Chemical Ingredients Of Skin Whiteners Found To Cause Dermatological Problems, Doctors Advise Caution On Using Products
Skin whiteners are one of the most advertised products on the market. Different commercials demonstrate how one’s skin could change by using various types of creams. However, agencies and medical experts have taken measures to entirely ban the use of these products because of their chemical content. The World Health Organization shared that Nigerian and Togolese women buy skin whiteners frequently with 77 and 59 percent of their nation’s women, respectively, using it. On the side of psychology, cultural views often drive people to use these kinds of products. In Asian countries, having white skin symbolizes a high social status. For the black community, they see it as a sign of beauty. Despite its massive market, government agencies and dermatologists warn about the potential risks of using skin whiteners. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration previously announced a possibility of mercury poisoning because of some products containing the chemical. The ingredient could also indirectly affect other people who might come in contact with clothes, towels, and other fabric contaminated with mercury. Dr. Arthur Simone, the senior medical advisor of the FDA, warned that mercury vapors might linger in the air and could affect the body’s system. Dr. Simone also mentioned that when babies inhale mercury, the nervous system could get damaged and development could stop. However, not all skin whiteners are harmful, the FDA notes. Consumers would have to watch out for illegal products shipped from illegitimate manufacturers. Another harmful content of skin whiteners is hydroquinone. It prevents melanin production, which protects the body from ultraviolet radiation. It also weakens the skin, causing it to age prematurely. Lastly, some skin whitening products contain corticosteroids. However, dermatologists shared that the risks happen to depend on the strength of the chemical, the type of product, the duration of use, and where an individual applies it to their body. Steroids affect the skin by increasing the risk of allergens entering the system because it damages the skin barrier. It could also cause acne especially when someone uses products with steroids for extended periods. Doctors recommend using FDA-approved products only and employ safe methods. Health innovations such as intravenous glutathione currently broke into the market. The process works to make the skin tone even and eliminate blemishes. However, experts suggest conducting more studies regarding the procedure and similar kinds.