Side Effects of Skin Bleaching Creams

Skin bleaching is used to treat discoloration of the skin, without changing skin tone. People who are dissatisfied with the hue of their skin use it to make their skin lighter mostly without proper knowledge of how to use. Bleaching helps remove freckles, skin aging spots, scarring, or uneven skin tone.

It is possible change skin tone and texture through skin bleaching creams. Bleaching creams often contain ingredients that are not compatible with every skin tone, and as such affect the skin negatively when used. Hydroquinone and mercury are the main ingredients found in skin bleaching creams, and are considered toxic chemicals. Below are some of the side effects of bleaching.

Main Hydroquinone Side Effects

Hydroquinone is the only skin bleaching chemical recognized by the FDA but any skin bleaching cream with over 2% hydroquinone may cause side effects. The most common side effects of creams with excess hydroquinone are irritation and a burning sensation.

Allergic Reaction

Allergic reactions can occur from bleaching, and result in severe, itching or even burning of the skin. Severe and intolerable pain may occur as well as swelling of areas where skin bleach has been applied. To stop the allergic reaction it is important to stop the cream.

Peroxide Precaution

Benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, or other peroxide products should not be used with bleaching creams, especially when using hydroquinone. The combination of hydroquinone and peroxide will likely cause dark staining of the skin.

Sun Ray Exposure

Hydroquinone and mercury cause skin to be hyper-sensitive to sun rays so it is advisable to stay out of the sun after applying skin bleach cream. Exposure to the sun will have adverse effect on skin.

Mercury Side Effects

Bleaching creams containing mercury which should not be used for long periods of time. Too much mercury exposure can cause liver damage and kidney failure

Breastfeeding and Pregnancy

Skin bleaching should not be done during pregnancy or breastfeeding. The cream can get into the mother’s bloodstream and travel to the fetus.

Proper Use

Proper use of skin bleaching creams is extremely important, and directions should be followed carefully at all times. Skin bleaching creams should be used temporarily, for no longer than four weeks. Large skin areas, such as the entire face, should not be bleached at once due to the possibility of skin discoloration. Bleaching cream should be applied only to spots that need to be removed or lightened.

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