Skin bleaching side effects are often ignored. This is because of the bleaching culture that was unbeatable in time past. Though not as pronounced as it once was, skin bleaching is still a craze people subscribe to. The need to bleach the skin can be attributed to so many things, including colonialism. Over time, the media had portrayed fairer skin as more desirable, hence, people were conditioned by what the media defined as beautiful skin. It is a common question to ask about safe skin lightening procedures, however, it is safe when used as prescribed. The sole purpose of bleaching products was to treat skin problems like discolouration, vitiligo, moles, acknew, scars. However, the skincare and beauty industry took it to the next level producing products to bleach one’s whole body. Associated with many health risks, these brands will never tell you the harmful effects of skin bleaching. There are not skin lightening creams or products without side effects and with the extensive reading and tutorial videos, a lot of people know how to make homemade skin whitening creams. Though there are natural ways to lighten skin, it must all be done in moderation. Apart from West Africa, skin bleaching is popularly practised in India. It’s not hard finding the best skin lightening cream for Indian skin. Like many products there are, it does not change the harmful side effects of skin bleaching.
It is already obvious that the bleaching process lightens the skin. This is achieved because bleaching products reduce melanin concentration in the skin, the very pigment responsible for the black skin tone. The ultimate goal of bleaching the skin is to make the skin lighter and people bleach for different reasons. Over time, it has been revealed that continuous use of bleaching products makes the skin dry and wrinkled. Dry and wrinkled skin is associated with ageing, therefore, one who bleaches will experience premature ageing.
Skin injury prone
The skin is not just a cover that details your physical appearance. The skin is an organ just like your heart, lungs and organs alike. The skin is also a shield. Bleaching products contain steroids and with continuous use will damage known as skin atrophy. Skin atrophy is a condition whereby the thickness of the skin is reduced, this leaves the skin prone to injuries. Abrasions, cuts and bruises will be easier to get as well as abnormal streaks and they do not look nice.
Black people have a lower risk of skin cancer and the reason is magnificent. The reason for this is that the melanin pigment of black skin protects it from the dangerous carcinogenic effects of UV rays from the sun. Bleaching your skin strips away melanin pigment, which rids you of the protection melanin gives your skin. Bleaching the skin exposes the skin to skin cancer. Many are unaware that the mercury in bleaching products also have carcinogenic properties.
Damage to internal organs
Continuous use of bleaching products can cause damage to internal organs like the liver, kidneys and brain. Bleaching products contain a lot of things and mercury is a significant one of them. Mercury is harmful to the health, and exposure to it can damage major parts and organs in the body, the skin and immune system are not spared. The continuous use of bleaching products will expose the kidney to mercury which can cause it to fail. Prolong the use of such products and the brain, liver, skin immune system and more will fail too.
Burns, inflammation and irritation
Hydroquinone is one of the main ingredients of bleaching creams. It is a strong chemical and as such the concentration of hydroquinone in bleaching products must be kept at a certain level, however, not everyone follows the formula or uses bleaching products as prescribed. A lot of fakes and subpar products fill the market, therefore the continuous use of bleaching products will cause burns to your skin and eventually lead to inflammation and irritation. The skin to which the product is applied would have a red appearance.
The irony is that bleaching creams are made to treat discolouration, however, it is not the product itself that causes it, but its combination with other products. Some people do not bother to examine the ingredients of the skin products they use; therefore, they are not aware of what possible combinations would do to their skin. Products containing peroxide should not be used with bleaching products like creams, especially creams containing hydroquinone. The combination of both elements can cause temporary dark staining of the skin, otherwise known as discolouration and of course, continuous use will severely damage the skin.
Mercury poisoning is a form of metal poisoning caused by mercury exposure. Symptoms of this poisoning are not definite as they depend on variables such as the type of mercury, method of exposure and dosage. The use of bleaching cream exposes the body to mercury and thus, mercury poisoning. Such poisoning can lead to muscle weakness, pinking and peeling of the skin, kidney problems and more.
Itchy and flaky skin
Bleaching products fill the beauty markets and it is a very hard habit to stop once you enjoy the results. One can say it is almost addictive because you are never satisfied once you start the process. These bleaching products contain a handful of ingredients; however, mercury and hydroquinone are two main ingredients that do not go well with other products. The hydroquinone content in bleaching cream has many side effects and they include itching and flaky skin. Though temporary, it is extremely uncomfortable.
Visible blood vessels through the skin
Skin bleaching side effects are probably the worst kind because one side effects open the doors to another. Bleaching the skin does not only reduce the skin’s thickness and lighten the skin as afore mentions, but it also makes your blood vessels very visible through your skin. Imagine already thinned out skin, a fairer complexion, redness coupled with visibly green blood vessels, horrific. The visible green undertone is the biggest giveaway of someone who has bleached their skin. Light skinned people already have quite visible blood vessels, imagine having more visible vessels.
Increases risk of infection
Like I said before, one side effect leads to another with skin bleaching. The first and major organ bleaching products affect is the skin. Such products thin out and damage the skin. The skin being a protective organ protects the internal organs first hand from bacteria, viruses and other elements that can cause infection. Damage to this protective organ, decreases the body’s protection level, thus increasing the risks of infection. Also, mercury contained bleaching products damage internal organs, making them susceptible to foreign bodies, harmful to the body as a whole.