Medically Speaking is a platform whereby some common and troubling medical issues and their possible solutions are discussed by medical professionals. Below is the compilation of a tweetcast done on bleaching by a medical doctor, Dr.Harvey Olufunmilayo. Read and be enlightened.

In the next set of tweets, as I promised yesterday, I will talk about the Health Hazards of Skin #Bleaching. Pls read along & retweet.
Incase you want to participate in the discussion or u hav questions for me, pls kindly tweet at me or use #Bleaching. It makes it easier.
I want to really thank all those who read and retweeted my last medical post on health risks of masturbation. You guys rock. #Bleaching
If u missed any of my medical posts, or u are a new follower, pls go thru my favourites, you will find over 25 articles that can help u.
Straight to the issue of the day. Skin #Bleaching is also referred to as skin whitening or skin lightening. It is more or less the same.
Let me clarify a few things on this #Bleaching post. This is not aimed at attacking anyone or any group of persons. Lets not be petty.
Let me also state in clear terms that it is unfair to think every light-skinned girl bleaches. Such mindset is a show of pure ignorance.
I do not intend to break anyone’s heart or make anyone feel bad. I only hope to raise medical awareness on a practice that is popular.
There are people who are naturally fair-skinned. And I must say it is wrong to box them with those who engage in #Bleaching. Pls note.
There are others who innocently use a “toning” cream to have “fresh” skin, not knowing they are #bleaching their skin. This is for them.
The final set of people are those who intentionally went out to buy a #Bleaching or toning cream so that they can know the implications.
Skin #Bleaching is the use of chemicals- soaps, creams, lotions- in an attempt to lighten the skin tone or have an even fair complexion.
The chemicals used in skin whitening creams lotions & soaps work by reducing melanin- the pigment that gives humans a dark-colored skin.
All over the world people use #Bleaching creams.
But it’s use is highest in young ladies and women in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 14/
A study shows Nigeria has the highest number of African women who use #Bleaching creams. We are the most populous black nation anyway.
It may interest you to know that the British Skin Foundation says 96% of dermatologists in the UK discourage #Bleaching cream/soap use.
However I must say #Bleaching creams are only advised if prescribed by a doctor/dermatologist for someone who has certain skin problems.
People who may have vitiligo, melasma, or very stubborn acne/birth spots may be advised to use a prescribed whitening cream by a doctor.
This is to clarify that #Bleaching creams may serve a medical purpose for those with certain skin disorders as diagnosed by a doctor.
However pls note that the popular unprescribed continuous use of #Bleaching creams on the whole body/skin is very dangerous to health.
Simply put,NO doctor/dermatologist wil advise #Bleaching cream use except it is absolutely necessary lik if someone has a skin disorder.
Most #Bleaching creams and whitening lotions have chemicals that are scientifically proven to be toxic & destructive to human health.
Many #Bleaching creams/soaps contain Mercury,a proven toxic chemical that destroys the skin, the kidneys and the brain; on the long run.
As a fact, as at 1990, both Europe and the USA banned mercury completely from use in #Bleaching cosmetic products sold to its citizens.
Mercury poisoning from use of #Bleaching creams/soaps has been confirmed medically to cause acute kidney failure and nephritic syndrome.
If you buy any “toning” cream/soap & u find it contains Mercury, pls NEVER use it. And stop if u have started. Your kidneys are at risk.
The cumulative effect of the use of mercury-containing #Bleaching cosmetics on the kidneys is that it accumulates & destroy your kidneys
The most potent #Bleaching chemicals- hydroquinone & mercury- are very cheap but extremely toxic & destructive to human health. Pls note.
Hydroquinone used in many #Bleaching lotions is a very potent inhibitor of melanin, so it “whitens” the skin. It has been found toxic.
As a matter of fact, as at 2001 Hydroquinone was banned in all of Europe from being used in any cosmetic products sold in those nations.
Hydroquinone has been proven to be carcinogenic- that means it may cause cancer. Medical research has found it as a risk for leukemia.
Don’t be carried away by lotions & soaps that claim to be “whitening” or “toning”. If it contains #Bleaching chemicals, it is the same.
If u have a naturally fair skin, it is deception and a trick by #Bleaching cream sellers, to think you need to “maintain” it by toning.
The truth is if u hav a naturally fair flawless skin, did u do anything to have it? Why do u now think u need to bleach to maintain it?
There are many toxic/harmful chemicals in #Bleaching lotions.
But the most notorious &!extremely destructive are Mercury & Hydroquinone.
Once you check the pack of a cream/soap and it has mercury or Hydroquinone, stay away from it. Except u want ur brain & kidneys ruined.
On the brain, #Bleaching creams may cause headaches, forgetfulness, insomnia, depression, loss of memory & difficulty concentrating.
Even children who were breastfed by mothers on regular use of #Bleaching creams are at risk of mercury poisoning & toxicity. Pls note. 39/
Other impacts on the brain from #Bleaching creams, include tremors, irritability, nervousness, tingling sensations, lassitude & vertigo.
On the skin, #Bleaching creams can cause permanent skin scars, redness, intense irritation, dark knuckles and ankles, thinning of skin.
Other general effects of #Bleaching is peripheral neuropathy, panda eyes (darkened skin around eyes), and even psychosis in rare cases.
Never buy toning creams/whitening lotions in bottles/packs that have no labels (or have labels that list no ingredients). Never buy it.
Know that there’s NO company that will come out to agree they sell #Bleaching products. Look at the ingredients and use that to judge.
Once u see Mercury, Hydroquinone, or steroids as part of the ingredients in your body cream, pls run for dear life. It is very harmful.
#Bleaching creams cause premature skin aging, increased risk for skin cancer and ochronosis (unwanted & untreatable skin discoloration)
Always ask a doctor/dermatologist abt any cream/soap you use that is making you unduly lighter. It may be destroying ur kidneys as well.
We must do our best as a people to discard the notion that light skin is superior to dark skin. This is nothing but sheer childishness.
The intense pressure and the struggle to be lightskinned is one that is thoroughly unnecessary. And certainly not worth #bleaching for.
Finally, check your soap/lotions if it has Hydroquinone or Mercury, discard it now. Your brain, your kidneys and your skin is at risk.
Eventually you will later discover that the temporary benefits of #Bleaching are not worth the potential consequences on the long run.
I hope this short post on #Bleaching was helpful and educative in its own little way. Thanks for your time.
There are over 15 identified toxic chemicals in #Bleaching (or toning/whitening) creams. Only that Mercury & Hydroquinone is the worst.
The most reliable medical advice is stay away from #Bleaching creams. This includes whitening/toning creams. Or whatever names they use.
Except u have a skin disorder and a dermatologist prescribed a whitening cream/soap for u, never use it. No matter how they package it.
Steroid creams are usually prescribed for skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis. A side effect is skin lightening. 2/
Now these steroid creams are ONLY meant to be used for a specific period for the skin disease, usually NEVER more than 3months
But some people continue to use this steroid containing creams indiscriminately and indefinitely because it lightens the skin
Usually the lightening stops once u stop usin steroid creams after taking care of the skin disease for which it was prescribed
The problems with continuous long use of steroid creams is very fragile skin that tears easily, doesn’t heal well, and heals with bad scar.
So while many people never started out to bleach, they used a prescribed cream for eczema, and never stopped using it cos it lightens them.
This is why we all must be careful of creams that have no labels, or have labels written in languages u don’t understand.Never buy/use such.
Other problems with prolonged use of steroid creams include stretch marks, uneven discoloration, skin rashes , irritation, redness & bumps.
In breastfeeding women who use steroid whitening creams, this may harm babies and cause slowing and delayed growth in the innocent children.
More problems with prolonged use of steroid whitening creams is Cushing syndrome, excessive weight gain, hypertension & immunosuppression.
Some people hav ignorantly turned FunbactA to their body cream.This prolonged use is very destructive to your skin/kidneys on the long run.
The indiscriminate use of things like Skineal and FunbactA is actually counterproductive. Cos it destroys the skin’s natural immune system.
The implication of that is that Skineal/FunbactA overuse makes your skin unduly fragile and extremely prone to repeated fungal infections.
For any skin issues, go to a hospital.See a doctor. Or a dermatologist. Usin more creams or handling it on your own wil ruin things more.
Fair people must stop this ignorant assumption that they need some “special” cream/routine to “maintain” their skin. You are ruining urself.
No matter your skin color, fair or dark, eat a good diet, drink a lot of water, use a normal cream, ur skin will glow.Don’t chase shadows.
Regardless of the claim of cream sellers, or what is on the label, once u use a cream that unduly makes u lighter, STOP it for your own good.

Olufunmilayo Harvey Ogunsanya aka #YourFavOnlineDoctor is a medical doctor. He has future plans of being a brain surgeon but presently practice in the medical department of a private firm. His regular tweet casts on diverse medical issues via his Twitter handle are absolutely informative and educative! You can follow himhim on twitter or tweet your questions at him via @drolufunmilayo

About Kemi Odutayo

‘Kemi Odutayo, a graduate of University of Lagos, Nigeria is a Practitioner of NLP, a blogger, an author, a counselor and a media consultant. She is the Head of Operations, Me4 Communications, a publishing, marketing and communications outfit specializing in publishing books/eBooks, managing and offering training for social media accounts for individuals and organizations. Kemi and her husband of many years, Kayode Odutayo have a beautiful family blessed with three lovely children.