Why Cote d’Ivoire Banned Bleaching Creams | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Why Cote d’Ivoire Banned Bleaching Creams

Posted: May 8, 2015 at 3:08 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Ivorien Health Ministry has explained that the West African country banned skin-whitening creams because of their dangorous health implications.

The ministry stated Friday May 8, 2015: “Cosmetic lightening and hygiene creams that de-pigment the skin are now forbidden”.

Bleaching creams are popular among young women – and men in Africa, who believe they make them more beautiful. But medical experts however warned that such creams cause cancer, diabetes, severe skin conditions and other diseases.
“The number of people with side-effects caused by these medicines is really high,” said Christian Doudouko, a member of Cote d’Ivoire’s pharmaceutical authority.

British consultant dermatologist, Justine Kluk, said the major concern was over unregulated products, which may contain ingredients such as mercury or excessive amounts of steroids.

“If one thinks about steroids being present in these products, they’re often present in much higher quantities than we would prescribe,” she said.She said the creams can cause a variety of health issues, such as “acne, thinning of the skin, glaucoma or cataracts if applied near the eyes.

“Or if applied liberally to the whole body, [they can] cause high blood pressure,  diabetes, osteoporosis, weight gain, mood disturbance due to absorption of large amounts of steroids.” However, analysts say the ban may not stop people buying the products.

They are still used in The Gambia despite a ban. South Africa has the world’s toughest laws against skin lighteners, having prohibited the most active ingredient – hydroquinone, but a University of
Cape Town study found that more than a third of South African women still buy them.

The use of whitening creams in Africa is most widespread in Nigeria – where more than 75 per cent of women buy them, according to a 2008 United Nations (UN) Environment Programme survey.