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Skin bleaching… unhealthy but booming trend



BLEACHING is the process of removing stains or of whitening fabrics, especially by the use of chemical agents. It is trendy, everybody wants to be fair. About 30 percent of men and 70 percent women bleach. The extent of bleaching depends on what an individual desires. Bleaching makes one look nice and happy. Some educated people that are buoyant bleach. Sometimes, it creates burns on people’s bodies but when they use the right bleaching cream, it corrects. People don’t bleach mistakenly but purposely.

Speaking to our reporter on why people bleach and its consequences, Dr. Steve of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital (COOUTH)  , “bleaching is a personal thing. Most times, it’s based on request in the sense that perhaps, a person might really want to be natural but the husband/fiancé wants her to look some other way. It is a personal something especially for guys. Some handsome guys want to look fairer than what they are. They do it to be more attractive to people who love fair skin. Youths don’t really understand why it’s not good for one to bleach. Medically, when the person is getting old, the tissue cells (the skin) start being teased. It will start being so soft. Most times, the skin gets infected if there are infections that invade the skin. If the skin of an individual gets infected, it will get worse than what it is supposed to be. Most of them don’t really know what they are doing because they want to see that they are now enlightened, but that is not enlightenment. Everything should be done in a normal way. People should be natural the way they were created”.

Miss Okoye Chima, a nurse, also from COOUTH explained that “people bleach their skins to enhance their beauty. The side effects are skin burns, skin reaction and cancer. The skin of people that bleach normally shrinks, but people that don’t bleach age gracefully. People that bleach age easily and faster. Bleaching is not good. I see people that bleach as people that have inferiority complex. People that bleach see the ones that don’t bleach as people that don’t enhance their beauty and also people that don’t take care of themselves”.                  ‘

A trader who sells cosmetics at Eke Awka Market Anambra State, who does not want his name in print said: “people bleach because they believe that changing their colour makes them more confident and makes people to appreciate their beauty. There is no specific gender that bleaches. It is general, but it’s much in women. They want people to tell them that they are beautiful. Bleaching is not good because they are moving out from their original colour. Some Christians believe that when they bleach, the angels that are assigned to them will not recognise them anymore. When you get away from your original colour and you are unable to maintain the present one, you will experience reactions and your skin will become worse than the way it was at the initial stage. Some ladies after first delivery, the original skin will come out to affect the other one, and they will begin to have negative effects. Some experience rashes and many sorts of skin reactions. All these happen when you bleach and stop, because at a point, you will get tired of what you fancy. One mustn’t taste everything and look like everybody. If you maintain your original colour, you will look more exclusive and people you admire before will admire you. Black is beautiful, you cannot buy it in the market but you can buy fairness”.

Nevertheless, as he confirmed, there is a booming trade in the sales of bleaching creams.

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