Skin Bleaching in Africa
SKIN BLEACHING IN AFRICA
Skin bleaching simply put is the reducing of the skin’s melanin content using bleaching agents in forms of substances, mixtures, injections and even laser treatments to lighten the skin’s colour.
Many have been made to understand that the standard of beauty is to be lighter but I will like to say black is beautiful. Some say they will feel more comfortable in any colour clothing if they had lighter skin, for others, it’s the hairstyle. Skin bleaching can also be done for medical reasons, usually just on specific body parts and prescribed by a skin care professional for instance to treat pigmentation disorders.
A lot of black Africans including Cameroonians go in for skin bleaching without even knowing the importance of melanin to the skin. Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin its colour.
Before bleaching your skin, consider the benefits of melanin rich skin below
- Melanin helps in protecting us from the sun’s harmful Ultraviolet rays.
- It also neutralises the harmful effects of other dangerous radiations other than UV rays.
- Melanin protects us from skin cancers.
- Melanin helps in keeping us look young by reducing signs of ageing.
- Melanin is necessary for the brain and nerves to operate.
- Melanin aids in human reproduction by protecting the skin against folate depletion which is needed for normal sperm production in men and it’s essential for fetal growth and development of other body organs.
Before bleaching your skin, consider the following negative effects
- Lightening your dark skin doesn’t mean your offspring will be any lighter.
- No matter how hard you try, you can never get rid of all the melanin in your skin.
- Sensitivity to UV rays: The skin becomes more vulnerable to dangerous ultraviolet rays of the sun since melanin is reduced.
- Risk of cancer: Some bleaching substances are generally not safe. The most common skin lightener, Hydroquinone may cause cancer.
- Skin’s ability to heal: Applying bleaching substances to the skin may impair the skin’s ability to heal from injuries.
- Chemical reactions: Some bleaching products contain benzoyl peroxide and hydrogen peroxide which are very sensitive. A combination of the two can lead to chemical reactions that could give the skin white patches and even make some parts darker.
- Multi-colour: Melanin concentrations in certain parts of the body reduce faster than others. For instance your face may become lighter than your kneels and feet. Also application of the mixture to your skin might be uneven leading to a multi-coloured skin.
- Bleaching the skin exposes the blood vessels and the appearances of green veins are seen on the skin; especially on the thighs, legs, and arms. This is not attractive.