Skin Bleaching among Africans and its Effects

by Ekai Kaoo  - April 25, 2023

Skin bleaching/lightening is a process of reducing/blocking the concentration of melanin in order to whiten the skin or give a fairer complexion. This can be achieved by either applying a cream, getting a laser treatment or cryosurgery which involves the use of liquid nitrogen to remove patches/moles on the skin.

With celebrities leading the example, this practice is gaining popularity hence more beauty products are coming up both safe and unsafe. Some of these products have mercury which is harmful to the skin. Many websites are promoting this act by writing articles on how one can lighten their skin and how to get effective results.

In Kenya, a socialite/video vixen, Vera Sidika admitted to bleaching her skin in an interview on Nation TV, the trend and this caused both positive and negative reactions on social media. She went on and on about how she used 50 million shillings and how in 10 years she will look the same. The model also accused African-American singers, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna of whitening their skins. The model is proud of her new complexion and apparently it gets her more money.

Nigerian actress, Tonto Dikeh also confirmed the rumours about her skin bleaching on an interview. She had always been a light skinned girl but she was more comfortable in a fairer complexion. These celebrities have several reasons why they whiten their skins among them to feel good about themselves and get their career moving. The late Michael Jackson claimed he had a disease by name vitiligo hence needed to lighten his skin. Vitiligo is a skin disorder that causes differing areas of light and dark skin.

While getting a light skin makes one more beautiful, it comes with side effects and risks. Some of these effects are;

  • Can cause permanent skin bleaching whereby the skin can never go back to the original color.

  • Too much use of the lightening creams can lead to pigmentation, which affects the color of the skin.

  • Irritation and redness of the skin.

  • Uneven skin tone.

  • Cancer.

  • Skin gets exposed to the sun.

On a light note, some lightening creams are effective without too many risks but some can be fatal. The toxic-free creams are more costly, therefore, most people cannot afford.




Hope Medical Clinic (Kigumo)
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