Many people have been convinced to lighten their skin with a so called natural product that supposedly contain fruits, vegetables and herbs like papaya, coconut, lemon or aloe-Vera.
LinkmeUg caught up with Dr. Edward Ogwang in Wandegeya who says no fruit or vegetable can bleach. First, we asked him what is added to creams to bleach skin.
Dr. Ogwang: It’s just an advertising tactic to make users believe aloe vera or papaya can bleach skin, the manufacturers add mercury and other chemicals to bleach skin.
There are several chemicals and plant extracts put together to produce a bleaching product. Hydroquinone, Betaderm, steroids and many other acids. Chemicals used in bleaching creams fight the production of melanine in the skin
Do some skin doctors use bleach on their clients
Dr. Ogwang: A dermatologist may recommend a cream to lighten dark spots or patches after a skin disease but we administer on that particular spot and it’s not permanent.
Do I need to bleach to remove stretch marks and scars?
Dr. Ogwang: Go to a dermatologist and they will recommend creams to remove these without putting your skin in danger of thinning.
Is bleaching permanent?
Dr. Ogwang: Yes it can be permanent if you use a cream with a chemical that totally destroys the cells that produce your melanin. You then reach a point of no return and yet persistent bleaching finally affects your skin and health.
Effects of persistent bleach
- Sun burn because your skin is thin. Black skin protects you from UV radiation
- Mercury in the creams causes Kidney damage.
- Skin cancers
- Prolonged use of Hydroquinone causes dark patches on some parts of the skin and the more you bleach, the worse it gets.
- Some chemicals like steroids will totally thin your skin causing you big ugly stretch marks.
- Thin skin layer reduces its immunity leading to regular fungal infections, skin easier to bruise but takes longer to heal.
- Some chemicals like steroids induce pimples.
Will I get darker than before if I stop bleaching?
Dr. Ogwang: No, it’s just that people are used to seeing the lighter skin. You will return to your natural skin if you haven’t reached the point of no return. If you want to stop bleaching, you don’t need to reduce usage; just throw it out and work with a qualified skin doctor to have your natural skin back.
Remedy for damaged bleached skin
If you already have effects of the chemical and want to stop, here is the doctor’s advice.
- The skin thinning can be treated, with time.
- The pimples too can be treated.
- Stretch marks are likely to remain.
- The dark patches are relatively permanent, and very different to treat.
Achieving a ‘glowing skin’ without bleaching
- Use skin products suitable for your skin.
- Moisturize your skin often probably weekly.
- Light skinned people should use sun protection.
- Have a balanced diet with enough water.
- Stress damages the skin,
- Avoid smoking and drug use, it causes wrinkles and makes one pale.
- If you must, drink alcohol in moderation.
LinkmeUg brings youth information to take informed decisions. If you want to bleach, now you know where it will take you.
By Prossy Nyafono
Online Media for youth
Email: [email protected]