Dr. Aranmolate Ayobami is a Medical Doctor and the CEO of Grandville Medical and Laser. He is into laser treatments, liposuction, amongst others. One of the best in his field, he throws more light on bleaching the skin and problems that are incurred.
Why do you think people tone/bleach their skins?
Some tone because of peer groups, some tone because they are fair in complexion and they want to maintain the uniform body tone, some even in instances meet a cosmetologist for something to make their skins glow. In a bid for them to sell their products, they will often recommend toning products for them. So in that way they end up being in the same cycle. However, there may be some people who have been toning in the past and they still want to continue to tone, so they move on from one low level product to a higher toning product so they end up being in the same cycle. Some of them enjoy the initial aesthetic look. When they are using these toning products, it gives them this brightness which people might commend, so it becomes almost impossible for them to stop what they are doing. Before you know what is happening, they become chronic users of the products.
What are some of the side effects….
Basically when they tone, what happens is that some of these products especially the hydroquinone that is inside the product basically suppresses the melanin production. It also makes sure that the skin’s thickness is thinned out. The worst part of it is that the strength of the skin is what actually thins out which is the dermis because the skin has three layers. The dermis has the strength of about 95% on its own. So when they are using the hydroquinone, the dermis is what thins out. Meaning that the structural support of the skin will gradually be lost.
What are the problems they have?
What we call a rebound hyper pigmentation. People may decide to stop the product, instead of them sustaining the fairness that they have, they get darker. Secondly, they are prone to infection because the product which is a steroid, suppresses the immune system. Whenever they have any injury, it becomes almost impossible for the wound to heal on time because the strength of the skin is gone. Even when they have an open wound and are taken to the hospital and try to close the place, the whole skin will start breaking down so easily. For people who have used these products for a long time, they have dark patches which is almost impossible to eradicate completely.
There is a use of laser in taking care of these things but it may never totally take those things off. You might notice that their veins becomes more obvious compared to the regular clients who have thick dermis. You might note that their knuckles are dark, the veins are very obvious, you can almost see through the skin, every little thing on their body tends to tear the skin apart. The steroids they use can also cause accumulation of fluid in the body which can cause what we call cushioned syndrome. In this case they could become hypertensive, they could end up with a renal problem. You might notice a fat patch in specific areas of their body. So a lot of things ranging from the skin effect to the systemic effect actually affect clients who are using the hydroquinone
What would be your advice to anyone who wants to lighten their skin?
The best thing is actually to see a professional; not a cosmetics person but preferably an aesthetic medicine physician or someone who has a very good knowledge about the skin. However there are some products that are medically certified. In part of these products that are being used, there are some compounds that are being used which you are just supposed to use for a period of time. In medicine, we say for medical use alone probably because we are trying to correct what is going on. There are other products which are medically acceptable but they take a long time and have little or no side effect. For a lot of people, they want immediate results, which lead them to all the problems that they are having. So there are some medical injections which can be used. The initiative is a very special initiative that is very dear to our heart. It aims to foster productive learning environment for children. So through partnership with government and cooperate bodies, we want to be able to get these products to public school students and students of low cost schools across the nation.Some tend to have albutein and these are things that are properly regulated and the percentage of albutein is something that will not cause problems for the client.
With the hot weather we have around this side of the globe, would you advice anyone to tone/bleach?
Even if they don’t tone, there are some people that are fair. What they need to do is to make sure they use sunscreen. See a dermatologist and exfoliate your skin regularly, you will notice that your skin will glow. Use medically prescribed products even if you have some sunny patch or sun burned area over you face or your body or you have used a particular product that damaged you skin. See a dermatologist, aesthetic medicine practitioner or someone who has been medically trained to take care of issues like that and not just going to any shop to pick any product from their shelf. Some of those products might not have some of the contents that are being sold to the client.