Skin bleaching creams are primarily used to treat discolored skin
without permanently changing the color of the skin. Bleaching process is done
mainly to remove skin aging spots, scars, freckles and uneven skin tone. Skin
bleaching creams are a non invasive treatment of such skin related issues and
are generally the first step to treating undesired color of the skin or spots.
Having said enough about skin bleaching creams and their use, it is worth
a mention that these creams are accompanied by some dangers as well. Many
creams consist of ingredients that do not suit all skin types. Two toxic
chemicals viz. Mercury and Hydroquinone are major culprits behind the dangers
of skin bleaching creams. These chemicals have been known to cause several side
effects and shall be used with caution only
Dangers of Hydroquinone
Although Hydroquinone is the only skin bleaching chemical that has found
recognition by the FDA, any cream that contains more than 2% of it may cause dangerous
side effects. The most commonly occurring side effect is burning sensation on
the skin and itching. This itching and reddening may be local to the area of
the skin where cream has been applied.
Allergic Reaction to Skin Bleach
Skin bleaching creams may cause severe allergic reactions on some people.
These allergies may result in itching and burning of the skin. If your skin is
allergic to the bleaching cream, the pain would be much more in intensity than
the normal irritation which is expected on application of a bleaching agent. It
is recommended that the use of that bleaching cream be discontinued immediately
and a medical intervention be sought as soon as possible. However, if the
reaction is not very severe, you can expect it to die down in intensity in a
few hours and completely disappear in a few days.
Dangers of Mercury
Use of skin bleaching creams that contain mercury is not recommended for
a continued period of time. Mercury, if used for long, can cause poisoning and
it can also begin accumulating in the cells of the body. Severe poisoning and
exposure can even lead to serious conditions such as kidney and liver damage.
Sun Ray Exposure
Exposing bleached skin to the sun can result in a disaster. Since
Hydroquinone and Mercury cause skin to become sensitive to rays of the sun, it
is wise to stay out of the sun after bleach. In case it cannot be avoided, wear
adequate protective clothing and an SPF 15+ sunscreen. Avoid tanning beds or
sun lamps for sometime after using bleaching cream
A skin bleach is usually followed by some other treatment of the skin. Do
not use Hydrogen Peroxide, Benzoyl Peroxide or any other peroxide product after
Hydroquinone containing bleaching cream or else it can lead to dangerous
reactions on the skin such as dark stains on the skin
Dangers for pregnant and breastfeeding women
Breastfeeding and pregnant women should stay away from bleaching creams
as the toxic substances can travel to the fetus through the mothers
It goes without saying that proper care should be taken while using
bleaching creams. It is wise not to apply cream on the entire area that is
desired to be bleached; instead a small portion of the skin should be tested
for any reactions first. Follow the instructions and if possible, consult a veteran
before using a bleaching cream to ensure safe use.