Healthy & Beauty

The Health Hazards of Bleaching

The Health Hazards of Bleaching

The Health Hazards of Bleaching

For many, beauty is realised in fair and clear skin. The foundation of this belief is not farfetched; often, when beauty products are advertised on screen, one is likely to see the model with a light skin tone. Using fair-skinned models to promote beauty products has happened for so long that it has had its fair share of influence on how many women view beauty and how they really wish to look. Hence, the choice of bleaching.

The craving for a light skin tone has made many individuals resort to using different products without realising its effects on their skin and general health. However, it is very pertinent to understand the effects of some beauty products on the body.

Bleaching, the use of products to lighten dark areas of the skin or to achieve an overall lighter complexion, has been practiced by so many individuals for so long that it is still considered to be normal among some social circles. When bleaching products such as hydroquinone, mercury, serotonin, tretinoin among others are applied to the skin, it reduces the number of melanocytes in the skin. This will result in lighter skin.

The process of bleaching has a lot of health risks attached to it. According to Dr Jean Kagimbana, a dermatologist at Rwanda Military Hospitals, “These products are very dangerous because once one starts using them; stopping leads to more complications, whereas continuing with it puts your overall health in danger. Here are some of its negative effects:

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Mercury Poisoning

Mercury can cause high blood pressure, fatigue, sensitivity to light and kidney failure. This ingredient has been banned by some countries such as the United States because of its adverse effects on the skin.


Healthline defines dermatitis “as the inflammation of the skin caused by contact with substances,” and its symptoms are skin redness, blisters, skin ulcers, swellings, and itching.

Kidney Disorder

This comes up when the blood vessels in the kidney responsible for filtering waste and excess water is damaged. Bleaching products containing mercury have been associated with nephotic syndrome. The symptoms include; swollen foot and ankles, fatigue, loss of appetite and foamy urine.

Bleaching is a dangerous trend but many people have adopted it for different personal reasons ranging from low self-esteem to peer pressure. Medics, however warn that the process comes with a number of risks which are extremely dangerous to your health. It is, therefore, more advantageous for you to avoid bleaching at all costs. Build confidence in yourself and learn to appreciate the beauty that you are.

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