Skin lightening creams: what are they?

Many products are now sold under the name of skin lightening creams, and it is important to know some information before purchasing them.

In this article, we will learn about the basic risks when using skin-lightening creams, and some other important information:

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Skin lightening creams: what are they? And what are its components?

Skin lightening creams can contain different substances, such as:

  1. Retin A:  which leads to  exfoliation and skin  renewal.
  2. Alpha hydroxy acid:  which dissolves dead skin cells that have accumulated on  the outer layer of the skin .
  3. Hydroquinone:  This is a substance found in most skin-lightening creams.
  4. Other compounds:  Vitamin C , and other substances.

What are the uses of skin lightening creams?

Skin lightening cream is used to treat many facial skin problems:

  • sun spots
  • age.
  • Acne scars .
  • Treatment of changing skin color as a result of changes in hormones.

The products on the market today are sold in pharmacies with or without a doctor's prescription, and this depends on the effectiveness of the materials in the cream or ointment and the problem that it is intended to treat.

Risks of using skin lightening creams

Before using a skin lightening cream, it is important to know and understand the risks and complications of these substances:

  • Retin-A should not be used, especially during pregnancy  , although spots appear during this period.
  • It is forbidden to use other compound creams of some different acids when exposed to the sun.
  • It is dangerous to use skin lightening creams to lighten the entire face. Because some of them may contain mercury, and prolonged exposure to mercury in large areas of the skin may lead to  mercury poisoning , and symptoms include:
    • Psychological and neurological problems.
    • Imbalance in the work of the kidneys .
    • Harm to the fetus  if used during pregnancy.
    • Premature aging of the skin.
    • Increased risk of skin cancer,  especially if exposed to sunlight immediately after using the cream.

It is worth knowing that using a skin-lightening cream that contains steroids may result in many risks and harms, the most important of which are:

  • Increased risk of dermatitis , skin thinning, acne, and lesions on the facial skin.
  • Causing death, suicidal thoughts, low testosterone production, psychological problems, severe mood changes,  cardiovascular disorders , and liver diseases .
  • Suffering from some types of facial sensitivity.

Methods of safe use of skin lightening creams

Some precautions for the safe use of skin lightening cream:

  • Consult a dermatologist when purchasing a skin-lightening cream, even if it is sold without a prescription.
  • Know the list of product compounds to ensure that it does not contain mercury.
  • Ensure that the hydroquinone preparation does not contain more than 2% of the chemical.
  • Refrain from buying the product if the product contains hydroquinone and is not mentioned in any quantity.

Factors affecting skin lightening

Skin color is determined by  the amount of melanin  , which is a pigment produced in the body by cells in the skin called melanocytes, and dark-skinned people have a higher percentage of melanin in their skin than light-skinned people, and the amount of melanin in the skin is related to our genes, but that is not the only factor, there are factors Others that affect skin color, such as:

  • Exposure to sunlight .
  • hormones.
  • Damages of aging and exposure to certain chemicals.

But the accumulated damage to the skin of the face may lead to  the appearance of spots that  will not disappear automatically and there is a need for cosmetic intervention in order to fade, and this cosmetic treatment is intended to reduce the presence of prominent spots in the skin of the face, the exposed chest area and the backs of the palms of the hands, that is, the areas exposed to sunlight.

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