The skin is one of the largest organs in the body; its functions range from the protection of internal organs to regulation of body temperature.

In some parts of the world, dark complexioned people are considered less attractive, hence, some people opt for skin whitening or bleaching creams, pills and other products to get lighter.

But such acts of skin bleaching have several negative consequences —and here are a few.

Skin cancer

Bleaching blocks the production of melanin in the body, thereby exposing the skin to the harmful effects of the ultraviolet radiation. This predisposes the skin to cancer.

Premature ageing

With prolonged use, bleaching may cause pigmentations and wrinkles on the skin. Hydroquinone — a component of major bleaching products — may disrupt the collagen fibre which constitutes the connective tissue of the skin. This may eventually lead to premature ageing of the skin.

Impairment of internal organs

When creams are applied to the skin, they don’t end on the skin. The chemicals in the creams are absorbed into the body.

Heavy metals like mercury in bleaching creams have been found to damage the kidneys. Bleaching of the skin could, therefore, lead to failure of internal organs in the body.

Uneven colouring

Depending on how you apply the product, you could find an uneven result from careless application. This uneven colouring could make your age spots appear to be worse, or cause some parts of your skin to remain darker than other areas.

Dry skin

The hydroquinone present in bleaching creams also leads to side effects which include dryness, reddish skin, peeling, rashes and skin burn most times, depending on where you might have applied the cream. If necessary, it is advisable to purchase whitening creams under the strict supervision of a certified dermatologist.

Healthy skin is a key to happiness. No matter the shade, love your skin, pamper it, nourish it and you will be better for it.

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