I walked down the road of Accra one afternoon and to my surprise, 60% of the ladies I saw had bleached their skin color. According to dictionary.com, bleaching means to make whiter or lighter in colour, as by exposure to sunlight or a chemical agent. Bleaching as an act is now a norm in our world today. Bleaching creams contain a chemical called the hydroquinone. According to the FDA, approximately 65 companies sell over 200 different types of skin lightening products containing this hydroquinone in the U.S. This hydroquinone can be found in most cream products in Asia and Africa as it is very popular for its skin-lightening properties. An experiment was conducted on rodents which showed “some evidence” that hydroquinone may act as a carcinogen ( any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer), which is yet to be proved in humans. Hydroquinone also has been linked with medical condition known as ochronosis in which the skin becomes dark and thick. According to modernghana.com, a survey was carried out which revealed some women in Kumasi, Ghana have developed a new procedure involving the smearing of hair relaxers all over their bodies and wearing up to three layers of clothing including socks, gloves and long sleeved tops to protect themselves from the sun’s penetrating rays. In some parts of Africa, the lighter skinned people are believed to be more attractive , sexy and even more intelligent which encouraged people to invest their time and money into bleaching just to meet up with the “so-called” standard, other reasons can be attributed to inferiority complex where dark skinned people see the oyibos (whites) as superiors. No matter the skin you find your self in, it is beautiful and deserves to be cherished. Good health is beautiful, never sacrifice it. BEWARE!!! SKIN CANCER.
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