ARE YOU THINKING OF LIGHTENING YOUR SKIN?: Psychological and medical implications of using skin-lightening creams

SSL Quote on Skin-care: Never apply on your skin what you can not eat.

Many black women are sold the idea that lighter skin is more desirable, forcing some to resort to creams to try to change their color.
Some women even believe that the fairer you are the more likely one is to become successful socially, economically and romantically
I know we have heard this over and over again that bleaching the skin can cause cancer(of the kidney and skin) and some of us even abuse or make jest of those who bleach but yet we “codedly” mix creams in our bedrooms. Meanwhile when we go for events or occasions, we criticize those who have bleached their skin.
The worse of all is those who do not know they are bleaching but suddenly realize how clear/fair their skin is and then conclude they are getting fresher.
It is however important we check the ingredients in the products we buy before purchasing them. Don’t just read the short notes on the product those are just “marketing stunts”. Focus on the ingredients, research on the product to know the pros and cons. Read the reviews from other people as well. And if there are no reviews, then be sure that’s just an over-the-counter cream that was mixed in one room to be sold to the desperate women who want to get yellow by all means forgetting that a cream that you buy over-the-counter may NOT be medically approved and could permanently damage your skin.
So, I did my research and decided to write this article because of my fellow sisters and women who are about to or are already making the mistake of lightening their skin.
Below are the psychological and medical implications of skin lightening creams:
A survey carried out by the british skin foundation found out that 16% of dermatologists believe lightening creams are completely “unsafe” and 80% believe those prescribed by dermatologists are safe.
Indy Rihal of the british skin foundation also stated that most skin lightening creams contain illegal compounds that can damage your health.
Some of which are: hydroquinone, the most common bleaching agent. Steriods is a common compound which is original used to cure skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. Mercury is another dangerous chemical that is found in skin lightening creams that sicken women. Some of the symptoms of mercury toxicity in creams include: irritability, headaches, memory loss, numbness, tingling in the hands, feet or around the lips, insomnia, depression and weight loss.
Skin lightening creams can cause permanent skin bleaching, thinning of the skin, uneven color loss, leading to a blotchy appearance, redness and intense irritation.
So, just before you decide to buy that lightening cream, think again!
Just to add, the World Health organization(WHO) asserts that 77% of Nigerians use bleaching creams. Please help reduce this figure.
Remember beauty is Skin deep.

Some of the contents in this article were culled from the links below, further reading could be done as well;


DO YOU KNOW ABOUT SCHIZOPHRENIA?: 14yr old girl killed & set on fire by boyfriend because he thought she was pregnant.

Case study:
Shaniesha Forbes, 14, was killed by her 20 year old boyfriend who then burnt her body and dumped her remains on a beach just because he thought she was pregnant.
Below is how New York Post is reporting it:
The family of the 14-year-old Brooklyn girl who was allegedly killed by her boyfriend and dumped on a beach blasted him this morning for cowardly slaying her after he thought she was pregnant.
Police had arrested Christian Ferdinand, 20, in Maine on Tuesday, where he had fled after he allegedly suffocated Shaniesha Forbes, 14, and burnt her body before dumping the remains at Gerritsen Beach.

Schizophrenia is a group of severe brain disorders in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking and behavior.

Contrary to some popular belief, schizophrenia isn’t split personality or multiple personality. The word “schizophrenia” does mean “split mind,” but it refers to a disruption of the usual balance of emotions and thinking.

Symptoms of schizophrenia:
Schizophrenia is a chronic condition, requiring lifelong treatment.
A person diagnosed with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations (most reported are hearing voices), delusions (often bizarre or persecutory in nature), and disorganized thinking and speech. The latter may range from loss of train of thought, to sentences only loosely connected in meaning, to incoherence known as word salad in severe cases. Social withdrawal, sloppiness of dress and hygiene, and loss of motivation and judgment are all common in schizophrenia. There is often an observable pattern of emotional difficulty, for example lack of responsiveness. Impairment in social cognition is associated with schizophrenia, as are symptoms of paranoia; social isolation commonly occurs. Difficulties in working and long-term memory, attention, executive functioning, and speed of processing also commonly occur. In one uncommon subtype, the person may be largely mute, remain motionless in bizarre postures, or exhibit purposeless agitation, all signs of catatonia. About 30% to 50% of people with schizophrenia do not have insight, in other words they do not accept their condition or its treatment.

According to the revised fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, three diagnostic criteria must be met:

Characteristic symptoms: Two or more of the following, each present for much of the time during a one-month period (or less, if symptoms remitted with treatment).
Disorganized speech, which is a manifestation of formal thought disorder
Grossly disorganized behavior (e.g. dressing inappropriately, crying frequently) or catatonic behavior
Negative symptoms: Blunted affect (lack or decline in emotional response), alogia (lack or decline in speech), or avolition (lack or decline in motivation)
If the delusions are judged to be bizarre, or hallucinations consist of hearing one voice participating in a running commentary of the patient’s actions or of hearing two or more voices conversing with each other, only that symptom is required above. The speech disorganization criterion is only met if it is severe enough to substantially impair communication.
Social or occupational dysfunction: For a significant portion of the time since the onset of the disturbance, one or more major areas of functioning such as work, interpersonal relations, or self-care, are markedly below the level achieved prior to the onset.
Significant duration: Continuous signs of the disturbance persist for at least six months. This six-month period must include at least one month of symptoms (or less, if symptoms remitted with treatment).
Psychotic symptoms lasting less than a month may be diagnosed as brief psychotic disorder, and various conditions may be classed as psychotic disorder not otherwise specified.
For further reading on the types, check the link below.


Further reading:

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Kelly Rowland in Dirty Laundry

This is going to be a tough one to write about as I usually don’t like to hear cases of men abusing women in any way.
It’s just wrong! Whether you are single or married. Love becomes blind when one doesn’t get out of a domestically violent setting.
Would it be better for one to be referred to in “past tense” which signifies death or for one to be pitied due to a deformity as a result of beating, cutting and abuse?
Who ever knew Miss Kelly Rowland was going through all of that stuff where she was being hurt by a man who once saw her as beautiful?
Who ever knew she hid behind the shadows of “I’m a star” ain’t nobody know my problems.
I once wondered if she would get married like Beyonce as they are sisters but never read in any news she was undergoing torture by some man she’s not even married to.

Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.

Domestic violence is just something that kills everything a “woman” is-her pride, her dignity, her self-esteem, her voice to speak, her ego and all that makes a woman a woman.

Any man who engages in that act needs to be dealt with seriously.
Its so sad when one hears of single ladies who get the beating of their life from a man who hasn’t even put a ring on it!

A comedian tweeted that: “if he can’t smash is blackberry phone against the wall when he is angry, then he should never lay his hands on you”.

Lady, know this if you’re going through this: Your life wouldn’t end if you leave that relationship. A man who will love you and truly cater for you wouldn’t lay a finger on you.
It may seem tough especially when it feels this man is all you’ve got. You got GOD! He’s not your creator. You have a life to live.

Sure, women love to talk and say some really nasty things but that doesn’t give any one a go ahead to “hit you”. It is wrong! And simply wicked!

As a woman if you know your mouth will land you into trouble, please just keep quiet and walk away instead.
But in a situation where what you say doesn’t even cause for you to be beaten and you get that often, then there is something wrong somewhere; that’s where violence starts from.

Are you going to wait till he kills you?
Are you going to watch him hurt you badly even for the man who will eventually pick you up? ‘Cause whether you believe it or not; you deserve a man who will respect you for who you are and so much cherish your body that he wouldn’t want to leave any “mark” on it except a mark of “smile” that signifies he’s treating you well.
Domestic violence breeds self-hate, low-self esteem, low self-worth, tears, jealousy, hurt and everything bad that can cause damage to not only the body but the soul.
The illusion that comes with domestic violence is that you start to believe that “you can handle it” or “he is a good man especially when he showers you with gifts after whooping your ass” its all fake!
Don’t get deceived by all that; its still good when you aint married to him. You can still make a change.

Meanwhile, here is the lyrics from Kelly’s song “Dirty laundry”;
“When my sister was on stage/ killin’ it like a motherf**ker 
/ I was enraged / feelin’ it like a motherf**ker / bird in a cage 
/ you would never know what I was dealin’ with
 / went our separate ways but I was happy she was killin’ it
 / bittersweet / she was up I was down
 / no lie I feel good for her but what do I do now / forget the records off the record I was goin’ through some bullsh**t 
/ post-survivor / she don’t fight / who wanna hear my bullsh*t / meanwhile this nigga putting his hands on me / swear ya’ll don’t know the half of this industry…

Please speak up if you are experiencing such…talk to a friend about it, your Mum, or someone you can trust. You can’t get all the help alone.
And to that Man that does this: Live and let live. If you don’t love her, then don’t beat her, leave her the hell alone and let her live her own life. Only a coward beats a woman!
Further reading:

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