Health & Fitness » Skin Bleaching Products Risky For Blacks

Skin Bleaching Products Risky For Blacks

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Los Angeles, CA (Mybrotha.COM) - A recent study published in the November 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology says that using skin lightening products is a serious problem for men and women of African descent.

According to the study conducted by Dr. Antione Petit of the Hospital Saint Louis, Paris France -- two patients out of 46 were found with insufficient adrenal gland function which may have resulted from the use of a product called clobetasol. Clobetasol is a cream prescribed to relieve itching, dryness, redness, scaling, inflammation, and discomfort of various skin and scalp conditions.

Many Blacks use skin lightening products to even out pigmentation, reverse discoloration from blemishes, or to lighten areas darkened by sun exposure. However, products containing clobetasol or hydroquinone, another skin lightner -- may be linked to infections, scarring, and other serious side-effects.

According to a WebMD report citing FDA reservations about skin lightening products: "Hydroquinone has been on the cancer watchlist for decades, both because of animal studies (rats given tons of hydroquinone to ingest) and retrospective health surveys that compared cancer risks by occupation/environmental exposure. Statistically, lifelong excess exposure to hydroquinone is associated with an increase cancer risk, so the FDA wants to ban OTC sales of hydroquinone."

In Dr. Petit's study, he and his colleagues examined 46 patients of African descent who experienced skin changes that may have been related to the use of skin lightening products. These included darkening of the skin at the finger joints, stretch marks and infections.

On many occasions, patients using clobetasol searched for more powerful skin lightening or bleaching products to help cope with the hyperpigmentation side effects they experienced.

"There is an urgent need to inform dark-skinned persons of the nature and side effects of the products used for skin lightening, especially clobetasol," the researchers conclude.

Dr. Petit also noted that clinical and psychological aspects of skin lightening need further study to improve the prevention of side effects.

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