Health: Harmful Effects Of Bleaching You Never Knew

Bleaching is a term to which most of us are common with, it can be defined in general as a process of trying to whiten or lighten the color of something either using a chemical agent or with the help of sunlight.
When the term is used medically or when referring to the body, it is said to be the use of substances or physical treatments to deplete the melanin in the body thereby whitening the skin.

Bleaching has been known to be in vogue for a long time now, precisely in the BC's and practiced mainly by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, and they used natural potions and liquids for that, bleaching methods and agents have ever since been developed and upgraded. The latest being the use of radio-active treatment.  Hydroquinone which is one of the most used bleaching agents known worldwide, but this chemical is so powerful that if abused can lead to indefinite and permanent skin damage, it is usually administered in tiny volumes of 4% below, though it's use has been banned in many countries because of it's CANCER-prone effects. It is still popularly used in most countries. Arbutin which is a mild substitute to Hydroquinone, is a natural bleaching agent which is generally gotten from berries. It can also be used in place of hydroquinone though it isn't as potent as hydroquinone. There are also other skin bleaching agents that help in reducing Melanin, like

  • Kojic acid
  • Vitamin c 
  • Azelaic acid
  • Glutathione.

Bleaching can be used for many purposes, like to cure Vitiligo which is a skin disease that causes uneven toning of the skin, to lighten the general skin tone for cosmetic purposes, and many other individual reasons. It is also administered professionally in many cosmetic and modelling agencies. But in as much as bleaching is sometimes adviseable, and is very rampant nowadays especially among the black folks, it has some pretty bad harmful effects or side effects which are listed below:


Probably the most common of all side effects, when these bleaching agents are abused or indiscreetly used, there is sure to see most un-toned part of the bleached skin, due to inadequate melanin depletion. Sometimes it's caused by the skin reacting to the bleaching agents therefore leaving some places looking pale or having particularly different colors.


Like I mentioned earlier, the most active ingredient in melanin depletion, Hydroquinone. is very cancer-prone when abused. And also, normal bleaching can also attract different kinds of caner cells in the body, when not properly monitored.


Another rampant side effect of bleaching which is mostly associated with 90% of bleaching cases. The skin around the bleached areas, thin down because of lack of melanin and fat storage. That area becomes light and can easily be injured or harmed by very little contact to them, which includes exposure to sunlight too.


When Hydroquinone and mercury which is a carcinogen react together on the melanin in the body, it leaves whatever is left of the epidermal melanin very weakened and thereby causing the skin to begin to look wrinkled and then age prematurely.  


Medically bleaching is very harmful to the body, since it is alien to the body's biochemical system, on most occasions the organs tend to reject the procedure and attempt to counter it and in the process of doing so, they sometimes encounter permanent damage to themselves causing them to shut down which in turn can lead to death if not properly handled.

There are a whole lot of bleaching side effects that range from shattered self-esteem to complete skin  disfiguration to genetic disorders. So before anyone should meddle in this dangerous endeavor, the question that should be asked is, IS THE RISK REALLY WORTH IT?

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