Bleaching is the process of whitening or lightening any material by the use of chemicals.
While, skin bleaching basically involves using chemicals to lighten skin tone or provide an even skin complexion by lessening the concentration of melanin in the human skin.
Skin bleaching creams are used to reduce the visibility of scars or marks on the skin, and should only be used in small portions on the affected area. However, all skin bleaching creams contain active ingredients that can be dangerous.
Below are 5 dangers of bleaching
Hydroquinone and mercury containing skin products work by blocking melanin production by the basal layer of the epidermis of the skin. Since melanin is the pigment responsible for the dark color of the skin, such skin becomes lighter.
With prolonged use, these chemicals react with ultraviolet rays, become oxidized and then cause unsightly pigmentation on the skin. Hydroquinone may disrupt the collagen fibers which constitute the connective tissue of the skin and the outcome is a spotty, wrinkled skin.
2. Skin Cancer
It is a well-known fact that the melanin pigment of the black skin protects against the harmful carcinogenic effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun and this explains why black people have a lower risk of skin cancer than the whites.
However, individuals that bleach their black skin color have lost the privilege of this protection and consequently expose themselves to skin cancer. In addition, the mercury content of many bleaching creams has also been shown to be carcinogenic.
3. Proneness To Skin Injuries
It is a well-known fact that many of the available skin lighteners contain steroids, the prolonged use of which hampers skin health and leads to skin atrophy, a condition in which skin thickness is appreciably reduced.
Such light-skinned individuals are more prone to skin injuries such as bruises, abrasions and cuts. Striae abnormal streaks or lines are often noticed on bleached skin and believe me, they are not good to look at.
4. Damage To Internal Organs
Continued use of those skin-lightening creams may not be in the best interest of your internal organs especially your kidneys, liver and brain. For instance, heavy metals including mercury are important causes of kidney injury and failure. In large doses, the liver and brain may not be spared as well.
5. Mercury poisoning
There is such a condition as mercury intoxication or poisoning. It can result from mercury inhalation, ingestion, injection or absorption through the skin. The bad news is that if your bleaching cream contains high levels of mercury, you are setting yourself up for mercury poisoning.