Skin whitening: Is it Safe?
The skin on our face is some of the most delicate on our bodies. It is also the skin that takes the most damage, as it is exposed to the sun, the cold and pollution in the air every day. This means that wrinkles and dark sun-spots affect the face more than other parts of the body, but we have to be careful about what products we use to help the situation, in case we cause more damage to this delicate area in the long term.
One practice that has come under scrutiny in recent years is the use of specially-designed bleaching products to reduce sun spots and other dark patches that appear on the face.
Skin whitening can even out the skin tone, reducing brown spots and blotches and reducing or even removing unsightly scars. It makes the skin look younger and healthier, and can improve the self-confidence and happiness of people who are troubled by the appearance of dark spots on their skin. Most skin whitening creams can be bought over-the-counter and can be very effective when the correct product is chosen for the problem.
However, skin whitening also involves some risks that must be considered before you try it. Anything with the word “bleach” in the name is not going to be the gentlest of products for your skin, and its use (or misuse) can produce some negative side effects.
Others may contain mercuric chloride, another harmful substance, while imported products often contain active mercury, which is very toxic and can cause brain and liver damage.
Skin whitening can also thin the skin, causing bruising, exposed capillaries and stretch marks in place of dark spots. These creams can also cause high blood sugar, as the ingredients are absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. Although it also has its advantages, bleaching the skin certainly should not become part of a daily or weekly skincare routine.
Research has also suggested that the repeated use of skin whitening products can cause a condition known as ocronosis. In this condition, the skin becomes very dark, with its pigment falling into the lower levels of the epidermis. Once this begins, it can be difficult to fix.
Finally, skin whitening products should only be used to whiten dark spots on the skin, rather than to lighten the skin overall. Some users have complained that bleaches give an uneven result when used over the entire face, and using such a large amount of the product increases the risk of having problems in the future.
If you are considering using a skin bleaching product, be sure to consult a doctor to consider the causes of the dark spots and your overall general health, and see what approach will be best for your individual situation.