sorry for young women ruining their skin in their desire to get fair," he lamented the issue.

He added that patients were asked to immediately stop using the cream, avoid sun exposure and use a good quality sunblock along with medicines to treat acne.

"Skin colour bias affects people psychologically. It affects how a child performs in school because their confidence level goes down: they feel they are not good enough.

And when it comes to marriage, we again find skin colour plays such a vital role. We thought, 'Why are we keeping quiet about this? We should talk about this and see how people respond," he concluded.

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